The Ultimate Hot Hatch - Honda's Civic in Type-R

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You may have heard the term ‘hot-hatch’? Let me elaborate. Essentially it is a compact hatchback with either three or five doors including its flip-up boot – hence the hatch part of the name. The hot part is a little more complex. Let me explain: hot would reference the cars ability to be quick and agile. Both of which are a given but in just the right combination. The result? It’ll keep its driver entertained at every outing. This creates character and it’s this character that separates a good hot-hatch from an exceptional one. Think of a waffle without cream and your favourite mouth-watering sauce – it’s incomplete, bland and as a result lacks character.

Let me introduce you to Honda’s hot-hatch, the Civic Type-R. This is Honda South Africa’s flagship vehicle – painstakingly and ingeniously developed to be class-leading in every regard. This Honda is the first of its kind – combining their well-known high revving VTEC technology with a turbocharger, albeit remaining fuel efficient. They call this combined know-how, “Earth Dream”. Sounds like a Steven Spielberg concoction. Well, you and I couldn’t be more wrong, if that’s what you were thinking! In fact, this all new 2.0 V-TEC turbo is rated at 228 kW and 400 Nm. That’s mechanical jargon for ‘its bloody fast’, and undoubtedly powerful (0 to 100km/h in 5.7 seconds while topping out at an eye popping 270 km/h)

Hot-hatches can sometimes be unruly - the wild children within their families. Boy-racer types are drawn to these cars as physical rolling symbols of their owner’s mischievous personas. The Renault Megan RS and Mercedes-Benz’s A45 AMG are good examples – they are electrifying and wild in their raw delivery of power.

The Civic Type-R is truly deserving of the title of hot-hatch: from its design aesthetic to its bold red highly bolstered seats and down to its specially developed fat 19’ tyres made by Continental Tyres. The drive of the car is electrifying living up to its Fast and the Furious exterior regalia. Steering offers pin-point precision while telling its driver exactly what its tyres are reading from the roads surface. But the ultimate crown in this racer boy is its engine – it’s astonishing.

The retail price of R586 400 includes a five-year/200 000 km warranty, and a five-year/90 000 km service plan, while a three-year AA Roadside Assistance package is also included. Services are at 15 000 km intervals.


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