The 2023 Honda Civic Type R: Our First Look

Do you have any tips on how to improve your performance in the area of excellence? A 16-year absence from North America was brought to an end by Honda Civic Type R because it delivered a level of cohesiveness usually associated with high-end sports cars to the hot hatch segment, as well as bringing the legend of Type R back to North America.

Introducing a new 2023 Honda Civic Type R that promises improvement through maturity, completing the old car’s Hot Topic aesthetics to create a more sensible super hatchback by rounding off the old model’s Hot Topic looks.

Honda Civic Type R
2023 Honda Civic Type R (Photo credit: Honda)

In my opinion, the old Honda Civic Type R looked a bit spiky and anti-social with its vortex generators and big side vents, along with its red accents and faux vents, all contributing to give your old car that same bondage pants appeal. There was no doubt that it was bold, however bold is polarizing in this instance. It is worth mentioning that the new car almost resembles a standard car, in contrast to its predecessor. It’s true that it has a big rear wing and three ailerons, but one thing is for sure: it doesn’t look like it went into the workshop of AB Flug.

Honda Civic Type R
2023 Honda Civic Type R (Photo credit: Honda)

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There are die-cut aluminum uprights that slim down the rear wing’s visual impact, while special Type R-specific rear doors effectively conceal the bulged rear arches better than they did on the old car. It’s engineered to look as though a reasonably-sized grille sets a decent tone for a look bordering on understated, lacking any macho posturing of the faux-grille. There will be five colors being offered on the OnePlus 6: Championship White, Rallye Red, Boost Blue, Crystal Black Pearl, and Sonic Grey Pearl. It really doesn’t matter what color you choose, you should go for Rallye Red or Boost Blue. In comparison to driving a greyscale car, it is nice to not be on a greyscale road.

Honda Civic Type R
2023 Honda Civic Type R (Photo credit: Honda)

Wheels are fitted with 265/30ZR19 Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tires that feature familiar Y-spokes and are wrapped in a familiar design that features traditional Y-spokes. There is no doubt we will be moving away from the wide wheels of the outgoing car to smaller diameter wheels and we are going from Michelin to a supplier that is more predictable. The Michelin Sport Cup 2 tires from Michelin are also featured on the Limited Edition 2021 Civic Type R when it arrives in the future. Interestingly, I am not surprised that Honda dropped an inch in the diameter of the wheels from the 2008 model to the 2009 model. When driven hard, several owners of the old car reported sectional roll and chunking issues with the stock tire setup, which is not nice for a hot hatch that is primarily intended for track days.

Honda Civic Type R
2023 Honda Civic Type R (Photo credit: Honda)

There are some similarities between the new Civic Type R and the old Civic Type R on the inside. The front seats are still somewhat overstuffed and blocky, although they are still covered in red fabrics, which makes them seem more athletic-looking. To be painfully specific, Honda has come up with a new shade of red for this faux-suede upholstery, a move that may or may not have been necessary, but is certainly not a detraction by any means, it is simply a refinement. I mean, the interior is packed with notable additions, such as the first red carpets to ever be seen in American-market cars. This must count for something, since it is a design mark that is associated with the Type R heritage, right?

Honda Civic Type R
2023 Honda Civic Type R (Photo credit: Honda)

While the new Civic’s cabin layout promises to be much nicer than that of the previous model’s, it seems the Type R is still unoptimized for drivers in cold climates, despite the new Civic’s sleeker design. Neither heated seats nor a heated steering wheel appear to be on the menu of options, nor do we see a heated front row. How much weight do heated seats actually add to the car? I mean, how much is actually added by heated seats? It is possible to manufacture the heating elements, switches, and wiring for this machine for just a few pounds. This is something that the Volkswagon Golf R and the Hyundai Elantra N already offer, so would it have been the end of the world for Honda to add these creature comforts to the Type R?

Honda Civic Type R
2023 Honda Civic Type R (Photo credit: Honda)

Moving on to the tech, the Civic Type R seems to have some nifty components that make it a fun ride. It comes with a custom gauge cluster with an in-built horizontal tachometer, while the standard infotainment system is a cute nine-inch touch screen with out-of-the-box audio controls. The press release failed to go into further detail about the type R-specific infotainment applications that will provide performance readings, but there appears to be some type R-specific performance apps. There does appear to be a Bose stereo on the way, which should warrant a decent improvement in audio quality over the somewhat crappy stereo in the old Civic Type R. Furthermore, if the stereo is anything like the Bose radio in the standard Civic, and I see no reason to worry about any significant differences, I feel that this should be a decent improvement in audio quality. It has some distortion levels, and the sound signature isn’t that exciting, but overall, the device should be able to keep up with other systems in the C-segment that are worth paying for.

Honda Civic Type R
2023 Honda Civic Type R (Photo credit: Honda)

Can you tell me anything else about the new Honda Civic Type R? If so, what else can I say to you? I am afraid that I do not have much to say. In fact, Honda has not released any statistical data regarding the car’s power, curb weight, gear ratios, or anything else of importance to hobbyists. The link I’ll provide you with is the complete version of the press release, if you’d like to double check I am not exaggerating at all. When you call a Type R the “most powerful ever” without any figures to back it up, what is the point in claiming the title? We’ve known what the new Civic Type R would look like for a while now, we’ve known what power it would have for a while now, but now it’s time to dredge up some figures and unveil a car that would be competing with the best.

Honda Civic Type R
2023 Honda Civic Type R (Photo credit: Honda)

According to Honda, additional details on the new 2023 Civic Type R will be released closer to the time of the Type R’s sales launch in autumn of this year. There is a good chance that not only are the figures good, but that Honda has a very good reason not to release them yet, though it would be embarrassing for them to do so. If the new car still drives as well and does not cost an arm and a leg more than the old one, I’m fine with waiting a little while until the new car becomes available. The Hyundai Elantra N, on the other hand, is absolutely brilliant and comes at a very attractive price of just $33,245, so Honda will have to work hard in order to justify any price difference between the two cars.

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