Honda launched a redesigned Civic Si for 2022, and the stylish sports sedan shows that you don't need to spend a fortune for a fast, fun ride.
However, the 200-hp Si isn't the end of the performance road for the Civic. That honor goes to the Type R hot hatch, a new generation of which arrives later this year as a 2023 model.
Prototypes for the 2023 Civic Type R have been testing in public for more than a year, including at Germany's Nürburgring racetrack. The prototypes have also tested at Japan's Suzuka International Racing Course, and recently a production-spec example lapped the 3.6-mile racetrack in a time of 2:23.12.
2023 Honda Civic Type R prototype testing at Suzuka International Racing Course
That's a new record for the track, as far as front-wheel-drive production cars are concerned. More commonly known as Suzuka Circuit, the figure-8 racetrack is home to the Formula One Japanese Grand Prix, but its original purpose was as a test track for Honda. It's fitting then that the Civic Type R has been thoroughly tested at the track and now also holds a record there.
Cruicially, the new time is also close to a second quicker than the time set by the outgoing Civic Type R Limited Edition, a lighter, more track-focused special launched for the 2021 model year.
The outgoing Civic Type R, the fifth generation of the nameplate, is a favorite here at Motor Authority, and the new sixth-generation model is shaping up to be even better thanks to improved performance. What we know is that the latest Civic family benefits from a more rigid platform compared to its predecessor, and this should aid the new Type R especially. We're talking 8% better torsional rigidity and 13% better bending rigidity.
2022 Honda Civic Si
The interior of the latest Civic family (Si interior shown above) has also seen a major step up in technology and refinement. Digital screens are used for the gauge cluster (a partial digital screen is standard and a full digital screen is available on higher-line models) and infotainment, and also included as standard are wired Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
It isn't clear what drivetrain mods are planned for the Type R but expect a version of the outgoing model's 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4 to be nestled under the hood, possibly with more than the present 306 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque. A 6-speed manual will likely be standard, and as already noted drive will be to the front wheels only.
Production of the Type R will be handled in the U.S. for the first time. It will be built at the same Greensburg, Indiana, plant where regular Civic Hatchbacks are already rolling off the line.