If you’re a fan of the hot hatch, then you already know we’re living in special times. Nowadays, big speed and plenty of fun can be had from three-doors hailing from a variety of makes, but few can match the defining hot-hatch philosophy of the Civic Type R. When the latest edition of this iconic commuter-turned-racer made its official debut at the Geneva Motor Show this year, H-badge fans went nuts over the new turbocharged engine and boy-racer looks. But now that the honeymoon is over, XCAR decided it was time to find out what’s like to actually drive the new Type R on the road.

Right off the bat, the most impressive attribute of Honda’s latest pocket-rocket is the velocity it can generate, namely a 167-mph top speed and 7:50.63-minute Nurburgring lap time. And that’s with a full interior and the odd conciliation to comfort, unlike the three-second-slower and caged-out Megane 275 Trophy R.

Enhancing the driving experience is Honda’s famous manual gearbox, which slots home in notchy, short shifts. “You feel, again, very much part of the process. You have to drive this car. You have to use it,” XCAR says, adding, “this is a car that wants to be driven quickly, and it wants you to do it, and it wants you to feel good while doing it.”

The exterior is also on point, looking “like a Civic Type R should.” Contributing to this are fender vents, quad exhaust tips, and purposeful aerodynamics that are allegedly “tuned for maximum downforce.”

So it goes like hell and looks like the distilled essence of hooniganry. How does it stack up against the competition? According to XCAR, Honda has done its work to make pretty much every other hot-hatch appear wanting.

The final verdict? With so much speed on tap, the new Type R definitely needs a track to be fully appreciated, while its loud-mouthed looks might be off-putting to some. But at the end of the day, “it’s a great car, and one Honda should be very pleased with.”

2016 Honda Civic Type R

2016 Honda Civic Type R
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Now in it’s fourth generation, the new Type R boasts a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine spinning to a 7,000-rpm redline and producing 306 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque, good enough for a sprint to 60 mph in 5.7 seconds. Routing the muscle is a six-speed manual, the only option on the table. To help alleviate some of the problems associated with big power at the front wheels is a trick suspension, namely Dual Axis Struts that reportedly reduce torque steer by 50 percent. There are also big brakes from Brembo hiding underneath 19-inch alloy wheels wrapped in sticky performance tires designed specifically for the Type R. And if you’re reading this stateside, rejoice, because the Type R is confirmed for delivery in the U.S.

Read our full review here.

Jonathan Lopez
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