The 2023 Honda Civic Type R is finally here, and we were stoked to hit Sonoma Raceway for a First Drive track session in the most powerful Type R to date.

Credit for that goes to the 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder making a stout 315 horsepower and 310 lb-ft of torque. Power meets the front wheels through a six-speed manual transmission, shifting with precise, weighted throws and a better rev-matching system. Put together, it’s incredibly competent on a road course.

ALEXANDER KELLUM: “The extra power in the new generation Type R out here on the track– it’s appreciated, but not necessary. What’s most impressive is how well it just wants to grip to the road. From the, uh, Sport Cup 2’s– I believe they’re optional– that we have on here, all the way down to the limited-slip diff…”

The new Type R felt really planted and on target during our laps. Additional cooling meant we could run the course again and again and again. The revised front suspension eliminated any torque steer, while those Michelin Sport Cup 2 tires provided heaps of grip. But, take note they are a dealer option, though the stock Pilot 4S’s are still great and better for daily driving.

This time around, the whole Type R package feels a little more mature. The exterior is still customized with additional aero and a big wing, while the interior remains wrapped in that trademark red upholstery, but nothing is really over the top.

That includes the MSRP; the 2023 Honda Civic Type R starts near 44-thousand dollars with delivery. A reasonable price for what you’re getting: a track-capable, street practical five-door hatch.

And we’ll have more Quick Spins… soon!