Upgraded 2020 Honda Civic Type R shows its wing in Chicago

And a new Boost Blue color looks seriously good.

The 2020 Civic Type R is feeling blue. And I'm feeling this blue, too.
Steven Pham/Roadshow

After making its debut at the Tokyo Auto Salon a half a world away, Honda has chosen Chicago to unveil the latest upgrades for the 2020 Civic Type R for the US of A.

One of our favorite hot hatchbacks bowed with a host of mechanical upgrades, some added technology and a new Boost Blue exterior color. Indeed, it'll be hard to spot the differences between a 2019 and 2020 Honda Civic Type R when it comes to the exterior, but there is one slight change. Honda said it's made the front grille opening larger, which has a direct effect on engine cooling.

Otherwise, the changes are underneath the skin. To start, there's a new two-piece brake rotor design complete with new brake pads designed to reduce fade and make the hatchback more confident in high-speed braking. The suspension gets a once-over, too, with new dampers to increase overall comfort, stiffer rear bushings to sharpen grip and some other small tweaks to the front suspension to sweeten steering feel for the driver.

Plopping down inside the 2020 Civic Type R will reveal a new steering wheel wrapped in the industry's favorite high-performance material, Alcantara. And even though it's hard to believe the pocket rocket's shifts could be shorter, a new shifter with a restyled knob is present for shorter throws, Honda promised. Flicking through the drive modes reveals one other change in "Active Sound Control." The car will arrange the sounds in the interior depending on what drive mode is active. Expect a deeper howl in Plus R mode, for example.

On the safety front, those kicking the tires on a new Civic Type R will now find Honda Sensing standard -- the corporate name for the automaker's collection of active safety equipment.

What doesn't change is the turbocharged VTEC heart at the hatchback's core. It's still a 2.0-liter turbo-four mill with 306 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque. Power still makes its way to only the front wheels.

We'll get more info on the 2020 Civic Type R as we approach its on-sale date here in the US. That'll be around this coming winter, the automaker said.

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