2023 Honda Civic Type R Doesn't Fix What Isn't Broken
While many of the Type R's final details are still TBD, Honda's hot hatch doesn't seem to be radically different than before -- and that's perfectly fine with us.
Steven EwingFormer managing editor
Steven Ewing spent his childhood reading car magazines, making his career as an automotive journalist an absolute dream job. After getting his foot in the door at Automobile while he was still a teenager, Ewing found homes on the mastheads at Winding Road magazine, Autoblog and Motor1.com before joining the CNET team in 2018. He has also served on the World Car Awards jury. Ewing grew up ingrained in the car culture of Detroit -- the Motor City -- before eventually moving to Los Angeles. In his free time, Ewing loves to cook, binge trash TV and play the drums.
After a painfullylongtease,
finally took the wraps off the 2023 Civic Type R on Wednesday. And while we're obviously stoked to meet the next generation of the Japanese automaker's giant-slaying hot hatch, we've gotta say, Honda is being surprisingly stingy with official specs.
The only hard data we have right now is that the 2023 Civic Type R will be powered by a tweaked version of the current car's 2.0-liter turbocharged I4 engine. The CTR will also have a six-speed manual transmission with automatic rev-matching.
How much power and torque will the engine make? No clue. Honda says the 2.0-liter engine is "even more powerful and responsive" than the outgoing version, which made 306 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque. The only other bit of information we can see is that the new Type R rides on 265/30-series Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tires wrapping 19-inch wheels -- an interesting change, since the outgoing Type R rode on narrower 245/30 tires with larger 20-inch wheels. (This could be a European or Japanese-spec wheel/tire package, just sayin'.)
As for chassis upgrades, Honda just says the Type R has "enhanced suspension and steering performance," and like the outgoing model, the braking hardware comes from Brembo. The CTR's hatchback shape is much, much cleaner than before, but still features a large wing and Honda's super cool tri-tip exhaust.
The intentionally vague language surrounding the Civic Type R's debut actually strikes us as a good thing. Honestly, Honda could put the old car's engine and chassis under the new car's body, call it a day and we'd be perfectly happy. The outgoing Type R is one of the best-driving performance cars money can buy, and we'd be thrilled if the new one doesn't lose an ounce of that moxie.
Inside, the 2023 Type R benefits from all the 11th-generation
improvements, including a clean dash and center console design and lots of new technology. The
10.2-inch digital instrument cluster and 9-inch infotainment screen appear to carry over, likely with the same wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capabilities. This is a Type R, though, so look for heavily bolstered seats and a metal shift knob that'll burn your palm on sunny days.
It'll come as no surprise that Honda hasn't released pricing information, but expect the 2023 Civic Type R to start around $40,000. (The 2021 Type R came in at $38,910 including destination.) We'll likely have the final MSRP -- as well as all the other details -- just ahead of the Type R hitting dealerships this fall.