The swap from pure NA propulsion to turbo energy could have raised eyebrows amongst purists, however Honda Civic Sort R FK2 was, and nonetheless is, an absolute weapon. Right here’s our overview of the primary turbocharged CTR.
The Civic Sort R is extra than simply intelligent engines, however that’s a very good place to begin. Honda is aware of a factor or two about bolting a screamer collectively (try our final Honda Civic Sort R information), and this 2.0-litre turbo VTEC represents the end result of years of unusual valvetrains and revving to the sky. It’s astonishingly good – a turbo motor that’s desirous to rev out stratospherically, with enough torque to fill within the gaps; Honda claims a high pace of 167mph and a 0-62mph time of 5.7s. On the launch, a sure British journal introduced some timing gear alongside and really figured it at 5.3s. Snakes alive. It’s bought comfortably north of 300hp, and all of the torque is available in at simply 2500rpm. Oh, and you may solely get it with a guide gearbox. This makes us very pleased certainly. Correct automobile.
All of this otherworldly horsepower can be pointless in case you had been simply spinning all of it away, after all. However even a limited-slip differential received’t at all times save the day. The Mk1 Ford Focus RS again in 2002 got here with an ATB LSD, but it surely did little to assist with traction or highway manners. All of the up to date highway checks agreed that ‘Crikey, this can be a bit vigorous’, as journalists emerged blinking from cornfields, making an attempt to work out how they’d bought there from the highway that’s on the opposite facet of a hedge.
Related content material – Honda Civic Sort R FK2 purchaser’s information, Honda Civic Sort R FK2 tuning information
Fortunately, Honda was on high of this. The Civic Sort R FK2’s LSD is healthier behaved and makes certain all the facility’s in the appropriate place. However the very best factor about it’s that it’s not annoyingly intrusive. We tried our very hardest to interrupt the boundaries of logic with this Sort R, and on the uncommon events that we did handle to pressure it right into a smidge of understeer, the diff simply pulled it again into line, and the factor carried on. Not in a wrenching-the-wheel-about manner, simply as if it was saying: ‘Come on now, sir, we actually should be urgent on’. Magical. It’s as if Jeeves is below there with a hefty spanner.
This energy supply and unwillingness to understeer are aided by some fairly natty suspension tech within the Civic Sort R FK2. The Twin Axis Entrance Suspension System does intelligent issues with angles and triangulation, whereas the adaptive dampers work cleverly to maintain the automobile planted. We’ll be trustworthy, we had been taking the mickey with it a bit, making an attempt to unsettle the factor, but it surely simply wouldn’t come undone. We discovered a bit of tight hairpins up a steep hill and drove up and down, time and again, as quick because the automobile would go. We had been making an attempt to see the place it’d come unstuck, in addition to present some suitably leaning cornering angle photographs for the photographers lurking close by. But it surely simply doesn’t lean – it corners completely flat. It’ll allow you to playfully wag the tail somewhat in case you fancy, however on the entire, it simply needs to get to the horizon as rapidly and vivaciously as potential.
All of that suspension trickery is neatly augmented by a really sensible aerodynamic package deal on the Civic Sort R FK2. Whereas it could seem like there’s rather a lot occurring visually, each little bit of exterior addenda is critical to maintain the Sort R sucked to the highway. Developed with Honda’s WTCC group, the aero all works collectively to create unfavourable elevate. And we examined this aerodynamic impact as laborious as we might. We wished to discover a soar to get all 4 wheels off the bottom, but it surely simply wouldn’t go away the Tarmac. The aero is astonishing.
The brakes are fairly savage too. A set of mighty Brembo four-pots on the entrance clamping 350mm discs – so good, they might genuinely ruck up the highway like a poorly secured rug. That complicated of hairpins was a superb check; having pounded up and down that winding hill, as quick and laborious as we might push the Civic, the brakes had been stinking mightily. We determined to cease for a bit and allow them to quiet down, pretending to have a minimum of some semblance of mechanical sympathy. However what? They by no means light, not even a tiny bit. We talked about this to a race teacher in a while as we ready to unleash the Sort R on the mighty Slovakia Ring. “Sure,” he mentioned, “we’ve discovered that with the demo vehicles right here too. Matt Neal and Gordon Shedden have been giving these vehicles hell right here for days, and it’s a punishing circuit, however the brakes simply won’t fade. They’re unimaginable. And I’m not from Honda, so I don’t should say that.” We later went out for a journey with Shedden and may verify that he wasn’t giving these brakes any quarter. However they didn’t thoughts a bit.
Particular point out should additionally go to the +R button. While you press that, the engine’s torque-mapping shifts to a extra aggressive curve. Throttle response will increase. Energy steering help decreases. Dampers turn into 30% stiffer. The Civic Sort R FK2 is, in brief, a riot of element. The gear shift has a 40mm throw, so shifts are super-short; the quad exhausts ape these of the Subaru WRX STI, a eager worth rival that feels surreally outclassed subsequent to the CTR. The 235/35 R19 Continentals had been developed particularly for this automobile’s outrageous skills; the damping is simply as supple as it’s stiff, so the sensible dealing with isn’t supplemented by being on first-name phrases with a chiropractor. That is, in essence, a supernaturally good automobile, and we should always all be grateful that it exists.
Tech Spec: Civic Sort R FK2
Engine: 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo K20C1
Transmission: Six-speed guide gearbox
Max Energy: 310hp @ 6500rpm
Max Torque: 295lb ft @ 2500-4500rpm
0-62mph: 5.7 seconds
Prime Velocity: 167mph
Weight (Kerb): 1380kg
Economic system: 38.7mpg
Emissions (CO2): 170g/km
Value When New (OTR): £32,960