On the outside, the 2023 Honda Civic Type R is quite a departure from the previous-generation hot hatch. Its heart, however, is largely similar. That would be the turbocharged 2.0-litre K20C1 four-cylinder engine, tweaked ever-so-slightly to make an extra nine bhp. Coupled with updates to the suspension, we know the 2023 Type R is quicker than its predecessor around Suzuka. But what about in a straight line?

The answer to that question is widely considered yes. Honda never offered official 0-60 mph stats for the new CTR, but estimates place it somewhere around five seconds. After spending considerable time behind the wheel, our Civic Type R first drive review reached a similar conclusion on acceleration. The previous-gen model offers nearly the same performance, with times in the low-to-mid five-second range considered normal. Surely that answers the question, right?

Gallery: 2023 Honda Civic Type R: First Drive

In this instance, it's not that simple. Nailing consistent launches with a gutsy manual-equipped FWD car can be tricky at best, leading to significant time variations between drivers. Other external factors like road conditions or air temperatures can also affect performance. That's where the Carwow crew comes in, as they recently had occasion to drive new and old Type Rs in a single go. Sadly, that doesn't lead to a side-by-side drag race. But it does provide a chance for real-world acceleration tests on both cars in the hands of the same driver, on the same surface, and in the same weather conditions.

As a refresher, the 2023 Civic Type R produces 315 bhp compared to 306 bhp in the outgoing model. Also, engine torque is up to 310 pound-feet versus 295. Both cars manage the power with a six-speed manual, though Honda says the latest generation manages that power better. 

So what's the outcome? In the hands of Carwow, the 2023 Civic Type R records a 0-60 time of 5.79 seconds. It's slower than expected, but the car bogged a bit off the launch before going into wheelspin. Fortunately, the same thing happened with the previous-generation Type R, leading to a 0-60 time of 6.1 seconds.

The new Type R is, well, new. It may take a while before the world gains a broader understanding of how fast it is in the hands of a capable driver. For now, with testing parameters in this video being equal, the answer of new or old being faster appears to be answered.