2021 Honda Civic Type R 12021 Honda Civic Type R 32021 Honda Civic Type R 2

It took until 2017 for the Honda Civic Type R to finally make it here to the U.S. And as the fastest, most powerful Civic ever, it did not disappoint; feeling less like a souped-up Civic, and more like a purpose-built high performance machine that just happened to have a Honda badge on it. Well can it get any better than that? Well let’s find out.
While the Honda Civic Type R is easily the fastest and most powerful Civic ever, things rarely sit still in the performance car field for long. So, Honda has bestowed a host of updates for 2020 to keep the Type R relevant, attract more attention, and perhaps even give owners a reason to upgrade.

And we love it when performance updates are listed right at the top of the press release instead of things like “bold new styling ”; and for ’20, the Type R’s suspension, brakes, and engine cooling have all been addressed.

Suspension changes begin with a software update for the adaptive dampers that allow them to make decisions 10-times faster.

On the hardware side, stiffer bushings are in place, both front and rear; along with lower friction ball joints to heighten steering response.

It makes for a fun, yet still easy to drive daily-driver. But of course, a trip to the track was necessary to get a full “grip” on the situation.

And there was indeed plenty of grip to be found. The Type R really excels here in a tight slalom exercise. Steering is tight and super responsive, with almost all of the Civic’s front drive understeer dialed out. Everything feels “just right” and it was a real blast to work in and out of the cones; with some of the fastest course speeds we’ve ever seen.

As for the brakes, the previous 1-piece front rotors have been upgraded to a 2-piece design that is lighter by 2½-lbs. per wheel. Thus, also helping the handling cause.

There’s also new brake pad material, to both provide more initial bite, as well as less fade. They delivered consistently stable short stops from 60 of just 101-feet. Our test driver’s comments were brief, “brakes are awesome; good feel with almost immediate response”.