Each Restricted Version is painted Phoenix Yellow.

Steven Ewing/Roadshow

The Civic Sort R Restricted Version is a screamin’ little scorching hatch that is a critical observe weapon. Lighter and sharper than a regular Sort R, this small-batch Honda can outrun sports activities vehicles costing twice as a lot, and better of all, none of this added efficiency comes on the expense of daily-driving consolation.

Like

Sharp steeringExcellent front-end gripLots of creature comforts

Do not Like

Outdated infotainment techExpensive improve

A fast historical past lesson: After the Sort R launched in 2017, Honda used it to set a blistering 7-minute, 43.8-second lap of the Nürburgring Nordschleife, making this Civic the quickest front-wheel-drive manufacturing automotive to run the notorious German course. However then the Renault Megane RS Trophy-R got here alongside and trounced the Sort R’s document, beating the Civic by 4 complete seconds. When the Sort R Restricted Version debuted within the before-times of early 2020, a Honda govt informed me it was born out of the need to reclaim that FWD scorching lap title. And following the Sort R LE’s latest document lap on the Suzuka Circuit in Japan — the place it beat the Megane Trophy-R, by the best way — Honda’s assured the ‘Ring crown will quickly belong to the Civic as soon as once more. 

So as to shed time whereas shredding laps, Honda opted to chop weight slightly than enhance energy. The Restricted Version’s 2.0-liter turbo I4 carries over from the bottom Sort R unchanged, producing 306 horsepower at 6,500 rpm and 295 pound-feet of torque at 2,500 rpm. The 2021 LE’s six-speed guide transmission, limited-slip differential, suspension {hardware} and Brembo entrance brakes are all similar to these on the 2020 Sort R, too.

As a substitute, Honda reduce 50 kilos out of the US-spec Civic Sort R by deleting the rear wiper, eradicating the cargo cowl, becoming lighter-weight BBS wheels and eradicating a complete bunch of sound-deadening materials — 28 kilos price, actually. That “US-spec” qualification is essential, by the best way; Restricted Version fashions offered in different markets drop an extra 30 kilos because of the elimination of the audio system and air con.

Now, earlier than you bitch in regards to the US not getting the total Restricted Version light-weight expertise, this is one other historical past lesson: When Honda launched the track-ready S2000 CR in 2007, the radio and air con have been non-compulsory, however solely a super-duper-small share of People ordered the CR this fashion. So except you are planning to make use of your private CTRLE to set a lap document, which you are not, possibly simply crank some tunes and benefit from the cool breeze of your AC. People all the time assume they need a stripped-out automotive till they really must dwell with it.

A set of forged-aluminum BBS wheels lowers the Sort R’s weight by 18 kilos.

Honda

As a result of it is lighter, the Restricted Version has barely completely different adaptive damping and digital steering calibrations than a regular Sort R. The dampers hold the Civic managed whereas accounting for the trimmer physique, and after driving a Restricted Version again to again with a Sort R Touring on observe, the steering tweaks are actually noticeable. Flip-in is far sharper with faster response, however there’s nonetheless tons of really feel and suggestions by means of the wheel. I am into it.

Off the observe, the adjustments are much less apparent, however nonetheless appreciated. You may really feel the sharper turn-in, however the retuned adaptive damper settings do not actually alter (learn: destroy) the Sort R’s trip high quality within the metropolis or on the freeway. Truthfully, the Restricted Version simply helps reinforce what makes the Civic Sort R so nice to start with: A lot of turbo energy, a slick-shifting six-speed stick and an extremely succesful front-wheel-drive setup. This all makes for a critically chuckable little scorching hatch. The Sort R has all the time been a giant-slayer — you’ll be able to chase down Porsche 911s on mountain roads all day lengthy — and the Restricted Version is not any completely different.

The shortage of sound-deadening materials does end in much more cabin noise, however it’s not that massive of a deal. Snug and properly appointed as it might be, the usual Civic Sort R is not precisely a serene freeway cruiser, so I do not assume most individuals will discover the added roar from the wind and tires.

This little factor’s a riot.

Steven Ewing/Roadshow

So far as creature comforts are involved, the Restricted Version has all the pieces you will discover on the traditional Sort R Touring. The game seats are as supportive as they’re soft and a 7-inch central touchscreen has embedded navigation in addition to Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility. You get a complete mess of driver-assistance options, too, together with forward-collision warning, lane-departure warning, lane-keeping help and adaptive cruise management. The one factor that is lacking? Heated seats. Nonetheless. Sigh.

Honda will construct 1,000 examples of the Civic Sort R Restricted Version for world distribution, with 600 obtainable within the US. They’re all painted Phoenix Yellow and could have a serialized plaque on the sprint.

With a $44,950 price ticket (together with $955 for vacation spot), the Restricted Version prices $6,500 greater than the 2021 Sort R Touring. That is seemingly straightforward sufficient for a critical fanboy, collector or observe rat to swing, and as is the case with all Sort R-badged Hondas
, the 600 US-spec vehicles will certainly be offered briefly order. Fortunately, the Sort R Touring provides 98% of the expertise, so if you cannot snag one of many Restricted Editions, there’s nonetheless loads of scorching hatch greatness to go round.

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