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Honda Civic Type R debuts at Geneva

 The much-awaited production version of the Honda Civic Type R has finally broken cover at the Geneva motor show 2015. It is the fastest and most powerful front-wheel-drive hot hatch in existence, and Honda describes it as a “race car for the road”.
At its heart is an all-new 306bhp turbocharged 2.0-litre engine that enables it to cover the 0-100kph sprint in 5.7 seconds and hit a 269kph top speed. To help the car get its prodigious reserves to the road, it gets a special ‘Dual Axis Strut’ front suspension system and a mechanical limited-slip differential. An extensive aerodynamic package also features to complete the Civic Type R’s extreme track-bred positioning.
The most dominant feature in the Civic Type R is its new VTEC engine. The direct-injection turbo unit’s 306bhp arrives at 6500rpm and peak torque of 40.8kgm is at 2500rpm. The engine redlines at 7000rpm. The 2.0-litre engine drives the front wheels through a six-speed manual gearbox. There is no automatic option.

Honda says the Civic Type R has been fitted with “a number of innovative new suspension systems” that are designed to “maximise power transfer to the road”, chief among them being the Dual Axis Strut front suspension system. It’s a version of a MacPherson strut front suspension set-up that features an additional steering knuckle, so the wheel steers around a point closer to its centre line, reducing torque steer by up to 50 percent compared to a standard Civic, according to Honda. The rear suspension is an H-shaped torsion beam design, but has been modified over the standard Civic’s to include a new ‘crushed pipe’ which, Honda says, improves roll rigidity by 180 percent, and enhances high-speed corner stability. Adaptive dampers also feature at each corner and the electric steering has been re-tuned for greater response and feel.
To access the full potential of the chassis and powertrain, Honda has equipped the Civic Type R with a ‘+R’ driving mode. This increases engine response, provides more aggressive torque mapping, reduces the assistance on the steering and firms up the dampers by 30 percent.
Stopping power is provided by bespoke high-performance Brembo brakes, which feature four-piston calipers and drilled discs that measure 350mm in diameter at the front. The brakes sit behind 19-inch wheels shod with tyres made of a bespoke compound.
Chassis tuning for the Civic Type R has taken place at the Nürburgring and Suzuka circuits, as well as at Honda’s own Takasu test track in Japan. The Nürburgring is significant because Honda has stated its desire for the Type R to be the fastest front-wheel-drive car to lap the circuit, eclipsing the Renault Mégane RS 275 Trophy-R’s 7min 54sec. Extensive aerodynamic work has taken place in the wind tunnel at Honda’s dedicated motorsport facility in Sakura, Japan, where it develops its Formula 1 engines.
The result is exterior styling that has been heavily influenced by aerodynamic demands. Most striking is the large, fixed rear wing, which has been redesigned from that of the Civic Type R concept car seen at the Geneva and Paris motor shows of 2014. Its height, shape, angle and end plates have all been modified to provide enough downforce without compromising drag at higher speeds. Also notable at the rear is the large diffuser, which works with the flat underside to ‘suck’ the car to the road. There are four exhaust tips, two on each side of the car, and a more aggressive-looking rear bumper design.
Other new design features, compared with the standard Civic on which the Type R is based, include a new front bumper that has been shaped to reduce turbulence around the front wheels, a wide front splitter, flared wheel arches, which at the front allow air in as extra cooling for the engine, and larger front grilles, also for increased cooling. Further outlet vents for the engine feature on top of the front wings.
The sporty interior features sports seats trimmed in a suede-effect fabric, a gearknob machined from an aluminium alloy, black headlining and black trim with red double stitching.

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