Sharper Honda Civic Type R arrives Down Under

Honda Civic Type R

The Honda Civic Type R has been sharpened up with design tweaks and performance improvements.

The updated Honda Civic Type R has been sharpened up to improve performance, ride and handling, according to Honda. But the headline grabber is the addition of a data logger, for the first time on the Civic Type R. It’s on-sale now from $54,990+ORCs.

Lobbing Down Under in 2017, the Civic Type R has cemented itself as one of the performance world’s best hot hatches. And now, Honda reckons it’s made it better. 

For starters the adaptive dampers have a faster response time, how fast? Ten times faster than before. These work in with the Driving Modes, Comfort, Sport and +R which tweak, as well as the damper performance, the throttle mapping. The rear bushings are stiffer by 8%, and compliance bushings at the front are now 10% stiffer. And there are new low friction ball joints for sharper steering, Honda claims.

Honda Civic Type R

 Oh, and the brakes have been beefed up too, with new brake pads, different disc design at the front…and not only will it allegedly improve braking performance on track, it’s also lighter by 2.3kg. Winning. And the stroke of the brake pedal is 15mm shorter than the old car, giving the brakes a more immediate feel.

Engine cooling has also been tweaked, thanks to the new, larger grille and thinner grille beam the air intake opening is now 13% bigger. And thanks to a new radiator core design, Honda reckons in its testing, coolant temperature was 10-degrees C cooler on the track than the old car.

Honda Civic Type R

Because the new grille reduced downforce at the front, Honda’s boffins tweaked the front airdam to counteract the reduction and increase negative pressure on the front end.

The Civic Type R continues with its 2.0L turbocharged four-cylinder screamer unchanged, meaning 228kW and 400Nm of torque.

There have been a handful of design changes in addition to the front grille, and you can get a new paint colour, Racing Blue which is just for the Civic Type R. The steering wheel gets a new wrap, and the new shifter nods at Type Rs of old, and now gets a 90g counterweight to make shifting even slicker. Clever.

So what’s this data logger all about, then? Strange to think this is the first time Honda has ever fitted one of its performance cars with a data logger but there you go. It’s called Honda LogR, get it… and it melds the onboard computer with a bunch of sensors and your smartphone to monitor and record performance parameters for when you’re on the track. And, for when you’re wearing your cardigan, the driving-smoothness algorithm (Honda’s words) can help improve your on-road driving performance.

Honda Civic Type R

The data logger offers three main functions, and is able to monitor things like brake pressure, steering angle, pedal position and much more. 

  • Performance Monitor provides vehicle information to the driver on the Display Audio screen while the app is functioning;
  • Log Mode records lap times on the track; and
  • The Auto Score function encourages smooth day-to-day driving by monitoring braking, acceleration, steering and straight line driving, and generating a score based on the smoothness algorithm.

“While driving, all interaction with Honda LogR is through the Display Audio screen. Log Mode and Auto Score both offer more in-depth analysis through the smartphone app including previous drives, performance traces and replays using Google maps, along with detailed vehicle information,” Honda said.

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Isaac Bober has been writing about cars and 4x4s for more than 20 years, has worked on some of the country's biggest motoring magazines (remember what they were?), and launched Practical Motoring. Now he's back, back again... to share dad jokes and much more.