It was fall of 2019, and I was massively excited to get my very first Honda Civic Type R press loaner. While I had driven it at a press event a couple of years prior, this was my first full week with one. The very first day of the loan I was a few blocks from my office (remember those?), simply stopped a light minding my own business. A group of well-dressed 20-something professional-looking ladies passed in the crosswalk. A couple of them literally began to point and laugh at the Type R, shaking their head in disgust.
Now, there are those who walk among us who claim to be impervious to the this type of scenario, they claim to not care what others think, particularly those people that they don’t even know. I am not one of those people, even today as a reasonably successful extroverted adult male. Back there in 2019, I immediately shrunk down in the seat as middle school Will returned temporarily to the driver’s seat of the Honda. I wasn’t six-feet tall with good hair and full of (occasionally more than deserved) self-esteem and swagger who girls came up and talked to like I was in high school. I was the awkward middle school kid who wondered if I’d ever have a girlfriend.
At the time I wrote on Autotrader-dot-com-slash-Oversteer that I was “wrong about the Civic Type R” as it had charmed the hell out of me during my week with it. However the FK8 Type R never quite got past its “overly extroverted” looks for me since then. Even during an extended car shopping experience recently, I just couldn’t get myself to consider the Civic Type R.
Meet the all-new 2023 Honda Civic Type R!
Honda calls the new Civic Type R the fastest, most powerful Honda-branded vehicle ever offered in the U.S. A clear distinction based on brand and location, but it’s still massively exciting. Gone is the old version with scoops on scoops, wings on wings, slats on wings, let’s just agree that there was a lot going on. While it was incredibly fun to drive, the new Type R is much better looking now. It looks like a 11th Generation Civic but cooler. A new 2022 Honda Civic Si, but faster.
Honda retained the large rear wing, but simplified the design significantly. The press release calls it a “muscular yet sleek and sophisticated design” which is appropriate and describes the new Type R well. Up front there is a larger (but not too much larger) front bumper with the a honeycomb grille mesh that emulates the honeycomb trim inside the cabin. Out back, Honda retained the triple-exhaust outlet setup, but smartly made the center pipe larger than the other two. Nice looking split-spoke wheels likely add lightness to the overall package, flanked by fairly subtle fender flares. Interestingly, the new Type R has wider rear doors than other Civics. Whether that was to increase the muscular look, or to add even more practicality is hard to say, either way I like it.
Colors for 2023 will include Championship White, Rallye Red, Racing Blue Pearl, Crystal Black Pearl and Sonic Grey Pearl.
The inside is simplified as well, following the well trod path of the 11th generation Civic. The serialized Type R plate is now placed on the attractive dash, which is accompanied by the typical red Type R seats, carpet and trim. It’s still “in your face” from a color perspective, but keeps the heritage flowing while making use of a much better interior style over the last generation.
No word on power figures quite yet, expect a bump from the 306 horsepower in the previous version. Honda only notes that the new 2023 Type R will use an updated turbocharged 2.0-liter engine paired with an improved six-speed manual transmission and rev-matching system new. They did let out that a new “+R” driving mode meter design will display engine rpm, rev indicator lights, and gear position indicator. A lower multi-information display can show additional vehicle information selected by the driver and the Honda LogR™ data logger provides real-time information on the the vehicle behavior resulting from the driver’s input. There is also a stopwatch to record lap times and the Honda says it has the ability to share driving videos as well.
Pricing and additional details on power will be provided closer to launch this fall. Ideally it will still start under $40,000 and a 5%-10% power bump would be nice. However, Honda has never been about absolute power, plus the Civic Si already weighs less than the 2021 Type R (2,906 lbs. vs. 3,121 lbs.) so the new Type R should be an absolute blast to drive regardless of whether there is a power increase.
For those buyers who want to add scoops, slats, and more wings, I’m sure there will be no shortage of aftermarket options to choose from. For the rest of us who just want a good looking car that goes like hell, and happens to be a pretty practical four-door, this looks just about perfect.
I want one.
Full Press Release below:
July 20, 2022
— HAWTHORNE, Calif.
- All-New 2023 Honda Civic Type R is the most powerful Type R ever
- Engineered from the ground up to deliver a thrilling, addictive driving experience, both on road and the racetrack
- Low and wide design is sleek and sophisticated with beautifully integrated advanced aerodynamics
- This year Honda celebrates 30 years of Type R and 50 years of Civic
A global high-performance icon revered by driving enthusiasts around the world, the 2023 Honda Civic Type R was revealed this evening at a special event in Los Angeles with NTT INDYCAR SERIES superstar driver Colton Herta behind the wheel. The all-new Honda Civic Type R is the most powerful model in Type R’s 30-year history, and has been engineered from the ground up to deliver thrilling performance with an addictive driving experience – both on road and on the racetrack.
