Honda is refreshing its Civic lineup across the board.
The latest addition to the Civic range, which now includes sedans, coupes, hatchback and models outfitted for racing, is the updated ’20 Civic Type R that debuted at the Chicago auto show.
Gary Robinson, head of product planning for the Honda Div., says the new Type R features revised styling, improved handling and braking, better engine cooling and the addition of standard safety and driver-assistance technologies.
The Type R’s selectable drive modes and sophisticated design make it capable of racing, climbing a mountain road or performing as a daily driver, Honda says.
Headlining the changes are improvements to the performance hatchback’s driving dynamics, including 2-piece brake rotors and brake pads designed to reduce fade and improve high-speed braking efficiency.
Under the hood, the ’20 Type R draws power from a racing-bred 2.0L direct-injected and turbocharged 4-cyl., a 2018 Wards 10 Best Engines winner. The VTEC engine puts out a peak 306 hp and 295 lb.-ft. (400 Nm) of torque, with power to the front wheels delivered through a close-ratio 6-speed manual transmission and limited-slip differential.
A redesigned grille allows better engine cooling under high demand, the automaker says.
As before, drivers can choose between three driving modes – Comfort, Sport and +R – that vary suspension firmness, steering and throttle response. New for ’20 is Active Sound Control, which modifies interior sound in concert with the chosen drive mode.
Suspension enhancements include updated dampers for improved ride comfort, stiffer rear bushings for better grip and revisions to the front suspension and steering for even better feel.
Inside, the updated Type R features refinements such as an Alcantara-wrapped steering wheel and a new shifter with a restyled knob and shorter shift throws.
The Honda Sensing suite of safety and driver-assistance technologies will be standard on all Civic models and trims when the ’20 Type R goes on sale.
Additional information, including pricing and all specifications, will be available when the updated Type R goes on sale later this winter.
Type R models accounted for about 5,600 of the 325,650 Civics sold last year in the U.S., according to Wards Intelligence data.
Sage Marie, Honda’s director of communication, says the introduction of the Civic Type R underscores the automaker’s continuing commitment to passenger cars.
Robinson claims the Civic is the most popular car in the U.S. among younger buyers from Generation Y and Generation Z and is the top choice of multicultural shoppers, making it a critical part of the automaker’s effort to attract a new audience.