Introducing the 2002 Honda Civic TypeR

Feel the Power!


"R" stands for Racing. So the Civic Type-R is exactly what you'd expect - a lean, mean and focused road going race car. It's the latest in a line of no compromise sports thoroughbreds from Honda - a car suitable for the road, but whose heritage comes straight from the racetrack.

The striking looks set the tone. As the flagship of the Civic range - not to mention the most exciting of the new 3 door models - the hot Type-R is ready to give rivals a roasting.

Powered by a new 2.0 litre DOHC i-VTEC engine developing a mighty 200 PS (197 bhp) at 7,400 rpm, the new Civic rockets to 60mph in 6.4 seconds - and carries on to top 146 mph. Maximum torque is 196Nm (145lb-ft) at 5,900rpm, promising levels of performance better than of the Integra Type-R - the car that the Civic Type-R replaces.

Matching the engine is a 6-speed, close ratio manual gearbox. Carefully spaced ratios ensure that engine revs remain within the power band during acceleration, while overall gearing is firmly biased towards performance - sixth gear is a usable ratio, not an economy oriented cruising gear. High performance gearbox synchronisers and a highly efficient changing mechanism allow extremely quick and precise gear changes.

The new Civic 3 door, with its extremely rigid body and highly praised suspension design, provides an ideal platform for a high performance derivative. Nevertheless, Honda has introduced additional stiffening to give the Type-R greater tautness and precision.

A strut across the rear of the engine bay increases horizontal rigidity at the front of the car, while at the rear, vertical rigidity is maximised through locating an additional strut between the wheelarches.

Firmer dampers and springs and alloy wheels shod with 205/45 R17 tyres connect the car to the road. Backed up by a programme of extensive testing at Germany's demanding Nurburgring, the package ensures that the Civic Type-R possesses excellent chassis dynamics, with a high degree of linearity in its handling behaviour. In particular, it is even more responsive to steering input than the fabled Integra Type-R.

Settle into the drivers' seat of the new Type R and before you even turn the ignition key it is clear you are driving something special, with the finely honed bespoke exterior matched by an equally exquisite interior.

The large, heavily sculpted competition-style seats provide exceptional comfort and support. Cushioning is firm and the seats have additional bolsters at shoulder height locate occupants even during the most spirited cornering action.
The seat inserts are finished in suede effect material known as Alcantara ®.

The Type-R's performance credentials are further signalled by white instrument faces and an alloy gear knob. Additional flourishes include an embroidered Type-R logo at the base of the headrest and red stitching on both the seats and the steering wheel. Door and seat inserts, together with centre console trim, are finished in a titanium metallic colour for an air of added sophistication.

The Civic Type-R will re-ignite the extreme performance hatchback market within the C-segment and sales are expected to be as high as 3 per cent of total Civic 3 door sales. UK availability in the first full year will be less than 1,000 cars.

The Civic Type-R will be built in the UK at Honda's Swindon factory. Production commenced this autumn, with the car going on sale in October. The model is also set to be the first British built to be sold in Japan when exports commence at the end of 2001.



Styling revisions, while adding to the Type-R's overt, sporty appeal, are more than just cosmetic. Each of the additional body panels - chin spoiler, side sill garnish, rear under spoiler, larger roof spoiler - have been carefully shaped and tested to provide improved aerodynamic performance.

To ensure this was achieved, the designers used a computer-generated 'virtual wind tunnel' to predict wind flow around the car and every aspect of the body was studied to reduce drag, reduce lift and minimise wind noise. This included developing the general shape of the body, refining the front spoiler, adding a rear suspension cover, and even refining the shape of the door mirrors.

A mesh-type front grille, complete with 'Type-R' script, black-plated headlamp sub-reflectors and twin chrome tail pipes complete the sporting appearance. Even under the bonnet there is no mistaking the performance potential: the red crackle-finish cam cover is picked out with the legend 'DOHC i-VTEC'.



The Type-R's performance credentials are further signalled by white instrument faces and an alloy gear knob; additional flourishes are provided by an embroidered Type-R logo at the base of the headrest and red stitching on both the seats and the steering wheel. Door and seat inserts, together with centre console trim are finished in a titanium metallic colour for an air of added sophistication.

Behind the exhilarating performance of the Civic Type-R is an outstanding new engine, which features Honda's advanced DOHC i-VTEC technology. Applied to the Civic Type-R, power output rises to a prodigious 200 PS (197 bhp) at 7,400 rpm, with peak torque of 196 Nm (145lb-ft) delivered at 5,900 rpm. The result is a towering 100 PS / litre - and level of performance even better that of the highly-acclaimed Integra Type-R, whose power to weight ratio the Civic tops..

