The Civic Type R has been sold in America for a couple of years now, this after Honda fanboys endlessly groaned about it not being sold here since, well, the first one launched overseas in 1997.
And I should know because I was one of those people saying yeah well [UNKNOWN] and anytime a new S-I hit showrooms.
So the fact that I somehow haven't had a go in the new C-T-R by now has been real painful.
Thankfully that changed today because I'm finally in type R and I'm on a track no less.
What I think, it's supremely engaging for a street car.
Direct steering, immediate turn in, a ton of grip and a slick manual transmission which are all things I loved about Hondas.
The added wrinkle here is the power.
The turbo 4 is megastrong, there's a ton of torque, there's no lag and the car has no problem putting the power down.
It's just disappointing that I've had to wait so long to experience this car after almost everyone else on the Road Show staff has because they've hoarded the loans for themselves, leaving me, the biggest Honda guy on staff, with a Prelude and an S2000 in the garage.
Out in the cold, but whatever the jokes on them because I also get to drive another high-performance Civic today and they're not this would be the other Civic the type R TC our race car.
It's a turnkey racer available from Honda performance development with arrow optimized composite body work and adjustable front splitter.
Hawking rear wing and 18 inch oz wheels.
Inside is all business with the Kromali roll cage, digital cage cluster with data logger, quick release multi function steering wheel, tonal switch panel, racing seat and pedal box and fire extinguisher system.
Of course the suspension is also upgraded for serious track work with olen dampeners.
Heavy Duty front wishbone ball joins the electric power steering, adjustable rear and iRobot in a beefier AP racing brake setup.
The production base two liter turbo charged for solder sees output jump from the street cars 306 horsepower And 295 point [UNKNOWN] approximately 340 horses and 310 pound feet thanks to custom engine mapping to run on 100 octane feel, a larger inner cooler racing cart exhaust and air filter.
Routing pagid to the front wheels is a six speed extracts sequential gearbox which may upset male transmission pierced but as the only way to go when it comes to motor sports for the lowest lap times And out on the shorter but entertaining and challenging track at M1 concourse, this last [UNKNOWN] speedwork prepared car is amazing.
Power is linear throughout the rev range, to be great to hustle it out of corners, and down the half-mile straightaway, accompanied by a properly mean exhaust.
Well, mean for a four cylinder.
Gearbox up and down shifts happen in immediate fashion when you pull back on the steering wheel paddles.
And under breaking the clampers are strong, but require a firmer press of the middle pedal to scrub speed in a hurry.
The most eye-opening aspect is how balanced and well-behaved the front driver is.
With a little bit of heat built up into the Michelin Race Slicks, even around M1's ridiculously tight hairpin, it's a point and shoot affair with the Civic hitting its marks with ease.
Through the high-speed sweeper it just hunkers down and sticks to build speed throughout if you stay on the throttle.
Not like you're supposed to.
But overall, it's a friendly car to wheel around after you get used to the brake pedal and lift off oversteering tendencies that gave me a small crap moment on my second session out.
But gathering up was easy enough.
And I returned it to the trailer safe and sound, much to the delight of team owner, Todd Lamb.
I've driven a lot of wicked things but saddling up in the Civic Type-R TCR is definitely among the coolest ones to-date.
On-track it's proven to be a formidable entry, battling out, in North America, with things like the Audi RS3, Hyundai The Veloster and Volkswagen GTI.
Last season, RealTime Racing won the TCI Drivers Championship with it in the Pro-Am Challenge and this year it's already collected wins in the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge which is a series that this ATL Speedwerks car runs.
But like everything in professional racing, it's expensive.
As in $172,000 expensive for the car off track and extract engine and electrical management support, part service and engineering support for one Shakedown run from HDD.
So the only question left now is, who has the funds to start a race team with With me.