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2020 Honda Civic Type R is the Master of Hot Hatch

The 2020 Honda Civic Type R is still the master of the hot hatch. This car has been around since 1997 if you could believe it. For so many years, it was forbidden fruit to people living in the US until 2017. 

That was a big year for many different reasons. It is the first time the Type R was brought to the US. 

Also, featured a turbocharged inline-four engine instead of the high revving VTEC NA motor from the previous generations.

Exterior

Now honda has shown that a front-wheel-drive vehicle could perform like none other, not only on the street. 

But definitely on the racetrack for many years, holding that record for the fastest FWD production vehicle around the famed Nurburgring. 

They decided, though, not to rest on their laurels. Honda wanted to make some changes, have listened to some owners, done some excellent engineering, and brought those innovations.

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Many people say that the new blue Honda Civic Type R is the same color as nitrous blue, which was on the Ford Focus RS, but there's not a ton of gold metal flake in these particular colors. 

This is the 10th gen of the Honda civic. You're still going to get that same headlight design, LED headlights, turn signals, and daytime running lamps. 

There's no grid griddle design anymore. It's beautiful and smooth flat black with led fog lamps. You'll like the piece of bodywork that Honda brought into it and color-matched it.  

So no matter what color you get, your Type R's body color will be brought into here. You can find how smooth it is on the corners.

The vents are used for aerodynamic efficiency and not for brake cooling. So the air will hit the front of the vehicle and channel it over flared out fenders. 

Remember Civic Type R is over a 1.5 inch more full than your standard Honda Civic, and now this is the 10th generation.

You have a massive front splitter, still faux carbon fiber design. If you're gonna do faux carbon fiber, this is as close as the real deal that you're gonna get. 

You'll like the way it kicks up on the side. You got the red stripe that signifies that this is a type r all the way across. 

Another massive change they revise is the grill area. The large section was actually lower in last year's model; this is all for increased airflow. Honda raised it up with only one main grill area. 

You have an iconic red Honda badge only available on the type R. If you see a Civic Si, somebody changed that out, and this is how it comes from the factory.

It goes back to the 1960s when Honda first started racing in formula one and winning it. 

Not only racing but also signifies that the whole form of the one history since then, you got your iconic Type R badge. You'll love the font and the way they kind of make the R a little bit larger.

You still get the same flat black grille plastic design on the lower section and massive intercooler as you dropdown. 

Because this is a turbocharged intercooler and you can see just how far the front splitter comes out.

Brake cooling is actually done on both corners in between the bodywork and the splitter.  

You get the same exact hood, clean body lines, and unusual center air duct to bring fresh air in, so it's about channeling airflow.  

The air is going to come in and then drag out. 

It's not about bringing air into the airbox that's actually all done from the front, but this is for channeling it. 

You're getting the same 20-inch gloss black wheel. But what's all-new is behind it you're getting massive rotors that are two-piece. 

So you have the aluminum hat, adequately ventilated rotor, and Brembo calipers to clamp down on it

Honda got rid of the cross drill design, and they claim that this is bringing better braking efficiency and also revise the suspension. 

Not only did they change up when you go into R mode and have an adaptive setting, but it actually reads the road 10 times faster than last year's.

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You got sport contact tires made by a continental rubber band. These are track day tires, you're only going to bring about 10,000 miles out of one of it, but they're super sticky. 

As you go down the side, you'll see a great flared out fender look, and a crown Vic show the functional backside. 

The way it works is the air is going to hit on the corner vent. It's going to go up in the fender, and then it's going to go down the side of the vehicle.

When you go down the side of the vehicle, you can see the beautiful body line coming up at the bottom of the door, and then you have that side sill extension air is going to ram right to this point.

If you ever wondered why is the fender flare for the rear not rounded?  Honda did that on purpose. 

The air will hit there, and then it's going to kick back towards the rear spoiler. The 2020 Honda Civic Type R body design has been folded precisely to cheat the air to the best of its ability.

As you come off the roof, you have a raised area that goes into extension, and you have vortex generators that will clean up the air because it creates turbulence when you take a car.

At the rear, you get a massive rear wing. You can see a dual-wing. 

You have an up top and a lower wing to channels air underneath. Above, you got your type R badge and the same exact tail light design.

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Under taillights, you have waffle maker design, Honda did bring some of the bodywork into kind of split it up, and you wish they would have done a little more. 

You get a massive rear diffuser and Ferrari F40 style exhaust. The two larger exhaust outlets with the one in the center. Yes, the massive rear diffuser, red honda badge, and the type R looking really good.

Engine

You do have a prop rod, but it'd be nice to have hydraulic hood struts. If you notice, you'll find an aluminum panel as a rain guard.  

So the air is actually going to travel down into the area behind the rain guard. Then it makes the air go off to the side and down into the side vent.

So that proves that it's not cooling the engine or bringing air into it, but it's all about air management, trying to take some of the hot air out.

You'll love the bright red with some faux carbon fiber design, the two-liter inline-four turbocharged engine, 306 hp, 295lb-ft of torque. 

It's only mated to only a six-speed manual, so either learns, or you may not be driving. The car weighs 3,121 pounds. 

It's got that limited-slip differential up front that's really going to allow it to grip the road like a panther. What's impressive is 0-60 around five seconds flat and a top speed of 169 mph.

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Even more fantastic thing on a skidpad G-forces, this could actually obtain 1.02 g's on a skidpad. 

A lot of that has to do not only with those sticky tires but some of the changes. 

