In what’s probably one of the most anticipated reveals of the year, Honda has just given the world its first complete look at the all-new 2023 Civic Type R at an event in Los Angeles. While Type R versions of the Civic have been available in the rest of the world since 1997, this is just the second generation of the Civic Type R to come to the U.S. Based on the 11th-gen Civic hatchback that was introduced for 2021, the design is way more grown up than the last CTR.
Gone is the overwrought, boy-racer, “I wear my hat backward and vape” design of the previous generation, replaced by clean lines all around on a longer, lower and wider body. Aside from the big wing, the hood vent, and the red Type R badges, the rest of the new CTR is almost subtle. Especially in Historic Championship White, the Type R-exclusive paint color you see here.
Up front, Honda gave the Type R a large lower grille — look close, and you can see a huge intercooler behind it — a front lip spoiler, and the red badging we’ve come to expect on Type R products.
The good news is, Honda says every scoop or air vent on the Type R is fully functional, for cooling, aerodynamics, or both. The air vents behind the front wheels help cool the front brakes, and the vent in the hood pulls hot air out of the engine bay.
Out back, there’s a huge black wing that, again, is functional. The rear bumper is unique to the Type R, with an updated version of the triple-outlet exhaust we saw on the last generation CTR and rear diffuser strakes.
The interior of the Type R looks fantastic, building off of the hugely improved interior of the 11th-generation Civic. The biggest update with the new Type R: Even more red upholstery. The seats, which used to be red with black accents, are now entirely red, and even the carpet is red now instead of black. The seats are upholstered in a suede-like material. Having sat in them, they’re fantastically grippy and should have no problem holding a driver in place during hard cornering.
Honda’s familiar 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder returns, as does the six-speed manual transmission with automatic rev-matching (which, thankfully, you can turn off). The suspension and steering have been Nurburgring tuned to be more responsive and precise.
Honda also added a new driving mode called +R, activated by a button near the shifter. Right now, we only know that this button calls up a new performance-focused layout for the instrument panel (showing a big, horizontal RPM readout) and center screen (with auxiliary gauge readouts for coolant temp, oil pressure, and more). We suspect +R Mode also dials up more aggressive drivetrain and chassis settings, but we’ll have to wait to get details on all of that.
The Type R also gets a track-oriented data logging system called Honda LogR, which records real-time vehicle information like pedal pressure and steering angle, along with a stopwatch for recording lap times and a camera for lap videos.
As for performance, well, Honda didn’t release any details on horsepower, torque, 0-60, or the like. The ‘23 Type R is definitely faster than its predecessor on track: Honda recently set a front-wheel drive record at Suzuka with a prototype of the car you see here. Honda says the 2023 Type R will be the most powerful Honda vehicle ever offered in the U.S.; those figures, along with pricing details, will be available later this year.
We’ll have to wait for more details as the on-sale date of the Civic Type R gets closer. The Type R is set to fully launch this fall.