GENEVA -- When we last saw the Honda Civic Type R, it was but a concept with crazy styling and Nurburgring aspirations.
This week, at the Geneva auto show, Honda's dreams become a reality with the unveiling of the production-ready Honda Civic Type-R.
The production car retains much of the wild styling of the concept.
North American drivers are used to seeing Civic sedans and coupes, but the Honda is sold as a hatchback in the European market.
The new Type R will feature a four-point Adaptive Damper System that continuously and independently controls each corner of the vehicle, adjusting to road conditions and driver intent.
Inside the enlarged wheel and tire package, the Type R boasts beefy four-piston Brembo brakes.
The front fenders are flared, giving the front-driver Civic a muscular appearance and making room for wider rubber. That fender vent is also functional, pulling hot air from the engine bay.
Behind the Type R badge, you'll find a new 2.0-liter VTEC turbo engine.
Honda states about 306 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque for the hot hatch and a zero-to-62-mph time of 5.7 seconds.
This marks the first time that the Type R has been produced with a turbocharged engine.
To help keep the Civic stable as it approaches its top speed of 167 mph, the Type R has been fitted with aerodynamic upgrades.
The underbody of the R is nearly perfectly flat, which helps to create downforce at speed when combined with the rear diffuser.
A complex rear spoiler sits atop the short rear deck.
The tall rear wing isn't just for show. Honda tells us that the two-part aero bit actually creates downforce and aids in road-holding while cornering.
Honda designed the spoiler to not add significant drag, so -- while likely significant -- there's probably not a massive amount of downforce.
A large quad-tipped, dual exhaust exits through the rear diffuser.
Being a hatchback, the Type R retains the standard model's spacious storage area.
Designed for racing, the Type R also features deeply bolstered racing seats.
This example has been equipped with the optional GT Pack, which adds a few creature comforts to the hardcore hatch.
Among those comforts is a CD player (the standard Type R doesn't have one of those), as well as an infotainment system with navigation, driver-aid tech (such as parking sensors and blind-spot monitoring), and a premium audio system.
The tri-gauge instrument cluster is flanked by a pair of large buttons.
The Engine Start button, well, starts the engine at the beginning of a trip and stops it before the driver exits the vehicle.
The +R button activates a track mode. This sets the engine at its most responsive, firms the suspension by about 30 percent, and reduces the assist on the electromechanical power steering for better feedback.
Digital readouts atop the dashboard give the driver (or more likely, the passenger) a view of what forces the vehicle is experiencing.
The Type R comes with a six-speed manual transmission.
Just ahead of the shifter is a serialized plate that marks the vehicle as a Type R.
Honda claims that the new Type R will be the fastest front-drive hot hatch ever.
The automaker backed up its claim by taking the new Type R to the famous Nurburgring Nordschleife, where it set a new lap record of 7 minutes, 50.63 seconds.
The hottest hatchback in the world will remain one of the most unattainable for US drivers, as Honda has no plans to sell the new Type R in the States...ever. Sigh.