Hot Hatch Shakedown – Honda Civic Type R Vs. Ford Focus RS
For older stateside hot hatch fans out there, it’s probably crystal clear that we’re currently in a new golden age of performance, one that was once relegated to the realm of fantasy and bench racing. High-powered, tear-drop-shaped compacts with an odd number of doors, turbocharged power, and sports car-like handling are finally, finally finding their way to the U.S. market, and after decades of waiting and ogling from afar, U.S. buyers will soon have a chance to get behind the wheel of four-wheeled superstars previously considered forbidden fruit solely for Europe and Japan. Two of the biggest contenders in this space are the Honda Civic Type R and the Ford Focus RS, both incredible cars aimed squarely at the enthusiast buyer. But which is better?
You can’t help but put these two compact titans in a side-by-side comparison. Both are roughly the same in terms of cost, both come with turbocharged four-cylinder engines, both get manual transmissions, and both offer five-door practicality. Both also carry a long history of making speed lovers smile, and command a veritable army of zealous followers to champion their claim to hot hatch supremacy.
But there are some serious differences as well. While the Focus is an AWD hammer, boasting four corners of grip and some impressive firepower under the hood, the Civic is a FWD scalpel, packing less weight and a history of apex-hunting prowess.
Which will come out on top – the Blue Oval Drift Mode bomber, or the H Badge slice and dice katana? It’s America versus Japan in a hot hatch shakedown. Read on for our take.
Continue reading for the full comparison.
Splitting the Difference: 2003 Honda Civic Type R vs. 2020 Honda Civic Type R
You know how they say ’respect and honor your elders?’ Well, we can all agree that Honda is doing just that with the Civic and in particular with the Civic Type R.
The nifty hot hatch has remained true to its origins - albeit switching to turbocharging along the way - but that original Type R ethos is still present in modern Type Rs. Don’t believe us? Check out Throttle House’s latest video.
Can the Original NSX Keep Up With a Modern Civic Type R?
As particular countries are relaxing protective measures against the coronavirus we are bound to see more car-related content flowing online, which is always a good thing to have.
Adhering to this trend is Mat Watson and carwow, who came up with a pretty interesting head-to-head between a 2005 Honda NSX and a 2017 Honda Civic Type R.
Top 10 Fastest Used Cars Under $20K
With the prices of cars increasing, a $20,000 used sports car has become harder to obtain these days. Not too long ago, you could afford a decent runner for $20,000 and still have enough change to buy a few cosmetic kits. But that’s no longer the case today, or at least, not for the most part. Look hard enough, though, and you can still score some good deals on used sports cars for $20,000 or less. These cars aren’t world-beaters by any stretch of the imagination, but they should still have enough juice to get the adrenaline flowing. They’re out there in the world. All you need to do is look for them.
Quick, Grab This Special 2021 Honda Civic Type R While It’s Hot
Honda didn’t forget about those Type R customers that live for track days and track days only, so it came up with a more circuit-oriented, limited-run Civic Type R that can only be had in one body color.
So, if the regular Honda Civic Type R wasn’t light enough for you, then please do check out the 2021 Type R Limited Edition, which Honda dubs as “the ultimate street-legal track-focused variant” of the Civic Type R. Oh, and it’s supposed to arrive on U.S. soil later this year, so hopefully future owners won’t have to wait a lot to get it.
The Facelifted Civic Type R Finally Made it to America - Here’s What Changed
The current-generation Honda Civic Type R has been around since 2017. It caused a ruckus when it first arrived, but like all things hyped, the frenzy surrounding the Civic Type R died down. Expectations among fans and customers were satisfied and it wouldn’t be until Honda gave the Civic Type R a mid-cycle refresh that the hype once again started to rise to a crescendo.
Well, that time has come. Honda unveiled the updated Civic Type R at the 2020 Chicago Auto Show with a few notable upgrades on its bodywork and its mechanical components.
The Next-Gen Honda Civic Type-R Will Most Likely Be a Hybrid-Powered Performance Beast
Honda has not been doing well in the European market and has made some big plans to boost its sales. By 2025, the Japanese giant will electrify all of its models in Europe. And, this is where the Civic Type-R comes into the picture. Based on the comments made by a senior Honda executive at the 2019 Geneva Motor Show, the next-gen Honda Civic Type-R will be electrified alongside a drastic change in design direction from the sharp and angular image of recent generations. Will the Civic Type-R’s performance remain the same even then?
Budget Direct Renders the Evolution of 7 Timeless Models
There is no shortage of car models in the auto industry these days. Some models have gained followings while others have become flashes in the pan. Then there are the titans of the business, the models that have lasted the test of time and have been around, literally, for generations. In the course of their respective lifetimes, these models have evolved in more ways than one, none more evident than their designs. These seven models have been around for so long their designs have evolved considerably from when they first came out. Knowing their place in the business, these models are unlikely to go away anytime soon.
Video of the Day: 2017 Honda Civic Type R vs 2005 Acura NSX
In one corner we’ve got the 1991 - 2005 Acura NSX; in the other corner, we’ve got the 2017 Honda Civic Type R. What do these two cars have in common other than coming from the same place and sharing common roots? Well, not much. The NSX was rear-wheel drive and rocked out less than 300 horsepower while the new Type R delivers as much as 320 ponies to the front wheels. Oh, and don’t forget that the NSX doesn’t have the same engine configuration as the Civic. Nope, it’s mounted midship compared to the more common frontal location of the Civic’s beastly little four-cylinder. Both cars are legendary in their own right.
