• The Civic Type R Will be the Ultimate Tuner Project

The new Civic Type R Concept has made its debut in near-production form, and it’s damn near breaking the internet with everyone from around the globe dying to learn all about it. And, rightfully so, everyone should be pretty excited. I mean, just look at it. That aggressive aerodynamic styling, the wing designed for function, that brushed aluminum vinyl wrap, and that WRX STI-looking scoop on the hood. It’s pretty clear that Honda is looking to take back its throne in the hot hatch department. Needless to say, the road-going production model is going to be all that and a bag of chips.

But, before I go making a mess all over myself getting too excited about this concept, let’s talk about why I think it’s going to be the world’s ultimate tuner. We don’t know for 100-percent certainty what will actually motivate the road-going Type R, but Honda just went to all the trouble of building the 2.0-liter, turbocharged, VTEC powerplant with 306 horsepower, so that’s the most likely candidate. In the old Type R – you know, the one we didn’t get here in the U.S. – it was enough to push the car to 62 mph in 5.7 seconds on the way to 167 mph. But, the Civic Type R now has to compete with cars like the Ford Focus RS, so we expect to see a fair jump in performance. How big of a bump is the real question.

Given the fact that the Focus RS pushes 350 horsepower and 350 pound-feet of torque here in the U.S., you can expect similar numbers from the Type R. Even better yet, that 2.0-liter VTEC tachs out 200 rpm higher that the Focus RS, so the Type R could have just a little more push in that department. Sure, the Civic is FWD, and the Focus RS is RWD, but that doesn’t matter at this point. In the end, if the road-going Type R looks as good as this concept, and we suspect it will, it already looks better than the RS, and I think Honda is going to do well on the power front too.

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More About This Tuning Business

So the best thing about the Type R is the fact that you don’t need to worry about looks when it comes to tuning it to the max. The body has already been designed with aerodynamics in mind and that rear spoiler actually serves a purpose – that will be a first for winged Civics here in the U.S. am I right? Furthermore, with a potential 350 horsepower on tap to rival the Focus RS, it should be fairly easy to squeeze another 60 or 70 horsepower out of it cheaply, if you know what you’re doing. First, you’ll want to play around with boost pressure and fuel injection – there could be more power waiting to be unleashed here. And, since we don’t know what’s going on under the hood rerouting the air intake to the intercooler could yield a small increase as well, depending on how the car is set up. Something about that triple exhaust outlet tells me that the exhaust is probably better left alone, but Larger exhaust could yield some small benefits too. Then, there’s further ECM remapping which almost always proves to yield more power these days. Either way, this car is one sexy beast and is sure to inspire mangasims for some time. I can’t wait to see what the tuning world does with this baby, and I sure hope I manage to get my hands on one.

Robert Moore
Robert Moore
Editor-in-Chief and Automotive Expert - robert@topspeed.com
Robert has been an auto enthusiast his entire life. He started working cars at a young age, learning the basics from his father in the home garage on the weekends. As time went on, Robert became more and more interested in cars and convinced his father to teach him how to drive when he was just 13 years old. Robert continued working on cars in his free time and learned as much as he could about engines, transmissions, and car electrical systems, something that only fed his curiosity more and eventually led him to earn a bachelors degree in automotive technology with a primary focus on engine performance and transmission rebuilding.  Read full bio
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