These figures translate into a top speed of 146 mph and acceleration from standstill to 60 mph in a potent 6.4 seconds; yet the Type-R achieves a combined cycle fuel consumption of 31.7mpg.

Aside from its prodigious output, the new unit is both more compact and lighter (by 13kg) than Honda's existing 2.0 litre unit that powers the Accord. Actual dimensions are 870 mm (length), 635 mm (width) and 622 mm (height) versus 942/740/621 mm for the 2.0 litre Accord unit. It is also noteworthy that the unit is designed to run on the normal premium grade 95RON unleaded fuel, not the 98 RON Super unleaded grade.


Intelligent VTEC

i-VTEC is the generic name of Honda's outstanding new engine family. The name is derived from 'intelligent' combustion control technologies that match outstanding fuel economy, cleaner emissions and reduced weight with high output and greatly improved torque characteristics in all speed ranges.

The design cleverly combines the highly renowned VTEC (Variable valve Timing and lift, Electronic Control) system - which varies the timing and amount of lift of the valves - with VTC or Variable Timing Control. VTC is able to advance and retard inlet valve opening by altering the phasing of the inlet camshaft to best match the engine load at any given moment. The two systems work in concert under the close control of the engine management system delivering improved cylinder charging and combustion efficiency, reduced intake resistance, and improved exhaust gas recirculation among the benefits

The i-VTEC technology offers tremendous flexibility since it is able to maximise engine potential over the whole speed range. A particularly flat torque curve is testimony to its effectiveness: by 3,000 rpm the engine is already delivering in excess of 180 Nm - or more than 90% of its maximum.

The joy of six!
The Type-R's 6-speed transmission is matched to a high performance clutch and features triple cone synchronisers on both first and second gears. The new gearbox is not only strong and light, but shorter in length than many 5-speed units. The Type-R retains the ergonomically excellent fascia-mounted gear lever common to other Civic hatchback models, to offer a shift quality that's smooth, accurate and lightning fast.

Carefully spaced ratios maintain engine revs well within the power band during acceleration and give intermediate gear maxima of 36, 56, 78, 103 and 128 mph at the 8000 rpm red line. .

High rigidity

The inherently fine-handling Civic 3-door with its highly rigid body and much praised suspension design provides an ideal platform for a high performance derivative. Nevertheless, Honda has introduced additional stiffening to endow the Type-R model's handling with even greater tautness and precision.

Body rigidity is even more marked in the Type-R where additional bracing further boosts the precision handling characteristics of the flagship model. Frontal horizontal rigidity benefits to the tune of 17 per cent thanks to an additional strut located at the base of the front bulkhead and between the two front side members. At the rear, a strut fitted between the wheelarches, together with a reinforced wheelarch gusset increases vertical rigidity by 23 per cent.

The Type-R benefits from firmer dampers and springs, uprated anti-roll bars front and rear (that at the front is stiffer, that at the rear is increased in diameter) compared to standard 3-door models; in addition, ride height is reduced by approximately 15mm. Ultra low profile 205/45 R17 tyres are specified, on 17 x 7JJ alloy rims.

Brakes to match

Large front ventilated disc brakes with solid discs at the rear are backed by ABS anti-lock and EBD (electronic brake force distribution) to ensure stopping ability to match the Type-R's high performance potential. They also ensure fade-free performance, even during the most rigorous use.

Equipped for action

With the accent firmly on performance, the Civic Type-R maintains the "no frills" approach to specification. Equipment such as a sunroof, cruise control, electric seats etc has no place on a model with such purist sporting intentions.
But that does not mean that safety or practicalities are neglected - and so the Civic Type-R does boast ABS anti-lock brakes, remote central locking, CD radio tuner and Cat 1 alarm. Like all other Honda cars it also has power steering, twin SRS front airbags, electric front windows, and ECU transponder type immobiliser. As with Integra and Accord variants, the Civic Type-R will be offered with factory fit air conditioning as a cost option. The Civic Type-R will be available in a choice of Milano Red, Nighthawk Black or Satin Silver Metallic finishes.

Type-R - a breed apart

Honda's worldwide Type-R sub-brand sets out to encapsulate the company's innovative engineering capabilities, its reputation for technical sophistication and above all, its enviable sporting pedigree within a unique road car package. The tightly focused Type-R programme is aimed directly at the enthusiast who seeks the excitement and feel from a competition car and for whom total performance is paramount; more specifically it caters for the discerning driver who is able to appreciated advanced technology used in the pursuit of driving pleasure.

