2018 Honda Civic Type R Launch Review

Honda launched their new Type R after an absence of 5 years.

Honda’s Australian CEO, Hiroyuki Shimizu, said he has high hopes for his favourite Honda. 350 people have already placed orders, sight unseen. In New South Wales, they will pay around $56,000 DRIVE AWAY (for RRP see below).

The event took us through some beautiful Tasmanian countryside on part of the famous Targa rally course.

No Type R launch would be complete without a few rounds on a race track.

Baskerville track has tight corners, with rapid changes of elevation, and a straight allowing a car to stretch its legs.

The Car:

The Civic Hatch hasn’t just had a spectacular 228kw/400Nm Vtec Turbo engine implanted, it has had care and attention lavished on it.

It starts with the all-important red Honda racing badge.

The body had been tweaked with garnishes, that are operative as well as appealing visually.

I love the red highlights here and there.

A bonnet scoop funnels air over the rear of the engine to aid temperature control and aerodynamics. There are channels down through the front fenders as well.

Also aiding cooling are sodium-filled valves. The turbo unit is part of the cooling system itself.

Air is directed from the front bumper through to the brakes, which remain operational under extreme use.

The big rear spoiler is set so as not to obscure rear view, with a black middle section that does not distract a busy driver.

The under side of the car has been aerodynamically smoothed out too.

Downforce kicks in at around 100kph, so it is not just for decoration.

The top surface of the rear hatch has small lugs to create vortexes in a way that aids the function of the spoiler.

While around the back, the triple tail pipes are all functional too, but no Honda would be complete without additional engineering. The smaller centre pipe functions normally under hard acceleration, be reverses flow while cruising.

This reduces the noise on a long highway stint. Droning exhausts can be annoying after many hours in the saddle.

20” alloys look spectacular, and provide ferocious with Continental Sportcontact6 245/30 ZR20 tyres all round.

Carbon fibre effect splitter directs air to keep the front end pinned down.


The interior sees a great pair of red racing seats up front. They’re firm with bolsters to stop lateral passenger movement in cornering. We did a 350km road trip, and can report they seats were both comfortable, and supportive.

Race inspired instruments include a G-force monitor, lap timer, boost meter, shift indicator, throttle position indication, plus more.

Apple Carplay/Android Auto complete driver connectivity.

I was surprised to see an electric parking brake, instead of a proper handle.

Type R hasn’t sacrificed any of the inclusions. Type R gets all driver tech available in other Civic hatches, such as blind spot warning etc.

The infotainment is as easy to operate as any other Civic, and is as quiet and as smooth as any other Honda, it just goes quicker.

The centre console houses the 6 speed manual, a numbered Type R plaque, and a variable drive mode control.

The Drive:

Honda’s new “halo” car is spectacular on the road.

Honda compares Type R to the AWD Focus RS.

Incredible technology, and a clever helical LSD helps keep the vast power reserves from simply spinning the wheels, especially at take-off.

The Type R was developed by Japanese drivers for the racetrack. Honda set a world record at the famous Nürburgring in Germany with a time of 7 minutes 4.38seconds for a lap. Sabine would be proud!

Here’s me in the Type R at Tasmania’s Baskerville circuit.