Alongside the McLaren-Honda MP4-30 and new NSX, you could be forgiven for thinking that a mere hot hatch might be left quivering in the shadows.
But revealed alongside those big-hitters at the Geneva motor show, it’s distinctly possible that the production-ready, 306bhpCivicType-R could turn out to be the most compelling part of Honda’s three-pronged high-speed reversal out of mediocrity.
Why? Well, a seniorHondasource reckons that its £29,995 price tag could translate into putting one these on your driveway for less than £300 per month. That’s seriously tempting, not least because the Civic Type-R is the fastest and most potent front-drive hatch ever. Top speed is 167mph, and it’ll do 0-62mph in 5.7 seconds.
Another juicy stat? Honda has announced a 7m50.63s lap of the Nurburgring, set way back in May 2014. The impatience must have been killing them - that’s more than quick enough to dethrone the significantly more track-biasedRenault Megane Trophy-Ras fastest front-driver at the Green Hell.
We ask project leader Hisayuki Yagi if this had been a priority during development. “Of course”, he tells TG.com, “but that wasn’t the only priority. It would have been an easy task to just be the quickest on the Nordschleife. But that was not the only target we had. We had to think about daily usability, fuel consumption, all those kind of things”.
We also press to see if the car that stopped the clock at sub-8min was entirely standard. “It was a development car; at that time we didn’t have a production car. We applied a roll cage to the car to maintain safety for our test driver. It was mounted so that it would have no effect on the body rigidity; we were curious too and wanted to know what potential the production car had.
“It was important to maintain stock condition. The weight increase of the roll cage was balanced by taking out the rear seats and the air conditioning. The rest is identical to the mass production car, from suspension and tyres to engine specification. In theory you should be able to exactly reproduce that lap time.”
Yagi-San admits there is much more potential in the car if his team were to take the Renaultsport approach of stripping components to create an ultra version, but this isn’t in the current plan. Should the French - or another challenger (*cough*, Ford) - go faster still, we certainly wouldn’t bet against Honda axing the luxuries to regain honours.
As standard, though, it looks the absolute business. The hallowed Type-R badge is affixed to a body of wild aerodynamic effectiveness, the rear spoiler now heavily reprofiled compared to last year’s concept iteration, the rear diffuser even deeper, all set off by quad exhausts.