Everyone’s favourite boy racer is back, the 2023 Honda Civic Type R arrives with more power, a wider track, and a curvier design that’s far easier on the eyes than its predecessor. Set to take on the likes of the VW Golf R on the street and the Mercedes-AMG A45 on the track, the FL5 Type R sits on an all-new chassis that’s shown face as an engaging drive on the current Civic Si. The car is due to arrive in Japan in September 2022, and will only be offered with a manual transmission, because Purity.
We’d expect pricing to sit somewhere between $65,000 and $75,000 AUD, indicating a considerable price jump on the previous model that started from $54,990 AUD before on-road costs. Australian showroom arrivals are due to commence early next year.
After a previous generation Civic Type R ‘Limited Edition’ sold for a staggering $105,000 AUD price tag earlier this year, it was clear the market demand for a premium front-wheel-drive super-hatch from Honda was strong.
Many thought the next generation car would serve up a soft and sluggish chassis that would surely be slapped with the emissions stick, however, Honda has put their foot to the floor with the new Civic Type R adding more power to the 228kW/400Nm 2.0-litre VTEC Turbo engine with a revised turbocharger featuring more blades and redesigned intake tract. Exact figures are yet to be revealed but we’d expect a modest increase to around 240kw and a meatier powerband overall.
Power is sent to the front wheels through a six-speed manual transmission, and considering the power upgrade, larger front track width, smaller wheels, and wider 265 front tires, the 0-100km/h time should be a good 0.5 seconds quicker than the outgoing model. Car and Driver tested the 2020 model’s 0-60mph time at 4.9-seconds, so a 0-100km/h time in the mid-4-seconds should be achievable with these upgrades.
The biggest changes to the 2023 Honda Civic Type R have been made to the chassis, with a 19 per cent increase in torsional rigidity to offer even sharper performance. Under the wide front arches sit a smaller 19-inch black alloy wheel (FK8 featured 20-inch wheels) wrapped in Michelin Pilot Sport 4 S Tyres in 265/30/19 size, the same size as the latest Audi RS3.
We thought the previous-gen Civic Type R was the best front-wheel-drive car money could buy, and the new FL5 generation vehicle adds smarter styling on the exterior, minus the elevated rear wing and tri exhaust tips. Five colours will be available in the US so expect similar in Australia, these include; Championship White, Rallye Red, Boost Blue, Crystal Black Pearl and Sonic Grey Pearl. We love the wide front arches, side skirts and bonnet scoop, it’s a big improvement over the angular FK8 design in our eyes.
Moving to the inside of the vehicle and it’s a sight for sore eyes, with red Honda elements everywhere. The classic Honda bucket seats return to the front – a highlight of the EK9 Type R – with grippy suede material and matched stitching used throughout. The steering wheel is Alcantara wrapped, as is the centre armrest. Carry-over from the Civic Si is the 9.0-inch touchscreen and 10.2-inch digital instrument cluster seen here with Type R animations and a driver-focused +R mode.
Expect to see the 2023 Honda Civic Type R in Australian showrooms starting in early 2023. We’ll keep you updated with pricing and specs as they’re revealed closer to launch. It might be worth giving Honda a call and getting your foot in the door early if you want to secure one of the first model year cars. Don’t expect these to hang around long.