Torque steer. Excessive wheelspin. And massive understeer. Throw even moderate amounts of horsepower into a front-wheel drive car, and also that’s what you’ll get. It’s physics. Automotive engineers have been trying for decades to eliminate, or at least minimize, these negative attributes, with limited success. Until now.

Honda’s designers and also engineers have somehow managed to carry out the impossible. With the Civic kind R, they have actually not simply domesticated the negative stuff to construct a an excellent handling FWD car. They’ve developed one the the finest handling, ideal driving warm hatches ~ above the planet, period.

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When Honda set the FWD document on the Nurburgring with the type R, civilization noticed. Come prove that success was no fluke, Honda climate went on come achieve comparable feats in ~ Magny-Cours, Spa and also Silverstone. Having actually owned rather a few FWD cars, ns was seriously intrigued. Honda loaned me a Rallye Red kind R, and also I collection out to see exactly how the winged public compares come a great rear-drive sporting activities car—in this case, the Camaro SS.


There were two immediate problems with my check vehicle. First, the color. If the form R has an exterior you could generously explain as “busy,” that looks significantly far better in details colors. To mine eye, red isn"t one of them. My fast fix: approach the automobile exclusively native the front, i m sorry is much less funky 보다 the rear.

The 2nd issue gift a perhaps bigger problem. This details vehicle was brand new and had actually less than 250 miles on the clock. Generally I would certainly be dazzling to obtain such a new example. But due to the fact that my testing involved track time, I essential to an initial hit some back roads and also highways for a gentler break-in prior to heading up to Monticello engine Club. (You’re welcome, Honda.)


Once inside, the type R greets the driver v a an extremely racy, purposeful interior. The seats room spot on, providing ample support while retaining sufficient comfort for long drives. The gauges room configurable and the shifter is Honda perfection; an accurate and direct. The just downside is the stupid, billet aluminum change ball. Favor the one ns ditched on my S2000, it important excels in ~ searing meat on warm days.

While one might argue around the overall styling, the aero bits and also cooling ducts room there because that a purpose. The nearly flat under-tray and also rear diffuser alleviate turbulence if the prior splitter and rear soup negate elevator and carry out a small amount the measurable downforce. Pass 130 mph on Monticello’s three-quarter-mile-long Hanger Straight, the form R felt much more stable than some much more expensive sporty dare I’ve driven.


The form R package 306 hp and also 295 lb.-ft. Right into a 3117-lb chassis. My comparison vehicle was a 2018 Chevrolet Camaro 2SS hot Wheels Edition. ~ above paper, the 455 hp, 3685 lb. Camaro had actually an edge through a 20-percent much better power-to-weight ratio. The Chevy is virtually a 2nd quicker come 60 mph (4.0 vs 4.9) and has a much more favorable front-rear weight distribution (54/46 vs the Honda"s 62/38).

The Camaro has actually high cornering grip yet you constantly feel the car’s weight and size—and don’t gain me began on external visibility, and also how over there is none. The kind R is a various story. Turn-in is incredibly an exact and, unlike any other FWD auto I’ve driven, you can use power mid-corner there is no washing wide. A lot of that is down to the type R’s supervisor grippy 20-inch continent SportContact 6.


The Camaro had slightly much better lap times due to its benefit in acceleration on MMC’s 3.6-mile circuit, but the kind R was by far the an ext enjoyable automobile to push. The Honda is, in a word, nimble. Plus, the Brembo brakes are phenomenal, a perfect enhance to the remainder of the chassis. Good modulation, eyeball-dislodging preventing distances, and also zero fade, lap ~ lap. Wherein the Camaro provides you feeling isolated, the public is involving, an expansion of the driver. You always have the trust it’s going come stick.

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One the the biggest surprises is the kind R’s excellent ride quality, in spite of the 20-inch rubber bands at all four corners. Credit the Adaptive Damper System and suspension design. The Honda excels on the track, however is completely livable as a day-to-day driver. And the 2.0 Liter VTEC Turbo even delivers decent fuel economy in common use. If you prefer to drive, it’s damn close to perfect. Just remember to strategy it from the front.

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