Next Honda Civic Type R will be firm’s first-ever turbo road car

Article by Christian Andrei, on October 7, 2011

The Honda Civic Type R already has a formidable reputation but the tuning experts at Mugen still think it could be improved. Sources in Japan divulged that Mugen has started development of a package for the model. Actually, the next Honda Civic Type R is believed to be its fastest version ever and is expected to be Honda’s first-ever turbo road car. The Type R is famous in the UK for its high-revving naturally aspirated engine and aggressive styling. To be able to comply with strict emissions standards, there will be some modifications.

A 2.0-litre turbo meant to comply with Euro V emissions regulations will be used instead of the 2.0-litre naturally aspirated engine, according to AutoExpress. Honda’s 2012 British Touring Car Championship challenger will also be tweaked and will use a similar engine. Because of the turbo, there will be more torque lower in the rev range. This means that a higher gear can be used more frequently to improve efficiency. It’s also expected to have stop-start.

The Type R’s output will increase slightly to 210bhp, enabling the vehicle to accelerate from zero to 62mph in less than 6.5 seconds and to reach a top speed nearing 150mph. The Type R will feature the standard car’s front grille, slim headlights and LED daytime running lights. However, most of the bodywork will be uprated.

It will appear more stunning with a front end with large mesh air intakes, a lower chin spoiler and chunky side skirts. It will be more stable at high speeds due to its rear diffuser and extended spoiler. To improve the balance in corners, it will have the standard Civic’s longer, wider chassis. As a result, ride comfort and grip are improved as well.

The way the Civic Type R has been styled resulted in it getting a purposeful and aggressive stance while continuing to have that important functional purpose. One example is the holes that are on the bumper grille in the front. Its size and shape ensure that the air is channelled to the intercooler. This minimizes any possible aerodynamic losses. However, the design, which is both aerodynamic and smooth, shows that it was developed to give speed in mind.

By putting attention on the aerodynamics, the Civic Type R guarantees a zero lift coefficient and with drag minimized, ensures that its overall dynamic performance is at the top of the class. The aerodynamic package in the Civic Type R is unique in the sense that it manages to make use of elements that generate downforce and thus result in a negative overall lift. This particular result is not only rare in the auto industry but even unique for its segment.

It should be recalled that lift is the airflow that manages to push the road to the road. Negative lift at the two axles is guaranteed and drag is minimized as well due to the emphasis on the airflow that goes through the car and not just those around it. Thus even at speeds going as high as 270 km/h, stability is ensured. This fourth-generation version was able to reach this after it underwent a thorough aerodynamic, development, and testing.

In order to attain its objectives, the development team used computer-based CFD modelling. The team also used wind tunnel testing at Honda's very own motorsports facility located in Sakura, Japan. This is also where the company’s Formula One engine program is based. To validate the result of the development team, prototype testing was done on both racing circuits and on the road. Locations of the testing included Honda’s test facility at Takasu, the Nürburgring Nordschleife, and the Suzuka Formula One circuit.

One interesting design feature in the new Civic Type R is the underside that is completely flat. Because of this, it helps the airflow that goes under the car and with the diffuser in the rear, optimizes the downforce. In simple terms, it appears to suck the vehicle to the road. Helping manage the airflow are the deep side skirts and the wide splitter in the front. This helps manage the airflow in order to create that needed downforce on its front axle as well as reduce the lift.

Meanwhile the front bumper was intended to prevent air turbulence on its front wheels and therefore not only lower the lift forces but improve stability even at high speeds. On the front end, there is the combination headlamp cluster where on its lower edge runs the LED daytime running light. By using a light guide and two light sources in LED, it results in an up-ticked form which emphasizes the shape of the headlamps. It also makes the front mask aggressive and much more appealing. The combination lamps in the rear meanwhile have unique LED light bars.

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