Honda has just shown off their latest Civic Type-R car at their test track in Japan. The car which is due to be launched in 2005 was shown going through intensive testing heavily camouflaged and apparently the main target that the designers are concentrating on above everything else is a lap time of the Nürburgring of less than 8 minutes which would make it the fastest production hatchback to do so by over 8:00 seconds. Has the car already achieved this figure? Chief engineer Suehiro Hasshi said, “I am not allowed to tell you that, but you can use your imagination.”… So i’m guessing it probably has.
The new Civic Type-R will be the first of a range of cars to be powered by a brand-new VTEC Turbo engine. The 2.0 unit used in the Civic has a direct injection system with 4 cylinders and can produce in excess of 280PS which is sure to excite the enthusiast driver since the killing off of the NSX, S2000 and previous Type-R.
The performance figures claimed will put the Civic ahead of Ford’s Focus RS, Renault’s Sport Magane, Vauxhall’s Astra VXR on the same footing as Volkswagen’s new Golf-R. Not content with that though, Honda know there is a new Mercedes A45 powered by a 355bhp AMG unit and intend to get as close to it’s performance figures as they possibly can with a front wheel drive car.
0-62mph 5.8sec (currently estimated);
Top speed 160mph (currently estimated)
Kerbweight 1330kg approx
Engine layout 4 cylinders, 1995cc
Installation transverse, front, front-wheel drive
Power 300bhp at 6500rpm
Torque 295 lb ft from 2000-5500rpm