Last Rites For Civic Type R

The Honda Civic Type R is slowly dying, and by the end of the year it will be no more.

honda civic type r mugen 200 00

Sad, but true. By the end of this year you won’t be able to buy a new Civic Type R as it’ll be illegal to sell them. Why so? Because the new Euro 5 emissions regulations will be coming into force and the Civic Type R’s 2.0-litre VTEC engine cannot meet the requirements for particulates and nitrous oxide output.

Production ends in October and then we’ll have to see what Honda are going to do about a replacement. There’s a new Civic due in the next year or so, but Honda remain tight-lipped about a Type R model. Will they adopt turbocharging like every other manufacturer, or will they take the lessons they’ve learnt with their hybrid CR-Z coupe and apply the technology to come up with the first hybrid hot hatch?

Honda need to do something quickly to maintain their reputation as a producer of great sports cars – they now have no flagship sports model thanks to the demise of the S2000 and the cancellation of the NSX replacement. Soon all they’ll be known for is making bland family cars and quirky hybrids.

The good news is that Honda are knocking £2,230 off the price of a new Civic Type R GT – you can pick one up now for £19,495.

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Author: Chris Auty

Voted the Breakthrough Blogger of 2013 by SEAT and the Guild of Motoring Writers , Chris has lived and breathed cars since he was old enough to say 'faster'. With a penchant for hot hatches and an allergy to public transport, he would much prefer to drive a bad car than never drive at all. Fortunately his family has learned to put up with this obsession and the internet has provided a channel for his ramblings.

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  1. “The good news is that Honda are knocking £2,230 off the price of a new Civic Type R GT – you can pick one up now for £19,495.”

    Hmmmm… having had the standard version I can say that for that type of money much better thrills are available. Save yourself some money and buy something else folks.

    My money would go on a nearly new BMW 130i Msport. A real ‘hidden’ performance bargain. Just got rid of mine to trade up to a 135i, but the 130 will wipe the floor with the CTR in handling and performance, better build quality, more prestige and about the same running costs. And the straight 6 pot 3ltr Beemer engine is one of the few powerplants than can claim to be every bit as exciting as a VTEC K20. The only downside to BMW ownership is when the snow comes.

    Oh, and you’ll never get a FN2 CTR owner criticising a 1 series for being ugly on the grounds of pot/kettle/black 🙂

  2. Love that pot/kettle comment at the end!

    Good recommendation on the 130i Msport. It’s an unusual choice but only because it’s dismissed by people as being too expensive, but second-hand it can represent amazing value for money. And it’s a much better drive than that other premium hot hatch, the sterile Audi S3, in every way – handling, powerplant, character, looks … ok, maybe not the looks.

    So was it worth trading up to the 135i?

  3. Not an Audi fan then Chris? Me neither. Blandness personified IMO. Even the R8…

    Yeah the 135 is a brute! A league above the 130i/S3/R32 performance levels of course – pushing the V8 M3 close in a straight line (although that of course would put some distance on the 135 on a track die to superior chassis as you would expect – at least until you fitted the BMW Performance chassis upgrade on the 135…).

    An amazing powerplant the twin turbo. Easy to see why it won the best world engine gong two years running. Full 400nm torque from under 1500 rpm all the way through to 5000+ So amazing acceleration in-gear is always available even when cruising in 6th. Pretty breathtaking to be honest.

    Handling is better than 130 too as it has the electronic slip diff system. It seems much tamer than the 130 which is on the limits of controllability I felt with no diff and 265bhp going to the rear. I haven’t done a winter in the 135 yet so maybe I’ll be eating my words with this! But so far it seems to be good at putting the increased power down.

    Downsides – well I miss the 130’s hooligan hatch attitude. The twitchiness I mentioned had a charm in itself, and 135 is more sedate than you might hope for. I guess the 135 is the grown up relation to the 130’s teenage attitude. This is also recreated with the engine soundtrack. The standard 6pot 3ltr sounds throaty at low revs and good at the top end. The twin turbo 3ltr (which is an iron block unit and not the same engine at all as the uber-lightweight NA 3ltr – traces it’s heritage back to the final 3ltr that was in the Z3 would you believe!) doesn’t sound as good low down in the revs. Just pottering about town and you just don’t get the same good sound. Which is a shame.

    Open the 135 up though and well, that’s a different sonic soundtrack all together 😉

  4. No, I’m not an Audi fan. Great build quality but I’ve yet to drive one that feels in any way alive. They’re all so clinical and dull, as if Audi deliberately try to separate the driver from the driving experience.

    You’ve convinced me that the 135 is a worthy ride! Struggling to find any 135s on Autotrader at the moment, but second hand 130s are very tempting – found a 55 plate with 32k on the clock for just £9.5k. Very tempting indeed.

    I hadn’t appreciated the elderly roots of the 135’s engine and had assumed it was one of BMW’s newer blocks. Perhaps a decent sports exhaust would bring out a little more of its character.

  5. Only The 135 engine block heritage is from the Z3 Chris. The engine was a new design (actually now replaced with a single turbo twin scroll unit..) They needed an iron block for the extra stresses I guess that the turbos bring to bear. But everything else is changed from the Z3 unit i’d imagine.

    I paid £16400 in October 08 for a 57 plate 130i M that had 2k miles on it with half-leather/pro-audio upgrade/electic mirrors/metallic. I kept it until April this year – was given £14k for it against the 135 from the same Beemer dealership. That’s the best car deal i’ve ever had, and i’d never had thought that would be the case. So don’t rule out going to a BM dealer Although having said that I did take a massive hit from them when trading in the FN2 CTR I bought from new. I lost £8600 on that in 18 months to go to the 130. Ouch 🙁

    Go for the 130 Chris. You won’t regret it. A truly unique and pretty awesome hot-hatch. I loved mine.

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