In the lead-up to the release of the all-new 2023 Honda Civic Type R, the automaker is celebrating the high-performance model. During the last quarter of a century, the front-wheel drive hatchback has cemented itself as one of the best in its segment. The need for speed embedded in the DNA of the Type-R is easily seen through each of its generations.
The original Civic Type R arrived on the scene back in 1997 and was immediately a smash hit. The special trim had originally been applied to the NSX and the Civic did right by its supercar sibling. The EK9 generation Type R used a hand-ported 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine that developed 117 hp per liter.
In 2001, a new Type R was introduced and for the first time, it was available across Europe. It had a larger 2.0-liter engine along with larger brakes, a close-ratio six-speed manual transmission, and a sophisticated suspension. Less than a decade later a dramatic shift would happen in the Type R world.
Read More: Honda Displays New 2023 Civic Type R With Official Accessories In Japan
In Japan, the third generation Civic Type R, released in 2007, was a four-door saloon with a K20A engine, an LSD, and Brembo brakes. In Europe, it was a hatchback with a new chassis design but the same 2.0-liter engine as the previous generation. It wasn’t until 2015 that the designs would once again be shared across the regions.
When that happened with the FK2 generation of the Civic Type R it marked a new chapter in the story. For the first time, turbocharging was a standard part of the package, and the car made 305 hp (227 kW) as a result. Honda even created a special suspension designed to limit torque steer.
None of the cars we’ve talked about to this point were ever offered in the United States. That’s one thing that made the 2017 FK8 generation of the Civic Type R so special. Somewhat unsurprisingly, after decades of craving the car, the US market led the world in global sales of the K20C1-engined car. We loved it when we tested it.
Now, we’re very close to the full release of the 2023 Civic Type R which has already set the lap record for FWD cars at Suzuka Circuit. We get the feeling that we’ll like it too.