2021 Honda Civic Sort R Restricted Version evaluate: Sharper on the observe, however nonetheless nice on the road

A fast historical past lesson: After the Sort R launched in 2017, Honda used it to set a blistering 7-minute, 43.8-second lap of the Nürburgring Nordschleife, making this Civic the quickest front-wheel-drive manufacturing automobile to run the notorious German course. However then the Renault Megane RS Trophy-R got here alongside and trounced the Sort R’s report, beating the Civic for four complete seconds. When the Sort R Restricted Version debuted within the before-times of early 2020, a Honda govt instructed me it was born out of the will to reclaim that FWD sizzling lap title. And following the Sort R LE’s latest report lap on the Suzuka Circuit in Japan — the place it beat the Megane Trophy-R, by the best way — Honda’s assured the ‘Ring crown will quickly belong to the Civic as soon as once more.

With a purpose to shed time whereas shredding laps, Honda opted to chop weight relatively than enhance energy. The Restricted Version’s 2.0-liter turbo I4 carries over from the bottom Sort R unchanged, producing 306 horsepower at 6,500 rpm and 295 pound-feet of torque at 2,500 rpm. The 2021 LE’s six-speed handbook transmission, limited-slip differential, suspension {hardware} and Brembo entrance brakes are all equivalent to these on the 2020 Sort R, too.

2021 Restricted Version sharpens the superior Honda Civic Sort R

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As a substitute, Honda reduce 50 kilos out of the US-spec Civic Sort R by deleting the rear wiper, eradicating the cargo cowl, becoming lighter-weight BBS wheels and eradicating a complete bunch of sound-deadening materials — 28 kilos value, in truth . That “US-spec” qualification is essential, by the best way; Restricted Version fashions bought in different markets drop an extra 30 kilos because of the removing of the audio system and air-con.

Now, earlier than you bitch in regards to the US not getting the total Restricted Version light-weight expertise, here is one other historical past lesson: When Honda launched the track-ready S2000 CR in 2007, the radio and air-con have been elective, however solely a super-duper-small proportion of Individuals ordered the CR this fashion. So until you are planning to make use of your private CTRLE to set a lap report, which you are not, perhaps simply crank some tunes and benefit from the cool breeze of your AC. individuals at all times assume they need a stripped-out automobile till they really should dwell with it.

2021 Honda Civic Type R Limited Edition

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2021 Honda Civic Type R Limited Edition

A set of forged-aluminum BBS wheels lowers the Sort R’s weight by 18 kilos.

Sling

As a result of it is lighter, the Restricted Version has barely totally different adaptive damping and digital steering calibrations than a normal Sort R. The dampers maintain the Civic managed whereas accounting for the trimmer physique, and after driving a Restricted Version again to again with a Sort R Touring on observe, the steering tweaks are actually noticeable. Flip-in is way sharper with faster response, however there’s nonetheless tons of really feel and suggestions by way of the wheel. I am into it.

Off the observe, the modifications are much less apparent, however appreciated nonetheless. You will really feel the sharper turn-in, however the retuned adaptive damper settings do not actually alter (learn: smash) the Sort R’s trip high quality within the metropolis or on the freeway. Actually, the Restricted Version simply helps reinforce what makes the Civic Sort R so nice to start with: A number of turbo energy, a slick-shifting six-speed stick and an extremely succesful front-wheel-drive setup. This all makes for a critically chuckable little sizzling hatch. The Sort R has at all times been a giant-slayer — you possibly can chase down Porsche 911s on mountain roads all day lengthy — and the Restricted Version is not any totally different.

The dearth of sound-deadening materials does lead to much more cabin noise, nevertheless it’s not that large of a deal. Snug and properly appointed as it might be, the usual Civic Sort R is not precisely a serene freeway cruiser, so I do not assume most individuals will discover the added roar from the wind and tires.

This little factor’s a riot.

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So far as creature comforts are involved, the Restricted Version has all the things you may discover on the traditional Sort R Touring. The game seats are as supportive as they’re comfortable and a 7-inch central touchscreen has embedded navigation in addition to Apple Automobile Play and Android Auto compatibility. You get a complete mess of driver-assistance options, too, together with forward-collision warning, lane-departure warning, lane-keeping help and adaptive cruise management. The one factor that is lacking? Heated seats. Nonetheless. Sigh.

Honda will construct 1,000 examples of the Civic Sort R Restricted Version for world distribution, with 600 obtainable within the US. They’re all painted Phoenix Yellow and may have a serialized plaque on the sprint.

With a $44,950 price ticket (together with $955 for vacation spot), the Restricted Version prices $6,500 greater than the 2021 Sort R Touring. That is seemingly straightforward sufficient for a severe fanboy, collector or observe rat to swing, and as is the case with all Sort R-badged Hondas, the 600 US-spec automobiles will certainly be bought in brief order. Fortunately, the Sort R Touring gives 98% of the expertise, so if you cannot snag one of many Restricted Editions, there’s nonetheless loads of sizzling hatch greatness to go round.

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