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Honda's new Type R is the hottest hatchback in the world (pictures)

Honda claims that it's brought the fastest front-driven hatchback on the planet to the Geneva auto show, and then it backed up that claim by smashing the Nurburgring lap record with the new Type R.

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Antuan Goodwin
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1 of 29 Josh Miller/CNET

Honda Civic Type R concept

GENEVA -- When we last saw the Honda Civic Type R, it was but a concept with crazy styling and Nurburgring aspirations.

Honda Civic Type R @ Geneva 2015
2 of 29 Antuan Goodwin/CNET

Honda Civic Type R

This week, at the Geneva auto show, Honda's dreams become a reality with the unveiling of the production-ready Honda Civic Type-R.

Honda Civic Type R @ Geneva 2015
3 of 29 Antuan Goodwin/CNET

Honda Civic Type R

The production car retains much of the wild styling of the concept.

Honda Civic Type R @ Geneva 2015
4 of 29 Antuan Goodwin/CNET

Honda Civic Type R

North American drivers are used to seeing Civic sedans and coupes, but the Honda is sold as a hatchback in the European market.

Honda Civic Type R @ Geneva 2015
5 of 29 Antuan Goodwin/CNET

Honda Civic Type R

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.

Honda Civic Type R @ Geneva 2015
6 of 29 Antuan Goodwin/CNET

Honda Civic Type R

Inside the enlarged wheel and tire package, the Type R boasts beefy four-piston Brembo brakes.

Honda Civic Type R @ Geneva 2015
7 of 29 Antuan Goodwin/CNET

Honda Civic Type R

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.

Honda Civic Type R @ Geneva 2015
8 of 29 Antuan Goodwin/CNET

Honda Civic Type R

Behind the Type R badge, you'll find a new 2.0-liter VTEC turbo engine.

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Honda Civic Type R

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.

Honda Civic Type R @ Geneva 2015
10 of 29 Antuan Goodwin/CNET

Honda Civic Type R

This marks the first time that the Type R has been produced with a turbocharged engine.

Honda Civic Type R @ Geneva 2015
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Honda Civic Type R

To help keep the Civic stable as it approaches its top speed of 167 mph, the Type R has been fitted with aerodynamic upgrades.

Honda Civic Type R @ Geneva 2015
12 of 29 Antuan Goodwin/CNET

Honda Civic Type R

The underbody of the R is nearly perfectly flat, which helps to create downforce at speed when combined with the rear diffuser.

Honda Civic Type R @ Geneva 2015
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Honda Civic Type R

A complex rear spoiler sits atop the short rear deck.

Honda Civic Type R @ Geneva 2015
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Honda Civic Type R

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 Civic Type R @ Geneva 2015
15 of 29 Antuan Goodwin/CNET

Honda Civic Type R

Honda designed the spoiler to not add significant drag, so -- while likely significant -- there's probably not a massive amount of downforce.

Honda Civic Type R @ Geneva 2015
16 of 29 Antuan Goodwin/CNET

Honda Civic Type R

A large quad-tipped, dual exhaust exits through the rear diffuser.

Honda Civic Type R @ Geneva 2015
17 of 29 Antuan Goodwin/CNET

Honda Civic Type R

Being a hatchback, the Type R retains the standard model's spacious storage area.

Honda Civic Type R @ Geneva 2015
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Honda Civic Type R

Designed for racing, the Type R also features deeply bolstered racing seats.

Honda Civic Type R @ Geneva 2015
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Honda Civic Type R

This example has been equipped with the optional GT Pack, which adds a few creature comforts to the hardcore hatch.

Honda Civic Type R @ Geneva 2015
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Honda Civic Type R

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.

Honda Civic Type R @ Geneva 2015
21 of 29 Antuan Goodwin/CNET

Honda Civic Type R

The tri-gauge instrument cluster is flanked by a pair of large buttons.

Honda Civic Type R @ Geneva 2015
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Honda Civic Type R

The Engine Start button, well, starts the engine at the beginning of a trip and stops it before the driver exits the vehicle.

Honda Civic Type R @ Geneva 2015
23 of 29 Antuan Goodwin/CNET

Honda Civic Type R

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.

Honda Civic Type R @ Geneva 2015
24 of 29 Antuan Goodwin/CNET

Honda Civic Type R

Digital readouts atop the dashboard give the driver (or more likely, the passenger) a view of what forces the vehicle is experiencing.

Honda Civic Type R @ Geneva 2015
25 of 29 Antuan Goodwin/CNET

Honda Civic Type R

The Type R comes with a six-speed manual transmission.

Honda Civic Type R @ Geneva 2015
26 of 29 Antuan Goodwin/CNET

Honda Civic Type R

Just ahead of the shifter is a serialized plate that marks the vehicle as a Type R.

Honda Civic Type R @ Geneva 2015
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Honda Civic Type R

Honda claims that the new Type R will be the fastest front-drive hot hatch ever.

Honda Civic Type R @ Geneva 2015
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Honda Civic Type R

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.

Honda Civic Type R @ Geneva 2015
29 of 29 Antuan Goodwin/CNET

Honda Civic Type R

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.

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