After a five year wait one of the most famous names in the world of hot hatchbacks is back on the scene with the UK launch of the latest and very desirable Honda Civic Type R which the Japanese manufacturer aptly describes as a race car for the road, writes Bryan Longworth.
And Type R enthusiasts will not be disappointed for initial feedback about the very hot Honda is extremely good and they will consider the long wait for the fourth generation of this very impressive car has been worthwhile.
The car starts at £29,995 on the road for the entry level model and the GT version costs an additional £2,300 at £32,295 on the road which is loaded with a host of extras.
Power comes from a 2.0-litre VTEC Turbo powered petrol engine that produces 300bhp at 6,500rpm and its vital statistics are a top speed of 167mph and acceleration time of zero to 62mph in 5.7 seconds with a combined fuel consumption of 38.7mpg.
The striking styling of the Type R matches the performance and handling with a massive rear aerofoil while up front the spoilers and other enhancements make sure that this very hasty Honda creates massive street appeal.
But Honda stresses that these overall enhancements are not just for pure poseur appeal and that they all have a functional purpose and that the aerodynamics utilise specific downforce creating high speed stability and class leading overall aerodynamic performance.
Available only as a five door with two trim grades the front wheel drive Type R has four rear exhaust pipes which have been tuned for noise as well as performance so the resulting greater growl from the exhaust outlets makes the Honda sound as good as it drives.
A new feature on this latest Type R is the new +R mode which activates several dynamic changes to the various systems to provide an even more intense driving experience ideal for the track which makes the car more exciting to drive.
Located to the right of the steering column when +R is activated there are a number of visual changes including the instruments changing colour from white to red and engine responsiveness is heightened to a more aggressive and performance focused setting and power steering and damping are also changed for a really sporting drive.
The sporty interior provides the driver with just the right environment to match the potent performance qualities of the Type R and the roomy boot and rear seats add to the overall appeal of this Honda.
When the original Type R was launched in 1997 it started a new trend in the sporting sector which is now much more competitive as other manufacturers have launched their own hot hatches including the Golf R and Focus RS.
This makes it much more competitive but nevertheless there is not much doubt that the latest Type R still has all the qualities needed to make it even more desirable than ever.
Verdict: A very coveted hot hatch.
Model: New Honda Civic Type R.
Engine: 2.0-litre turbo powered four cylinder petrol.
Output: 300bhp at 6,500rpm.
Transmission: Six speed manual.
Top speed: 167mph.
Acceleration: 0 to 62mph 5.7 seconds.
Fuel consumption: 38.7 mpg combined.
CO2 emissions: 170g/km.
Price: From £29,995.