Honda Unveils ’23 Civic Type R, ‘Ultimate Halo Vehicle’

The redesign recently set a new track record for a front-wheel-drive production car at the Suzuka Circuit in Japan, securing its position as the best-performing Civic Type R, according to Honda.

Tanya Gazdik

July 25, 2022

4 Min Read
Honda Civic Type R 23 reveal (2)
IndyCar driver Herta (right) helps unveil '23 Honda Civic Type R.Tanya Gazdik

HAWTHORNE, CA – Honda takes the wraps off the ’23 Civic Type R, the fastest and most powerful Honda-branded production vehicle ever offered in the U.S.

The automaker enlists NTT IndyCar Series driver Colton Herta for the reveal in a nod to the hot hatch's performance capabilities and “addictive driving experience.”

Despite the ongoing popularity of SUVs, the automaker remains committed to offering car models, says Mike Kistemaker, assistant vice president-Honda sales at American Honda.

The first Honda to wear the red Type R badge was the Honda NSX Type R supercar, of which just 500 were sold in Japan only from 1992 to 1995. The Civic Type R debuted in Japan as a 1997 and did not come to the U.S. until 2017 when it was in its fifth iteration. The sixth iteration is being introduced in Japan, Europe and the U.S. this year as a ’23 model.

The redesign recently set a track record for a front-wheel-drive production car at the Suzuka Circuit in Japan, home to the Formula 1 Honda Japanese Grand Prix 2022, securing its position as the best-performing Civic Type R, according to the automaker.

As of January 2022, Honda had sold about 200,000 Type R models around the world. Of the 174,404 Civics sold in the U.S. in 2021, 4,861 were the Type R version. Type R sales generally represent 2% to 3% of total Civic sales, per the automaker.

Honda Civic Type R 23 turbo-4.jpg

Honda Civic Type R 23 turbo-4

Honda’s award-winning turbocharged 2.0L 4-cyl. (pictured, above) is available only with a 6-speed manual transmission. Driving a manual transmission is a “badge of honor” for Civic Type R drivers, says Dan Calhoun, Honda Civic product manager.

“The Type R is the ultimate halo vehicle,” Calhoun tells Wards.

Manual transmissions continue to be popular at Honda. About 60% of initial pre-orders for the new Acura Integra before production started were for MTs. The first several months of manual transmission production for the Integra already are spoken for, the automaker says.

A new +R driving mode-exclusive meter includes a graphic engine rpm display, rev indicator lights and gear position indicator placed at the top. A lower multi-information display can show vehicle information selected by the driver.

The Honda LogR data logger provides real-time information on the mechanical movements of the vehicle and vehicle behavior resulting from the driver's input.

While the automaker says it’s too early to discuss the car’s 0-60 mph (97 km/h) capabilities, drivers will be able to monitor such information instantly via a stopwatch that will record lap times. Drivers also will have the ability to share driving videos.

The exterior redesign is based on the 11th-generation Civic Hatchback. A new lightweight and highly rigid body helps improve high-speed stability and response. The vehicle also features enhanced suspension and steering performance, according to the automaker,

Longer, lower and wider, the Type R’s muscular design features integrated advanced aerodynamics to reduce drag.

Design nods to the previous-generation R include round exhaust outlets, but unlike the last generation, whose middle outlet was flanked by two larger ones, the middle outlet on the new R is larger than the two outer outlets. The gear shifter also resembles that of the last-generation model.

The Type R’s signature red front seats now feature suede-like upholstery with a more subtle, raised “Type R” in red stitching on the headrest. The previous seat incarnation had “Type” in black next to a red “R” outlined in white.

Honda Civic Type R 23 rear 3.4 RESIZED.jpg

Honda Civic Type R 23 rear 3.4 RESIZED_0

Brawny fenders flare out over lightweight wheels wrapped in wider tires. A new, more aggressive front bumper design features a sporty honeycomb grille mesh that echoes the intricate honeycomb trim inside the cabin. Larger front-fender grilles and a new side sill design behind the front wheels enhance airflow efficiency. The more aggressive stance is accentuated by wider rear doors exclusive to Type R and a redesigned rear spoiler (pictured, above).

A serialized Type R plate on the dash is new for the ’23 model year.

The Civic Type R will be available in five colors: Rallye Red, Boost Blue, Crystal Black Pearl, Sonic Grey Pearl and Historic Championship White.

Pricing, fuel economy and other dimensional data will be released closer to the on-sale date in the fall, per Honda.

Honda Civic Type R 23 cockpit.jpg

Honda Civic Type R 23 cockpit_0

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