Type-R branding is confined to cars offering outstanding dynamic abilities, with strong race car overtones. Their capability is realised through innovative and elegant engineering solutions rather than the more traditional measures aimed at performance enhancement. It is certainly not about cynical badge engineering, and all Type-R models have the resolute purpose of providing a sublime driving experience.

In Europe, the Integra set the tone with its 190 PS (187bhp) 1.8 litre engine boasting one of the highest specific outputs in the world allied with chassis dynamics seldom found outside of a race track. It was followed by the Accord Type-R - which applied similar race-bred technology to the four-door Accord, the model on which Honda's successful European Super Touring programme was based upon. The Civic 3-door becomes the Type-R latest incarnation, and it is wholly appropriate that Honda is seeking motorsport homologation of the car in time for the 2002 season.

Ready for racing

In conjunction with the launch of the high performance Civic Type-R at Geneva, Honda Motor Europe has announced that it is to seek homologation for the car in the FIA-approved Group N classification in time for the 2002 season.

Aimed at those who race competitively several times a year, the 'roadgoing' version of the new Civic Type-R will offer owners a high degree of competitiveness without burdening their budget, as very few parts will need modification or replacement for competition use.

The intrinsic qualities and exceptional dynamic ability of the standard car form the ideal basis for this development, and the Civic Type-R looks set to become the new competition benchmark among mass production road cars.

The Type-R pedigree is already well established: throughout Europe the Integra Type-R has enjoyed many successes in Superproduction and Group N racing, as well as rallying and hill-climbing.

A prototype Civic Type-R has been prepared to FIA Group N specification and its development will be entrusted to former BTCC champion, and ex-Formula 1 and official Honda Supertouring driver, Gabriele Tarquini. Rally parts are also being developed and will be made available for professional and club enthusiasts alike.

Competition participation provides important input to the Type-R programme and is a very effective test bed for new Honda technologies. The company has for several years had an active touring car programme in Europe and competes with great success in the US CART series. Last year saw Honda return to Formula 1 with the BAR Honda Team - and this year the programme has been extended to include engine supply to the Jordan Formula 1 racing team.




    ENGINE 2.0
16 valve DOHC i-VTEC


  4 in line
    Bore x stroke (mm)   86 x 86
    Capacity (cc)   1998
    Compression ratio   11.0:1
    Max power PS/BHP   200 / 197
    @ rpm   7,400
    Max torque Nm   196
    @ rpm   5,900
    Fuel system   Honda PGM-FI electronic fuel injection
Unleaded 95 RON
    Battery   12V 45AH
    Alternator   80A
    Type   Front wheel drive, 6-speed manual gearbox
    Gear ratios and   3.266 / 4.5
    mph / 1000 rpm   2.130 / 7.0
    1st   1.517 / 9.8
    2nd   1.147 / 12.9
    3rd   0.921 / 16.1
    4th   0.738 / 20.0
    5th   3.583
    6th   4.764
    Final drive    
    Front   Toe control link MacPherson strut, coil spring, gas pressurised shock absorber, anti-roll bar
    Rear   Reactive link double wishbone, coil spring, gas pressurised shock absorber, anti-roll bar
    Gear Type   Electric Power Steering (EPS)
    Turns lock to lock   2.7
    Turning circle (m)   11.4
    Front   Ventilated disc
    Rear   Solid disc
        Four-sensor, three-channel ABS, Electronic Brake Force Distribution (EBD)
    Wheels   17 x 7JJ alloy
    Tyres   205/45R17
    Overall length (mm)   4140
    Overall width (mm)   1695
    Overall height (mm)   1420
    Wheelbase (mm)   2570
    Front track (mm)   1469
    Rear track (mm)   1472
    Ground clearance (mm)†   129.7
    Luggage space VDA (ltr)   315 (610 with rear seat folded)
    Kerb weight (kg)   1204
    Max permitted weight (kg)   1550
    (kg)Fuel tank (litres)   50
    Max speed (mph/kmh)   146 / 235
    Acceleration (0-60mph secs)   6.4
    Fuel consumption
(mpg/l/100km-1999/ 100/ EC)
    Urban   23.0 / 12.3
    Extra Urban   40.4 / 7.0
    Combined   31.7 / 8.9
    CO2 emissions (g/km)   212





 What the papers says...

