2017 Honda Civic Type R First Drive

We British love a hot hatch. We consume more of them than anyone else in the world, so it’s no surprise that we’ve been rather looking forward to a new Civic Type R. You see, the idea of a reliable, spacious family hatch with an obscene amount of power rather gets some people going. 

2017 Honda Civic Type R First Drive

The latest Honda Civic is a good car – huge boot, space in the back, looks pretty swish, etc – so we've all been looking forward to what Honda does with it. The last-generation Civic Type R was only around for a couple of years but caused a stir. It was the fastest front wheel drive car around the Nurburgring, offered silly power, mad looks, and was a touch unhinged. Hot hatch fans loved it. Honda reckons its new car will get them going as well.

Under the hood is a 2.0-litre turbocharged VTEC engine pumping out 320hp and 295lb-ft. To get the grunt to the (front) wheels there’s a six-speed manual gearbox as well. Purists will rejoice that even though Honda’s gone for big power, it’s not resorted to an auto-only approach like others – 0-62mph takes 5.8 seconds and it’ll top out at 169mph. It is not a slow car.

2017 Honda Civic Type R First Drive
2017 Honda Civic Type R First Drive
2017 Honda Civic Type R First Drive

It’s a record breaker like its predecessor. At the time of writing it’s the fastest front-wheel-drive car around the Nurburgring circuit with a 7:43.8 lap, the kind of time that would be reserved for serious machinery about 15 years ago. Sooner or later Renault will surely take the record back with a new Renaultsport Megane, but for now Honda’s in the lead.

The default drive mode is ‘Sp...