Talk about fuel consumption; you're going to be a big winner, 22 in the city and 28 on the highway.

Some of the changes are low friction ball joints up front, updated bushings both front and rear. 

You got the rear tuned dampers, and two-piece rotors actually shave five pounds off the front end of the vehicle. 

Remember that's rotating mass? Honda even changed up the anti-roll bars to really kind of stiffen up the steering and make this thing corner nice and flat.

Price

How much is the 2020 Honda Civic Type R? You're looking at an MSRP of around $37,995. 

Now, if you're wondering, well, is that more money than 2019? It's only 695 dollars more for 2020 compared to it.

2020 Honda Civic Type R Interior

At the top of the door panel, you have excellent soft material. You'll like the faux carbon fiber design, anodized aluminum,  and Alcantara material with the red stitching is absolutely gorgeous.

The only problem with Alcantara on the armrest is it's hard as a rock. You get a nice pocket for a bottle of water, but there's not a lot of room there.

As you get to the dash, you have a beautiful red anodized aluminum look. 

The carbon fiber looks excellent, soft-touch material both top and bottom, and then really digging how this car still has the infotainment system precisely like 2019.

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So you have a seven-inch system,  apple Carplay android auto. The navigation is straightforward to use, and then remember Honda brought back the volume knob, which many people were missing. 

You could go into your climate controls on the infotainment system. When you put it into reverse and see the outback, it's a little grainy, but you do have an excellent trajectory.

You can switch the camera angle, which is really great, and you got your perfect bright red start-stop button. You do have USB and old-style teardrop design for the shift knob. 

It's got a 90-gram counterbalance weight to it. So really allows more smooth shifting. The throws are so short as 2019, Honda didn't make any changes there, but you'll love the red. 

It's still metal, so if you leave it in the sun, you're probably going to burn your hand; just be careful with that.

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You got the switch to go into plus R mode or Comfort. You have your type R badge with the chassis numbers set up. 

The key fob has the red Honda icon, lock-unlock, and then you can pop the hatch remotely.

You have two cup holders, more Alcantara, and a semi-soft center storage lid. You can slide it, and you got a USB down in there. 

So that's a really great design, plus you could push it back and forward, which is excellent, or you can lift it up, and you have a beautiful little sliding tray.

The seats are excellent with type R embroidery, you'll like the grippy material to hold you in, and the bolstering is extreme. 

These are probably some of the most comfortable seats with manual control for the passenger and the driver.

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If you are six feet tall, you still have plenty of headroom and excellent visibility. Also, you have a new Alcantara wrap steering wheel on this new Honda Civic Type R.

You still get great brushed aluminum pedals and a nice size dead pedal, which is good. The driver seat is comfortable getting set up to your body, they look aggressive, but they feel excellent. 

On the steering wheel, you have the red Alcantara with the darker black. The stitches' work is excellent. You got an iconic badge, so much history staring at you in the face with the red Honda badge.

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You have the same gauge setup, super-bright, and easy to understand. You could actually scroll through, so in the center, you got your speedometer, your tach. 

When you go into plus R, that's going to change, the tach, and the background. You could go back to sport very quickly,  plus there are a plethora of different gauges. 

So, if you keep pushing the gauge button, you got other things. You got G meter, time yourself, all types of things. Very easy to navigate through a bar graph for fuel and coolant.

So, now you have Honda Sensing technology that's going to keep you safe. Emergency braking and whatnot are excellent. 

You can shut your traction control off real quick, very impressed with what Honda has done with the changes.

Everybody gets a red seat belt on the backseats, and you'll like the faux carbon fiber design. But unfortunately, there's no connectivity like USB, 12 V, even AC vents. 

Also, you lose the middle seat. You know that's a sore spot for some people, but that's the history of the type R. You have two cup holders, a skittle tray. 

There's no armrest because Honda reduces its weight, but the backseats are usable if you have a family.

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Cargo Space

You push the button and lift it up and enjoy lots of space, almost 24 cubic feet. 

What's great is that Honda engineers came up with the security shade because you don't want people looking at what you bought or something inside when you close it.

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You have a stationary security shade that can be removed or slides. Just lift up the cargo mat, and you got a can of flat fix and an air pump,  no spare tire obviously to cut the weight.

Driving

The 2020 Honda Civic Type R grip brakes feel extraordinary because you can feel the difference between 2020 and 2017. 

The gearbox is really smooth. You didn't get any second gear grind. 

So if you are part of 2017 to 2019, you would understand that second gear grind from time to time. The limited-slip diff, just claws at the asphalt, is phenomenal. 

In plus R mode, obviously, you get more in the cabin when you in the sound. 

You're definitely getting significant driver input. The feedback to the steering wheel is on really another level. They've done a remarkable job.

The front's visibility is excellent and out the back super bright even with the second wing near the bottom.

The throttle response is excellent, with no understeering in turn whatsoever. The car communicates so much better, and the gearbox is even more mechanical in the feel. 

You want the gear indicator on the dash was a little bit larger. But it's nice that the bright led lights when you're in plus R mode and kind of flash to let you know it's time to shift.

Honda definitely has done the business with the 2020 Type R. 

We are very curious about what the next generation of the Type R is gonna look like. If it wasn't so extreme, maybe it'd be a little bit more appealing to a broader group of people.
Ryan Daniel
Ryan Daniel Ryan Daniel is a car enthusiast. Since owning his first BMW at a young age, he has loved the automotive world even more.