After 22 bids, VIN 01's online auction ends on a rather large price for a very hot hatch
Very first, you say?
Yup. This is the very first, British-built, 2017 Honda Civic Type R. VIN 01, no less. It is the most powerful Honda ever built for the States, and the first Civic Type R to be sold officially in America.
And now, we can confirm that it has been auctioned off for charity for $200,000 (RM856,000).
Tell me more.
Over to Honda’s America’s senior VP, Jeff Conrad.
“The Civic Type R has long been forbidden fruit for enthusiasts in the US, so we thought it would be fun to offer one lucky customer a shot at owning the first of its kind in America, while benefitting the leading non-profit solely dedicated to finding a cure for childhood brain tumours – the Pediatric Brain Tumour Foundation.”
The same Civic Type R that ran pretty quickly around the Nürburgring, right?
Correctomundo. Not just pretty quickly, but really quite fast. On 3 April this year, the new Type R managed a 7m43.8s lap time around the ‘Ring, which puts it three seconds quicker than the previous ‘Ring hot hatch champ, the VW Golf GTI Clubsport S.
That makes it – for this week at least – the fastest hot hatch to have driven around the ‘Ring. No mean feat.
Watch the lap above.
Yeah yeah, but was it a ‘production’ car, or a stripped out special?
“The development car that achieved the lap time was technically representative of production specification,” Honda said at the time.
They did note that a roll cage was fitted, for safety reasons, “but its presence did not provide any additional rigidity to the body frame”. Though the rear seats were taken out to compensate for the weight of the cage.
Sticky tyres, too?
“Road-legal track-focused tyres,” Honda said. So sticky-ish.
Fair enough. Got a powerful engine, right?
Right. The 2.0-litre four-pot turbo – with VTEC, yo – produces 316bhp and 400Nm of torque. The same as the outgoing Civic Type R, but plenty enough to keep you entertained considering it remains front-wheel drive. Rivals offer 4WD. Well, the Ford Focus RS and VW Golf R do.
Why didn’t Honda just ramp the power up massively and make it 4WD, then?
Honda told TG that they never considered it, though did take a “close look” at the tech others were using, because it was “interested”.
Nevertheless, that engine is matched to a short-shifting, six-speed gearbox – no automatic option here, not even considering its US debut – with a rev-matching feature for easy heroic downchanges, that you can deactivate if you want to blip yourself.
What else is new?
It’s based on the all-new Civic, which means torsional rigidity is up by 38 per cent over the old Type R, there’s independent multi-link rear suspension (as opposed to the old car’s torsion beam), and an increased wheelbase and track.
The latter, so that it’s “lower and wider”, naturally.
Quite a bit of aero going on...
It’s all functional, and necessary, apparently. There’s a smoother underbody too, and ‘vortex generators’ which apparently give the new Type R a ‘best-in-class’ balance between lift and drag, more downforce and better stability when flat out.
Are there MODES?
Yes. You get adaptive dampers controlled through three driving modes: Comfort, Sport and +R. We don’t need to tell you which one to sellotape down…
Who was the lucky bidder?
That’s not yet been disclosed, but whoever it is, we salute your donation to charity.