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2020 Honda Civic Type-R Touring Test Drive

 

 

 

“2020 Honda Civic Type R Touring”

Dynamic Racy Hot Hatchback

OVERVIEW

Honda’s iconic Civic Performance flagship hits the ground running with a host of significant changes and enhancements. The 2020 four-door Honda Civic Type R hatchback is available in only one feature packed trim level – the Touring, which has virtually everything one could need or want in a compact four-door pocket rocket and then some, with seating for five.

The Type R Touring expands its impressive and lengthy performance feature inventory with: improved handling characteristics; braking capability; ride quality and design appeal; along with elevated levels of driver engagement, featuring the debut of a new performance data logging app. Key elements include: retuned bushings in the front and rear suspension for improved cornering stability and sharper steering; a revised Adaptive Damper System featuring a substantially higher sampling rate and revised tuning for improved control and enhanced ride comfort; new two-piece front brake rotors for improved brake cooling and reduced weight; increased engine cooling performance; updated exterior and interior design, and an exclusive new exterior color; standard Honda Sensing® suite of safety and driver-assistive technologies; and the all-new Honda LogR performance data logging app designed to record driving activity and to aid in improving driver skills.

AGGRESSIVE EXTERIOR DESIGN

The 2020 Civic Type R Touring is easily recognizable outside by its bold, athletic and purposeful styling. The new Type R is readily distinguished from earlier models by updated race inspired front and rear fascia design and a new, larger grille opening that improves engine cooling. Aft is the radical spoiler wing and triple exhaust tips.

New for the 2020 model year is Boost Blue, a new color available only on the Civic Type R.

Some observers felt that the plethora of exterior attachments and treatments bordered on overkill and served no real purpose, but they couldn’t be further from the truth since everything is there for a definite reason. Additionally, the outside mirrors now incorporate LED turn signals and are heated.

INTERIOR ENHANCEMENTS

The cabin of the 2020 Type R is loaded with purposeful creature comforts and conveniences featuring a new Alcantara™-covered steering wheel, and a new shorter throw shifter with a new aluminum knob and synthetic suede shift boot. Part of the knob’s design is a 90g counterweight built inside, which helps improves shift feel and accuracy. Also new for 2020, the Honda Sensing® suite of safety and driver-assistive technologies is included as standard fare, which means that every Civic sold in the U.S. now comes standard with the technology.

Another added attraction for the 2020 model year is the addition of Active Sound Control (ASC). Working through the audio system’s speakers, ASC is tuned to enhance engine sound in a natural way, during aggressive driving in all driving modes.

Also new for the 2020 model year is the addition of Active Sound Control (ASC) with individual settings for Type R’s Comfort, Sport and +R driving modes. Working through the audio system’s speakers, ASC electronically enhances engine sound by tailoring and/or augmenting certain frequencies in a natural way, with progressively stronger character as the driver moves from Comfort to Sport, and finally to +R mode.

The modifications this year build on those made for last year’s model. Enhancements to technology and connectivity for MY19 included an updated Display Audio system with physical buttons and a volume knob, improved voice recognition and Bluetooth®, a USB sub-cord, upgraded steering wheel controls for simplified operation, and physical buttons for fan speed. Other changes included a new center console cup holder that better holds larger beverages, and an updated electronic parking brake with an indicator light.

HONDA LOGR PERFORMANCE DATALOGGER
Debuting for the first time in any Honda automobile is the new performance datalogger, exclusive to Type R. Known as Honda LogR™, the datalogger combines the Type R’s onboard computer and sensors with a smartphone app to help drivers monitor and record a variety of performance parameters when driving on the track or other closed courses. The app is also designed to help improve driving skills through the use of a driving-smoothness algorithm, developed with the help of professional Honda drivers. With exclusive access to the Type R’s onboard computer, Honda LogR can deliver much more detail than third-party apps.

The LogR app is designed to work exclusively with the 2020 (and newer) Type R, for both iPhone® and Android™ users. Honda LogR performs three main functions: a Performance Monitor, a Log Mode, and Auto Score Mode. The Performance Monitor provides vehicle information to the driver on the Display Audio screen while the app is functioning. Log Mode records lap times on the track, allowing drivers to improve their driving skills. The Auto Score function encourages smooth driving by monitoring braking, acceleration and steering, and generating a score based on the smoothness algorithm.

While driving, all interaction with Honda LogR is through the Display Audio screen, but Log Mode and Auto Score both offer more in-depth analysis after driving when the phone is unplugged from the vehicle, including previous drives, performance traces and replays using maps, and detailed vehicle information.

POTENT POWER

The driving force or heart of the Type R is a 2.0-liter, DOHC, 16-valve VTEC Turbocharged inline four-cylinder engine with Direct Injection and drive-by-wire throttle system. And a 7,000-rpm redline. The engine is transversely mounted up front and cranks out 306 horsepower (bhp) at 6,500 rpm, while developing 295 pound feet of torque in a range from 2,500-4,500 rpm. Energy is geared to the front driving wheels via a six-speed manual transmission with rev-match control and a limited-slip differential.

The Civic Type R is the most powerful front-wheel-drive Honda made to date and it’s the most powerful Honda-branded vehicle ever sold in the U.S. And despite its precise, track-ready handling and performance, the Type R is also noted for its practicality as a spacious, comfortable and civilized daily driver, a unique combination of qualities in a car at any price.

