• The best Honda Type R yet
• Only 1000 Limited Edition models
• Lighter, edgier, total purism
Honda made its loyal followers wait a terribly long time for the FK8 Type R.
As the company prioritised strategic realignment and the development of its crossover and SUV product portfolio, there was no Type R between from deep 2011 to late 2015.
They say that the best things come to those who wait, and Honda's current-generation Type R is evidence to that truth. It has been everything that a Japanese hot hatch should be: dramatically styled with raw driving dynamics.
Now halfway through its product lifecycle, Honda is doing what all manufacturers do as any model matures – a special edition.
What do you think of this Limited Edition Honda Civic Type R? Should a few models be marked for SA? Please email us.
Adding an edge to the R-formula
The Type R was updated earlier this year, and now there's even a new Limited Edition version. In the tradition of all things Type R, this Limited Edition car is lighter and edgier. For Honda, the pursuit of making a car more exclusive has often involved deleting content and this Type R Limited Edition is an example of such purism.
It might not be a Mugen, but this new Type R Limited Edition has plenty of visual drama. Finished in vivid Phoenix Yellow paint, expertly contrasted with a gloss black roof, wing mirrors and bonnet vents, it has a distinctive presence.
One of the most significant upgrades that Honda's product planners have applied to the Type R Limited Edition are its wheels. Rolling this most potent Civic along are forged aluminium wheels, sourced from BBS, which save a notable 8.2kg of unsprung weight.
That reduction in weight might appear trivial, but saving rotating mass has a more significant influence on performance than lightening bodywork components. The Type R Limited Edition features superior mechanical grip, too, thanks to Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tyres.
Making it louder
Aimed at enthusiasts who revel in a more immersive driving experience, the Type R Limited Edition offers a much louder driving experience – for occupants. There has been criticism of the factory Type R using sound emulation technology, whereby it pipes exhaust rumble into the cabin, via the car's speakers.
In an attempt to create a rawer driving experience, sound-deadening materials and the rear heater ducts have been removed from this Limited Edition version. That reduces weight by another 12.7kg, but perhaps more importantly, makes the Limited Edition a lot louder inside, at all driving speeds.
Although reduced sound insulation will increase driver fatigue, Limited Edition customers are the type who are happy to sacrifice some comfort for heightened acoustic drama as the Type R surges past 4500rpm.
Honda has chosen to retain the factory settings for Type R's 2.0-litre turbocharged engine, boosting 228kW, but the six-speed manual gearbox now features a redesigned shift mechanism, for shorter throws through the gate.
Only 1000 of these Limited Edition Type Rs will be built, with South Africa unlikely to receive any. The symbolism of Honda's Type R Limited Edition resonates beyond the markets where it is being sold. This is a car which shows that deep within Honda's engineering and product planning department, the spirit of Soichiro remains strong.
Soichiro Honda established the Honda Motor Company in 1948.