HONDA has confirmed the introduction of an updated 2020 Civic Type-R for the Australian market, ahead of its official October 1 on-sale date, with a number of changes and improvements being made to the hot hatch’s winning formula.
Among them are upgrades to ride and handling, braking performance and engine cooling, freshened exterior and interior design elements, plus Honda’s first-ever performance data-logging application, exclusive to the Civic Type-R.
The suspension of the new Civic Type-R has been upgraded for more responsive and sharper handling, and the control software for the adaptive damper system (ADS) now evaluates road conditions ten times faster (2Hz to 20Hz).
The result is improved damper reactions for better handling response and ride quality. Likewise, the rear bushings for the lower B-arm have been stiffened for an eight per cent improvement in lateral loads, resulting in better toe-in characteristics when cornering.
At the front, updated compliance bushings (10 per cent stiffer longitudinally) and new lower-friction ball joints result in sharper steering feel for better control.
For improved brake performance, the 2020 Civic Type-R features an upgraded braking system, with new two-piece floating front brake discs and new brake pads with a more fade-resistant pad material.
These enhancements improve thermal efficiency, increasing braking capabilities during high intensity driving. Engine cooling performance has been improved by a new larger grille and thinner grille beam, which delivers a 13 per cent larger air intake opening.
Combined with an updated radiator core, this decreases coolant temperature by up to 10 degrees (under Honda internal testing) in high demand situations, such as during track driving.
Testament to the attention to detail of Honda’s engineers, a small reduction in front down force resulting from the new larger grille opening was countered by a redesigned front under-bumper air dam, which was made slightly deeper.
This was then modified to include new ribbed sections on each end to create negative pressure on the front tyres. For 2020, the Civic Type-R receives a number of styling and design enhancements to the exterior and interior as well.
The lower fog light surrounds feature a new symmetrical design, incorporating smooth surfaces and sleek styling blades, while a revised profile front grille benefits engine cooling performance.
The body coloured blades are also a feature of the refreshed rear bumper design, bringing the Type-R in line with the rest of the Civic hatch range, which was updated at the beginning of 2020.
A bold new paint colour helps mark the introduction of the updated Civic Type-R. Called Racing Blue, the new pearlescent paint finish joins Rally Red, Crystal Black and the iconic Championship White, which have all been carried over from the existing colour range.
Inside, the Civic Type-R gains a new Alcantara wrapped steering wheel for improved grip, a new shift lever with restyled knob and the same Alcantara finish for the shift boot.
The new teardrop-style gear knob is reminiscent of those found on earlier Type-R models and includes a 90g internal counterweight to help improve shift feel and accuracy.
A revised 7.0-inch advanced display audio touchscreen with integrated ventilation system controls is part of the 2020 package too, with hard key for the most commonly used functions, along with a dedicated volume control knob.
Also new for the updated Civic Type-R is the addition of active sound control (ASC), which works to enhance the engine sound during aggressive driving in Sport and +R modes, while refining it further in Comfort mode.
Debuting for the first time and exclusive to the Type-R, is a new performance data logger. Known as Honda LogR, the new system combines the Type-R’s onboard computer and sensors with a smartphone app to help monitor a variety of performance parameters.
It also helps improve driving skills on and off the track through the use of a driving-smoothness algorithm. With access to the onboard computer, Honda LogR can deliver much more detail than third-party performance data logging applications.
Under the bonnet, the 2020 Civic Type-R retains the powerful 2.0-litre VTEC turbo engine, which produces 228kW of power and 400Nm peak torque.
Matched to a close-ratio six-speed manual transmission, the Type-R has been tuned to deliver flexible and exhilarating performance.
A driver selectable rev-matching feature ensures smooth high performance downshifts, while a helical limited-slip front differential helps the Civic Type-R transfer its power to the ground.
As before, the driver can choose between three driving modes Comfort, Sport and +R, that vary damping force, steering assist and throttle mapping.
The Type-R’s selectable drive modes and sophisticated design make it both a thrilling companion on a winding mountain road and a remarkably civilised daily driver with a high degree of flexibility.
The new 2020 Honda Civic Type-R will officially go on sale in Australia on October 1, priced at $54,990 (plus on-roads).