AS TESTED

My test 2020 Honda Civic Type R’s base price was set at $36,995., with the final sticker totaling $37,950 after adding the Destination and Handling charge. The exterior was sprayed Sonic Grey Pearl metallic complemented by a Red and Black interior with carbon fiber trim elements. Rolling stock consisted of Continental Red Stripe 245/30 ZR20 XL rubber mounted on 5-“V”-spoke alloy wheels painted gloss black.

HONDA LOGR PERFORMANCE DATALOGGER

Debuting for the first time in any Honda automobile is a new performance datalogger, exclusive to Type R. Known as Honda LogR™, the new datalogger combines the Type R’s onboard computer and sensors with a smartphone app to help drivers monitor and record a variety of performance parameters when driving on the track or other closed courses. The app is also designed to help improve driving skills through the use of a driving-smoothness algorithm, developed with the help of professional Honda drivers. With exclusive access to the Type R’s onboard computer, Honda LogR can deliver much more detail than third-party apps.

The LogR app is designed to work exclusively with the 2020 (and newer) Type R, for both iPhone® and Android™ users.

Honda LogR features three main functions: a Performance Monitor, a Log Mode, and Auto Score Mode. The Performance Monitor provides vehicle information to the driver on the Display Audio screen while the app is functioning. Log Mode records lap times on the track, allowing drivers to improve their driving skills. The Auto Score function encourages smooth driving by monitoring braking, acceleration and steering, and generating a score based on the smoothness algorithm.

While driving, all interaction with Honda LogR is through the Display Audio screen, but Log Mode and Auto Score both offer more in-depth analysis after driving when the phone is unplugged from the vehicle, including previous drives, performance traces and replays using maps, and detailed vehicle information.

ENHANCED SAFETY FEATURES

Every 2020 Civic Type R will be equipped with the Honda Sensing® suite of safety and driver-assistive technologies, making the Honda Sensing® suite standard equipment on all Civic models and trims. Honda Sensing® on Type R includes Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC), Collision Mitigation Braking System™ (CMBS™) incorporating Forward Collision Warning (FCW), Lane Keeping Assist System (LKAS) and Road Departure Mitigation (RDM) incorporating Lane Departure Warning (LDW). Additionally, all Honda Civic models receive automatic high beams as part of their Honda Sensing® package.

The 2020 Honda Civic Type R also features a long list of standard active and passive safety features, including Vehicle Stability Assist™ (VSA®) with traction control, driver and passenger front and side airbags, side-curtain airbags with rollover sensor, Electronic Brake Distribution (EBD), Brake Assist and Honda’s next-generation Advanced Compatibility Engineering™ (ACE™) body structure. Civic Type R also features a multi-angle rearview camera with guidelines as standard equipment.

PERFORMANCE

Directional rigidity of the suspension has been strategically increased via updates to select bushings in the front and rear. In addition, the Adaptive Damping System has been modified for more frequent and precise adjustments–improving cornering performance while maintaining Type R’s civilized road manners.

Additionally, the front lower ball joint has been reengineered for lower friction, improving steering feel and precision. In the rear, the bushings for the lower B-arms were stiffened, increasing lateral rigidity by 8 percent, while also improving toe-in characteristics during cornering.
In cornering, the quicker-reacting, upgraded Adaptive Damper System features new anti-roll control, which works in conjunction with the new stiffer bushings and sharper steering by more effectively harmonizing the timing of body roll and pitch caused by steering, braking and acceleration. This results in better steering response when turning into a corner, improved stability mid-corner, and better control when powering out of a corner.

OUR FINAL TAKE

Bottom line, the 2020 Honda Civic Type R Touring is an incredible performance machine at a bargain price, considering its awesome feature content. It may come in a somewhat compact form, but it is stellar in its delivery of driving excitement and pleasure. Comfort mode is for civilized cruising about town, while the Sport mode delivers a pleasingly enhanced level of performance characteristics making it the ideal all-around mode for fun blended with civility. The R mode is strictly for those times when one wishes to push the envelope and explore the outer or upper limits of their driving skill set.

It definitely represents the pinnacle of the Honda Civic lineup, and while it may be the priciest vehicle in the Civic stable, it is well worth it.

SPECIFICATIONS: 2020 Honda Civic Type-R Touring

Base Price: $36,995.
Price as Tested: $37,950.

Engine Type and Size: 2.0-liter, DOHC, 16-valve VTEC Turbocharged inline four-cylinder with Direct Injection and drive-by-wire throttle system. 7,000 rpm redline.

Horsepower (bhp): 306 @ 6,500 rpm
Torque (ft./ lbs.): 295 @ 2,500-4,500 rpm

Transmission: Six-speed manual with rev-match control.

Drive Train: Transversely front mounted engine / FWD

Suspension: Adaptive Damper System
Front – Dual axis MacPherson strut with 29.0 mm x 5.0 mm tubular stabilizer bar.
Rear – Multi-link with 20.5 mm solid stabilizer bar.

Brakes: Power-assisted four-wheel discs (2-piece vented with Brembo 4-piston aluminum calipers front), ABS, BA, EBD, Hill Start Assist, CMBS and VSA with Traction Control.

Tires: Continental Red Stripe 245/30 ZR20 XL mounted on 5-“V”-spoke alloy wheels painted gloss black.

Wheelbase: 106.3 inches
Length Overall: 179.4 inches
Width: 73.9 inches
Height: 56.5 inches
Curb Weight: 3,121 lbs.
Turning Circle: 39.5 ft.
Fuel Capacity: 12.39 gallons
EPA Mileage Estimates: 22 mpg city / 28- mpg highway
Drag Coefficient: Not listed
0 – 60 mph: Not Tested

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