Honda has finally revealed just about every detail you wanted to know about the 2023 Civic Type R. Here’s the big ones: 315 hp at 6,500 rpm and 310 lb-ft of torque from 2,600 to 4,000 rpm. That gives the new top-dog Civic 157.8 hp per liter, and makes it the most powerful production vehicle Honda has ever sold in the U.S.
We’ve seen just about every angle of the new Type R by now, but today we have numbers to back up the looks. Technically, this is the sixth generation of the Civic Type R, but it’s only the second to be officially imported to the U.S. And compared to the outgoing Type R, there’s a lot of familiar stuff in this new model: The K20C1 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-four from the last Type R returns for duty, as does the six-speed manual transmission.
Honda managed to squeeze 9 more horses and 15 more lb-ft of torque out of that engine thanks to a revised turbocharger, improvements to intake air flow, and a more efficient straight-through exhaust system. That’s slightly less than the 326-hp rumor we saw floating around this week, but it’s basically right on the money with Steve’s semi-educated prediction from July. Nice work, DaSilva.
The engine redlines at 7,000 rpm, and makes a maximum of 23.3 psi of boost. It’s paired with a lighter flywheel for better response, and the six-speed manual (the only transmission available) gets more precise shift gates and an improved automatic rev-matching system. A bigger radiator, larger grille openings and an air-extractor vent in the hood all help manage the heat that mighty little motor will create. A helical-type limited-slip differential helps put the power down, while the dual-axis front suspension has been tweaked to keep torque-steer at bay.
The old Type R had a nifty three-tip exhaust setup that managed to be quiet in polite driving and throaty when you were hooning it, without the use of electronics or any moving parts. The new Honda hot hatch uses an active exhaust valve that opens a less-muffled circuit under hard driving. The triple tips remain, though, and I’m grateful for that — it’s become a bit of a Type R tradition.
The new 11th-generation Civic is slightly bigger than the previous model, and so the new Type R has grown a little in basically every dimension. It’s 180.9 inches long, 55.4 inches high, and 74.4 inches wide overall. The 107.7-inch wheelbase is 1.4 inches longer, and the Type R’s track was widened by a full inch up front (to 64 inches), 0.75 inches at the rear (now measuring 63.5 inches). Like the previous model, the new Type R uses strut suspension up front and a multilink setup at the rear, and the new model gets 20-mm-wider 265/30 Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tires on 19-inch matte black wheels at all four corners. Overall, the new Type R is 0.8 inches longer and 0.6 inches wider than the previous model, but the roof sits a full half-inch lower.
Every body panel ahead of the A-pillar is unique on the Type R, and the wider stance actually necessitated wider rear doors to help the body blend into the aggressive rear fender flares. Out back, the Type R gets a tall and aggressive rear spoiler on aluminum perches as well as an under-body diffuser.
All these power, chassis and aero improvements add up: As Honda revealed earlier this year, the new Type R beat its own record around Suzuka Circuit by nearly a full second, setting a front-drive record in the process. Honda cheekily notes in today’s press release that the new Type R was tested on the Nürburgring, though the automaker hasn’t revealed a lap time. Maybe we’ll learn that soon?
The Civic Type R will be available standard painted in Rallye red or Crystal black pearl; optional paint colors are Boost blue, Sonic grey pearl, or, of course, Championship white, a shade that’s only ever been offered on Honda Type R products.
Inside, Honda has expanded the Type R’s signature red upholstery, wrapping the entire floor in crimson (though the rear seats are still basic black). New lightweight front seats move the driver a smidge lower, with outward vision aided by the 11th-generation Civic’s lower dashboard, thinner pillars and relocated side-view mirrors. This being a Type R, the shift knob is brushed aluminum with a red-painted shift pattern, and there’s a numbered plaque on the dashboard.
The all-digital instrument panel changes configuration as you switch through four drive modes — Comfort, Sport, R+, and Individual — and the Civic Type R gets a newly improved version of Honda LogR, a built-in data logger to record lap times and input traces. Where previous versions of Honda LogR required you to download a smartphone app, this latest version is entirely standalone. Like all new Civics, the Type R has a 9-inch touchscreen in the dashboard, wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and wireless Qi phone charging. Honda’s Bose Centerpoint sound system is standard on the Type R.
There are two important numbers that Honda has not yet released: The 2023 Type R’s curb weight, and its price. The automaker will have to let those numbers out soon, because the new Type R is promised to hit the streets this fall.