The pinnacle of Honda factory performance, the new Civic Type R is the fastest, most powerful Honda-branded vehicle ever offered in the U.S. Based on the all-new 11th generation Civic Hatchback, the Civic Type R combines its class-leading performance with a low and wide design and a new immersive high-performance cockpit experience that enhances the exhilaration of driving.
“Even in this “year of the Honda SUV,” it’s great to be part of a brand that remains focused on the thrilling performance and joy of driving delivered by the all-new Civic Type R,” said Mike Kistemaker, assistant, vice president of Honda sales at American Honda. “Type R is about more than speed, power and handling. It’s how a great car makes you feel that really matters and that’s what the all-new Civic Type R is all about.”
Civic Type R is celebrated around the world as a symbol of extreme performance and desirability with six variants since it debuted in Japan as a 1997 model. Only the second Civic Type R model ever sold in the United States, the all-new 2023 Civic Type R recently set a new production-car front-wheel drive track record at the Suzuka Circuit in Japan, home to the Formula 1 Honda Japanese Grand Prix 2022, securing its legacy as the best performing Civic Type R ever.
A new lightweight and highly rigid body helps improve high speed stability and scalpel-sharp responses. Track-ready, Nürburgring-tuned and tested, Civic Type R’s famously addictive driving feel is increased even further by enhanced suspension and steering performance.
An even more powerful and responsive version of Honda’s award-winning turbocharged 2.0-liter engine is paired with an improved six-speed manual transmission and rev-matching system for an even more intimate and rewarding connection with the driver.
Powerful Aerodynamic Design
Longer, lower and wider, the new Type R’s muscular yet sleek and sophisticated design features beautifully integrated advanced aerodynamics to achieve well-balanced downforce, as well as a reduction of drag.
Brawny fenders flare out over lightweight wheels wrapped in wider tires. A new more aggressive front bumper design features a sporty honeycomb grille mesh that echoes the intricate honeycomb trim inside the cabin. Larger front fender grilles and a new side sill design behind the front wheels enhances airflow efficiency. Its more aggressive stance is accentuated by wider rear doors exclusive to Type R, a redesigned rear spoiler, and a reshaped rear bumper that reveals its signature three round exhaust outlets and new rear diffuser.
Civic Type R will be available in five striking colors: Historic Championship White – a Type R exclusive finish revered by Honda enthusiasts, Rallye Red, Racing Blue Pearl, Crystal Black Pearl and Sonic Grey Pearl.
Immersive Cockpit Experience
Civic Type R’s all-new interior supports intense driving experiences with emotive, performance-focused details and features. Type R’s iconic red seats, carpet and trim, and a serialized Type R plate now placed on the dash are new for the 2023 model year. Suede-like upholstery with a high friction coefficient reduces body slippage in high-G driving situations.
A new +R driving mode exclusive meter design allows the driver to obtain necessary information instantly, with a graphic engine rpm display, rev indicator lights, and gear position indicator placed at the top. A lower multi-information display can show vehicle information selected by the driver.
The Honda LogR™ data logger provides real-time information on the mechanical movements of the vehicle and vehicle behavior resulting from the driver’s input. Other key features include a stopwatch to record lap times and the ability to share driving videos.
Pricing and additional details on the 2023 Civic Type R will be provided closer to launch this fall.
Honda offers a full line of clean, safe, fun and connected vehicles sold through more than 1,000 independent U.S. Honda dealers. Honda has the highest fleet average fuel economy and lowest CO2emissions of any major full-line automaker in America, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA)1 latest data. The award-winning Honda lineup includes the Civic, Insight, and Accord, along with the HR-V,
CR-V, Passport and Pilot sport utility vehicles, the Ridgeline pickup and the Odyssey minivan. Honda’s electrified vehicle lineup includes the Accord Hybrid, CR-V Hybrid, Insight and, in the future, Civic Hybrid. In 2024, the Prologue SUV, Honda’s first volume battery-electric vehicle, will join the lineup.
Honda has been producing automobiles in America for 40 years and currently operates 18 major manufacturing facilities in North America. In 2021, more than 95% of all Honda vehicles sold in the U.S. were made in North America, using domestic and globally sourced parts.
More information about Honda is available in theDigital Fact Book.