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New Honda Civic Type R on sale now from £46,995

Honda’s sixth-generation hot hatch is now on sale and set to take on the Volkswagen Golf R

  • 325bhp 2.0-litre petrol engine
  • Functional aerodynamic trim pieces
  • Available to order now from £46,995

The all-new Honda Civic Type R is now on sale, with prices starting at £46,995 and we’ve already driven it. The sixth-generation Type R retains its manual gearbox and front-wheel-drive setup, however it now boasts a hefty 325bhp and a toned-down design.

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First deliveries are expected to arrive in January 2023, when the new Civic Type R will renew its rivalry with the all-wheel-drive Volkswagen Golf R and Mercedes-AMG A 35. It’s worth noting that Honda’s hot hatch has seen a shocking £10,000-ish price increase over the previous model; while the aforementioned increase in power and a plusher interior go some way to justifying this, it will likely be a big pill for prospective owners to swallow.

2022 Honda Civic Type R: design

For buyers that were tempted by the previous generation Civic Type R but couldn’t quite commit to its angular, aggressive looks, the designers of the new Type R have toned things down somewhat.

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At the front, designers have created a smooth and aerodynamic bumper that channels air to the vertical slot shaped vents in each corner. A large lower honeycomb front grille remains to cool the engine, and above this are new headlights with slim edge-to-edge LED daytime running lights. 

A bonnet scoop features again, although it’s not quite as pronounced as the one seen on the previous model. Vents are still present behind the front wheel arches, but these have been carefully sculpted for a cleaner design along the side of the vehicle.

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Don’t go thinking that the new Type R has gone all tame, however, as it retains the old car’s distinctive triple exhaust setup. Although, you may be surprised to hear that this is not the most eye-catching thing at the rear; that honour goes to the Civic Type R’s giant spoiler which, according to Honda, actually provides significant downforce at full speed.

At launch, buyers will be able to specify their new car in one of five paint colours: Championship White, Rallye Red, Crystal Black, Racing Blue, and Sonic Grey Pearl. The latter is the only shade offered for free, with all other colours incurring an extra £625 on top of the original starting price.

Interior and practicality

In the front, a sporty set of red seats have supportive bolstering to keep owners held into their seat while cornering. In a nod to tradition, the Type R logo is embossed onto the headrests of the front seats, which also feature extra padding to ensure reasonable comfort for longer journeys. 

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A suede steering wheel is joined by an aluminium gear knob. The latter has become a notable feature of Honda’s Type R derivatives, and it sits just below a set of physical dials for the climate controls. Selectable driving modes will be able to not only change the engine and steering feel, but also the suspension stiffness.

Two screens are fitted to the dash, with the nine-inch central touchscreen bolstered by a physical dial for the volume and a handful of shortcut buttons for easy operation when on the move. The look of the 10.2-inch digital instruments can be changed depending on your preference, with a prominent rev gauge that should be helpful for buyers that want to take their car on track.

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The current Civic is one of the class leaders in terms of practicality and the new model improves on that with a longer wheelbase (the distance between the front and rear wheels). This comes as a benefit to passenger space, and the boot is still a good size – even with the steeply raked rear windscreen.

Engines and performance

Unlike the standard version of the Civic and its smaller sibling, the Honda Jazz, the Type R won’t be offered with a hybrid powertrain. Instead, the outgoing Type R’s 2.0-litre turbo petrol engine has been reworked to produce 325bhp – 9bhp more than before. While this may seem like an insignificant improvement, a plethora of other incremental advancements to the transmission and chassis have led to the new Civic Type R smashing the previous car’s lap record at the Suzuka racetrack in Japan.

The Type R’s 19-inch wheels are fitted with grippy Michelin Pilot Sport 4s tyres and sit in front of a set of powerful brakes designed by Brembo, for even greater stopping power. A mechanical limited-slip differential constantly works to juggle power between the two wheels on the front axle in order to maintain maximum traction.

What does this mean for car buyers?

Although there’s plenty of competition in the hot hatchback market, the latest Civic Type R brings many of the features that enthusiasts will savour. A manual gearbox paired to a petrol engine and selectable drive modes all mean the new Civic Type R is now more enjoyable to drive than ever before.

For those who were drawn to the previous generation, but couldn’t overcome the raucous vents and spoilers adorning its bodywork, the less controversial styling of the new Civic Type R is likely to be a welcome sight. Yet, with prices almost touching £50,000, Honda’s hot hatchback has lost much of its lustre and will really only appeal to hardcore fans and trackday enthusiasts. One thing worth noting, though, is that the new sixth-generation car is likely to be the last Civic Type R model offered with a petrol engine, which should restore the car’s appeal somewhat.

Read our guides to the best cheap sports cars, the fastest hot hatchbacks on sale and the best drivers’ cars

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