2017 Honda Civic Type R: up close and personal

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What makes the 2017 Honda Civic Type R tick?

It took some time, but finally, Honda's highly revered Civic Type R has officially arrived in the Philippines. Based off the current-generation FC Civic, the all-new FK8 Type R is a technological powerhouse that combines a turbocharged powertrain, and an aerodynamic and agile chassis.

In a nutshell, the Civic Type R is and always will be, built for speed and agility.

But what exactly makes the Civic Type R, a Type R? Apart from its pedigree, is it the car's handling prowess? Is it the 2.0-liter Earth Dreams developed turbo inline-four? Or maybe it's the car's aerodynamic shape that gives it the edge.

We take a deeper look as to what makes the all-new Civic Type R an exciting, exhilirating and thrilling hatchback.

Turbocharged Heart

At the heart of the 2017 Civic Type R is a 2.0-liter turbocharged Earth Dreams inline-four. While it may be carried-over from the previous FK2 Type R, Honda fiddled with the engine and it now produces slightly more power. It cranks out 320 PS (+10) while torque remains at 400 Nm. A six-speed manual is the only available gearbox but now it comes with rev-match technology (which can be turned off).

Back to Multi-Link

Gone is the rear torsion beam on the Civic Type R as Honda went for a multi-link rear for the new FK8. While it may not sound like much, the new rear suspension allowed engineers to fine tune the car's handling. This goes hand-in-hand with the updated Dual-Axis front suspension which now has aluminum steering knuckles, and new attachment points and lower arms that reduce torque steer.

Track Warrior

For those that seek the thrill of setting the car for the Track, the Civic Type R can suffice with +R Mode. This feature basically sets the car for track days as it optmizes the adaptive dampers, steering force and throttle response. Not in the mood to light up the track? The Civic Type R has lesser modes called Comfort and Sport.

Vortex Generators

To fully maximize airflow going over the Civic Type R, the roof of the high-performance hatch has 'vortex generators'. While they may sound technical, these tiny 'fin-shaped' components on top of the Civic Type R' actually lessen drag by extending the car's airflow profile. When air goes over a trunk or hatch of a car, it becomes turbulent, slow-moving air that weighs the car down. These vortex generators help avoid that problem by extending the point of separation between the air and body.

Aerodynamics

No matter how you look at it, downforce plays a key role in high-peformance cars. Aside from the fact that it keeps the car grounded to the pavement, it also keeps the tires on the road to provide maximum grip. Helping the Civic Type R keep itself on the ground is its aerodynamic kit. The front fascia is dominated by air ducts that create a curtain of air that goes through intercooler and behind the wheels. One may also notice tiny 'winglets' on the chin spoiler which provide additional downforce for the front axle.

It would not be complete if the Civic Type R did not have a huge wing. Like the FK2, the FK8 Type R has a double wing design which generates more downforce at speed, not to mention making the car look very cool.

Triple Exhaust

Dual and quad exhaust are all the rave today so why did Honda opt for a triple exhaust? According to Honda, at low rpms, all three tailpipes work together to generate a roaring sound. At mid-high rpm, the small middle pipe acts as a resonator of sorts, reducing the overall exhaust noise while still delivering a wicked exhaust note.

Type-R Interior

Open the doors of the Civic Type R and it greets you with bright red hues, further denoting its Type-R pedigree. From the steering wheel, dashboard panel, seats, door panels and seatbelts the red color reminds you are in something special. At the center of it all is a round aluminum shift knob that controls the 6-speed manual transmission. No fancy CVTs or automatic gearboxes here. For the technophiles, it gets a digital instrument panel as well as a 7-inch touchscreen display with navigation.

Honda never officially offered the Civic Type R to the Philippine market, but thanks to Honda Cars Philippines Inc (HCPI) president and general manager Toshio Kuwahara, it may soon be available locally.

Honda is still gauging interest with the Civic Type R but based from yesterday's reception, it's safe to say that HCPI has some serious thinking to do.

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