Upgraded 2020 Honda Civic Type R shows its wing in Chicago

And a new Boost Blue color looks seriously good.

Sean Szymkowski
It all started with Gran Turismo. From those early PlayStation days, Sean was drawn to anything with four wheels. Prior to joining the Roadshow team, he was a freelance contributor for Motor Authority, The Car Connection and Green Car Reports. As for what's in the garage, Sean owns a 2016 Chevrolet SS, and yes, it has Holden badges.
Tim Stevens Former editor at large for CNET Cars
Tim Stevens got his start writing professionally while still in school in the mid '90s, and since then has covered topics ranging from business process management to video game development to automotive technology.
Sean Szymkowski
Tim Stevens
2 min read
2020 Honda Civic Type R
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2020 Honda Civic Type R

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,  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.

2020 Honda Civic Type R: A little goes a long way

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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 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.

The 2018 Honda Civic Type R is a very capable daily driver

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Watch this: 2020 Civic Type R doesn't fix what isn't broken