"Cancel that Golf Gti…Honda's just built the fastest and cheapest hot hatch ever."     AUTO EXPRESS July 2001

"The real message declaimed by this car is addressed to all manufacturers: The Honda Civic Type-R has moved the game beyond your reach. Catch up now, or risk being left behind for good."      AUTOCAR July 2001


'You wind it up to a raucous, super-load 8,000 rpm, change up, the revs drop to just 6,500 and a second later, you're back at the red line and repeating the process all over again. This is punk music on wheels. Short, sharp, vicious bursts of anti-social noise.' 'Unbelievably, on my favourite road circuit, the Civic has at least as much grip as it's rally-bred competition. It may have a slightly odd feel to the steering but thanks to a body that's stiffer than pig iron and tyres with superglue grip, it will corner at seemingly impossible speeds. As a driver's car then, it is utterly glorious. And the news keeps on getting better because it costs just £15,995 - half what you're asked to pay for a Subaru P1. Sure it doesnt come with air-conditioning or much else in the way of standard equipment, but what you do get is beutifully assembled - in Britain, incidentally. It is also economical, handsome, and enormously spacious, which really does mean that it's sort of Nigel Martyn, David Beckham and Michael Owen all rolled into one'   
Jeremy Clarkson - The Sun Oct 2001,

'In California, car-crazy kids dont go for American V8 hot rods any more. Their affection has transferred to small Japanese cars, tuned for power and noise, with big wheels and lowered suspension, and decorated in startling colours. The favourite starting point is the Honda Civic.
In Japan, Hondas are cool. The company's high-tech image, Formula One connection, and its screaming, high-revving VTEC engines make Honda the car of choice for the smart young set.

In Britain, all too often, a Honda is a car for retirement. With a few exceptions - the Integra Type-R, S2000 and NSX sports car - Hondas are seen as worthy and reliable, a sensible but unexciting purchase. The latest Civic five-door, a tallboy praised for its remarkable cabin space and which scored maximum points for pedestrian safety, has done little to change that perception.

But, as is the way in today's automotive world, one car can be presented in many different guises and, with the three-door version of the new Civic, Honda is trying to preserve that rational appeal while injecting the magic that has been appreciated elsewhere. Its secret weapon is the Civic Type-R.

We have known powerful, quick Civics before, but never one like this. Let the figures set the scene: 197bhp, 146 mph top speed, 0-60mph in 6.5 sec, £15,995.

As a hot hatchback in the Focus, Astra and Golf category, nothing can touch the Civic Type-R. The peugeot 306 GTi-^, unofficial class leader, is no more- and anyway was less powerful, slower and more expensive. Forget the Golf GTI and Astra SEi. Ford has been struggling to get a 220bhp Focus RS into production, but when it arrives next spring it will be the wrong side of £20,000. Its companion Focus ST170 might match the Type-R's price but not its performance.

The three door Civics - as well as the Typr-R, there are milder 1.4 and 1.6 litre versions starting at £10,795 - are shorter and lower than the five-door but still more spacious than most of their competitors. So although the Type-R has bulky sports seats at the front, there remains plenty of room in the back.
You sit relatively high for a sporty car and the gearlever sprouts from the fascia, as it does in the five-door. This brings to mind the clumsy arrangements in old Citroen 2 CVs and renault 4s, but here it works perfectly; the milled aluminium knob is only a hand-span from the steering wheel and sncks between the six gears with a delightful precision.

Previous high-output VTEC engines (it is Honda's acronym for variable valve timing and electronic control) have been so "peaky" that they discouraged the use of their full performance. This latest 2 litre version runs up to a frantic 8,000rpm and really comes alive above 5,500rpm. But there is amuch more punch lower down the rev range and the transition from one phase to another is more subtle; in other words, it feels fast all the time.

The Type-R is also surprisingly well-behaved for a car putting nearly 200bhp through its front wheels. It has stiff suspension, as hot hatches do, and big 17 in wheels with low profile tyres. Road noise and some discomfort over bumps and ridges is the price paid for tenacious cornering. The brakes- discs all round- inspire confidence but the electonically assisted steering can sometimes feel vague.

Whether you like the extended wings and sills and the Type-R badges all over the car probably depends on your generation. The hot-rodders think this new Civic is too tall and slab-sided to be sexy. But it will surely do well here, even if it doesn't score in a beuty contest: in terms of performance- per-pound the Type-R is a winner.
The Japanese will love it- and for them there is an interesting twist. Made in Swindon, it will be the first British-built Honda sold in Japan.
Ray Hutton - Sunday Times, Sept 01