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Honda Civic Type-R Championship White review

We review the Honda Civic Type-R Championship White - and find it's worth every penny of its

"There are hot hatches that make speed a lot easier"

I hope you like white. Because the new range-topping Civic Type-R is only available in that hue and it covers the wheels as well as the body. It’s considered a lucky colour in Japan, and it’s fashionable over here too – for the time being at least.

Fortunately the paintwork is not all that’s new – Honda has also taken the opportunity to fit a limited-slip differential. The engine remains unchanged, its 2.0-litres producing 197bhp without help from a turbo.

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But, these days that’s barely adequate for a hot hatch, especially as the high-revving unit needs to be wrung-out to extract the most from it. Luckily the gearbox encourages super-fast shifts to help keep the engine on the boil.

The new diff does make a difference. Without it, flooring the throttle in a bend will see the inside front wheel spin, which wastes power, loses grip and costs time. The diff stops this, so you can get on the power earlier and harder and corner faster, almost as if it were four wheel drive.

It makes the Civic even more manic to drive, and left me with a big grin on my face. Working the ‘box and keeping the revs up to squeeze out as much speed as possible is very involving. It’s one of those cars that you get out what you put in, but there are hot hatches that make speed a lot easier.

This Honda costs £1000 more than a standard Civic Type-R, but I’d say it was worthwhile for the diff – especially for anyone who might venture on to a track. You also get a numbered plaque to remind you it’s a bit more special (although Honda isn’t limiting numbers). It remains as practical as ever with loads of passenger and boot space too. While there are faster hot hatches these days, the Type-R in Championship White is right up there for thrills.

Car Specs - Honda Civic Type-R Championship White

Engine:2.0-litre 4-cyl, 197bhp
0-62mph:6.6 seconds
Top speed:146mph
Economy/emissions:31.0mpg/215g/km CO2
Price/On sale £21,000/December

We rate:
Diff makes a difference
18-inch white alloys
Brilliant gear change

We slate :
White only
Ride is rock hard
Not exactly torquey

Rating: Image removed.

by Mike Chen

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Richard is a former editor of Carbuyer, as well as sister site DrivingElectric.com, and he's now Deputy Editor at Auto Express. Having spent a decade working in the automotive industry, he understands exactly what makes new car buyers tick.

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