The Honda Civic Type R was celebrated as a return to form for Soichiro’s House, packing a yaffle of horsepower into a wildly styled fun-to-drive hatchback. Plucking at the heartstrings in those of us who fondly remember the hot Civic hatchbacks from the ‘90s didn’t hurt the Type R’s popularity either. Now, the company has released an updated version for the 2020 model year.
Appearing at the Tokyo Auto Salon, the 2020 Civic Type R incorporates a few design changes to go along with new performance tweaks and the inclusion of some safety nannies. New two-piece brake rotors pair with new brake pads in an effort to reduce fade and allow the stoppers to perform better at high speeds. Suspension dampers are updated for improved ride comfort while stiffer rear bushings are intended to improve cornering performance.
There’s not much middle ground when it comes to the Type R’s styling decisions, evoking either an extreme love or hate response. Thanks to an overtly loud personality, your author falls into the former group. For 2020, the car’s Joker-grin front grille opening has been carved a bit wider in a bid to improve engine cooling and frighten even more small children. A pair of colour-keyed whiskers appear as well. This year’s cars will also be available in Boost Blue, exclusive to the Type R.
Inside the most mad of all Civics, drivers will find a new Alcantara wrapped steering wheel and a new shifter knob attached to a linkage with shorter throws. The dandy Honda Sensing suite of safety features and driver assists is on board as well, completing a sweep of the Civic line in terms of including this tech on all models.
While the powertrain hasn’t changed – those duties are still ably handled by a 306 horsepower turbo four and six-speed manual – there is the new addition of, erm, Active Sound Control. This bit of wizardry will apparently funnel in different engine notes depending on which of the three driving modes have been selected from the trio of Comfort, Sport, or +R. Your author likes his acceleration to be accompanied by copious amounts of noise but it remains to be seen if this virtual auditory solution will satisfy this jaundiced ear compared to, y’know, a real engine note. We look forward to driving it and finding out.
Price and availability will be made known closer to the 2020 Type R’s on-sale date later this year.