Meet the new, 2020 Honda Civic Type R

By topgear, 13 January 2020

Honda’s not letting Toyota take all the madcap hot hatch headlines with its rally-rep GR Yaris. It’s used the Tokyo Auto Salon to show an updated Civic Type R, which sits before your very eyes now.

And it’s… largely as before. Just bluer. That’s thanks to a new ‘Boost Blue’ paint option, exclusive to the quickest Civic. It complements infinitesimally different styling, with a larger front grille yielding the flow of more cool air to the engine.

We’re promised tweaks below the skin too, but it’s all reasonably minor stuff: stronger brakes that better resist fade, tweaked suspension that offers more comfort in day-to-day driving and more direct steering, plus the addition of some engine sound augmentation inside the cabin depending on which drive mode you’re in.

None of these are problems we’d ever encountered with the Type R – its brakes are flipping strong, it’s more than comfy enough in its languid suspension setting and we’re luddites who tend to dislike fake noise. So Honda’s realised how damn good the Civic is and is just nitpicking, basically.

To that end, the engine remains the same, with 316bhp and 400Nm peaks produced by a 2.0-litre turbo four. It drives the front wheels only through a six-speed manual gearbox and an aggressive limited-slip differential.

US market Type Rs will get a shorter gearshift throw and Alcantara wrapped around their steering wheel, moves which we’d welcome on UK cars too, specs for which are yet to be announced.

Like what Honda’s done? Or would you’d rather they’d done more than a light tidy up?