The Civic Type R is the first one to roll off the production line and straight into U.S. Market. It’s also the most powerful production Civic Type R ever made. The NSX is, well, it’s an NSX. It was unbelievably reliable (as all Honda’s typically are) it looked amazing, and despite it’s relatively lower power output, it had world-beating performance thanks to a lightweight chassis and crazy aerodynamics. It even had a manual steering rack folks. So, what did all of that compute to? Well, it could beat the hell out of Ferrari at the time for less than $80,000. Now, the question is, can it beat today’s Civic Type R? Well, Check out this video from Carwow to see just how they stack up head-to-head!
2017 Honda Sports EV Concept
When Honda debuted the Urban EV Concept at the 2017 Frankfurt Auto Show, I was quick to scrutinize the brand for building something so weird, but as I looked at it more, it began to grow on me. And, it’s a good thing it did because that thing is slated for production for the European market sometime in 2019. And, to really top it off, Honda showed up to the 2017 Tokyo Auto Show with a sports car that looks quite familiar – the Honda Sports EV Concept. Following suit with the previous concept, it carries the same general styling cues in a futuristic but feasible package. Of course, it’s a sports car, so it doesn’t have that love seat up front, but it is quite sporty for what it is, and it could just as easily shift into production thanks to being built upon the same platform used for the last concept.
Unlike the last concept, however, we have next to no information. And, Honda didn’t even take the time to release interior shots of the concept either. We can tell that it has that massive display screen and that it’s missing the couch, but outside of that, we can’t see much. But, that doesn’t mean that this little battery-powered sports car should be overlooked. Out of all the EV sports car concepts we’ve seen, this is the one we really want to see become a reality, so let’s take a good look and see what’s crackalackin.
Between 2016 and 2020 the list of supercars will include the Ford GT, the Mercedes-AMG Project One, the Aston Man Valkyrie, and at least one new car from Ferrari. But what are sports cars fans with smaller wallets supposed to do? We have some great cars like the Miata and BMW is bringing a Z4 replacement soon, but so many great cars don’t exist anymore. Especially in the “affordable” range.
So we started talking in the office about what sports cars we want to see revived, and we settled on a pair of classic sports cars and one car that is officially dead, but not out of showrooms yet. The Porsche 944, Honda S2000, and the Dodge Viper are all in our dream garage of dead cars we want to return. Keep reading to find out why!
Everyday Life With the 2017 Honda Civic Type R
Honda’s new Civic Type R is a beast on the track. Its 306 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque are more than enough to push this 3,100-pound car toward speeds anyone besides a pro driver should feel comfortable with. My time with at The Ridge Motorsports Park proved that much. Yet, despite the Civic Type R’s race-bred underpinnings, it’s still a Civic hatchback. That means it should be easy to live with, easy to drive slowly, and easy to throw cargo into. So, how’d it do?
Wonderfully. The Civic Type R still offers a pleasant driving experience around down. The light clutch and short-throw shifter are just as enjoyable on the street as on the track. And despite their heavy bolstering, Honda’s front bucket seats are comfortable to get into and easy to get out of. They remain supportive over a long drive, too. The rear seats aren’t touched in the Type R transformation, so they remain spacious for the Civic’s class, yet do lack a center armrest and air vents.
But the value really arrives when it’s time to haul stuff. The Civic boasts a class-leading 25.7 cubic feet of cargo space behind the second- row seat. Fold the 60/40-bench flat, and the Civic Hatch has 46.2 cubic feet of room. The hatchback’s rear opening is wide and tall, allowing for ungainly items like furniture and boxes to easily slide in.
When it comes to storing everyday items like drinks and cell phones, the Civic offers tons of options. The center console is ingeniously designed with a deep container under the armrest. It houses three cup holders – two of which are mounted midway down on a slidable track. The third is way down low, perfect for those Trenta-sized Starbucks drinks. A small storage cubby ahead of the shifter is great for phones and knick-knacks. A cable pass-through lets charging cables run into the lower tier area where Honda locates the USB and 12-volt charge ports. Large door pockets add to the usable (and reachable from behind the wheel) storage space.
On the downside, the Civic Type R rides on 245/30ZR-20 performance wheels and tires. While great on smooth pavement, the 30-series sidewalls offer little cushion from potholes and bumps. This leaves the active dampers with all the work of quelling uneven pavement. Road noise is prevalent, too, imitating mostly from the rear of the interior. Long drives on older pavement might spur on a headache from those sensitive to booming noises. I don’t remember noise being an issue in the 2017 Honda Civic Hatchback EX-L Navi I previously tested, so it’s likely a trade-off for the added lightness and stickier rubber needed to make the Type R perform. In truth, these negligible complaints won’t turn away those eager customers. The Type R isn’t trying to pass as a Cadillac, after all.
Thankfully, the firm ride is about the only trade-off for upgrading to the Type R over the standard Civic Hatchback – at least in terms of everyday livability. The big wing and aggressive aero bits might make it a target for speeding tickets. Just ask one of the journalists at this press event…