The New Civic Type R Looks Good, Sounds Like Elevator Music

Honda may not be able to compete with Ferrari's sound department, but what about Hyundai's?

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The outgoing Civic Type R was a masterpiece in many ways: It was raucous fun to drive, had incredible seats, and sent its power through one of the best-feeling transmissions to ever appear in a street car. Its looks may have been divisive, but the styling had as many fans as detractors. If it had one flaw on which everyone could agree, though, it was the sound — for all that power, fun, and suspension wizardry, it sill just sounded like a Civic.

When Honda first teased the updated Type R, many fans of the previous car wanted two big changes: Less aggressive styling, and a better soundtrack. While the car hasn’t yet been seen without camo, it seems like the first request was met with flying colors. The second? Not so much. Listen for yourself:

Between the music and the Guy Ritchie quick-cuts, it’s a bit hard to hear the new Civic as it laps Suzuka Circuit. What audio makes it through, though, is just A Car. It’s not particularly moving or even interesting — simply the sound combustion makes when it’s muffled by a turbocharger.


That turbo, however, can’t take all the blame for the Type R’s unseasoned-chicken-breast sound. Four-cylinder turbo engines are everywhere nowadays, but some manufacturers still find ways to make them interesting. Like Hyundai:

In Honda’s defense, this video features a preproduction Civic. The final car hasn’t even been unveiled yet, let alone released to the market. There’s still time to dial in little things like the car’s exhaust sound, which may be part of why it isn’t featured more prominently in the video.


If the new Type R is anything like the last one, a bland exhaust won’t be a dealbreaker. The aftermarket stepped in on the FK8 and will again for the new car. Still, if Hyundai and Fiat can make fantastic-sounding four-cylinders, what’s stopping Honda?