DRIVE: HONDA CIVIC FD2 TYPE R
August 2012| Review by: Ashraf Parker. |
the house at the crack of dawn is not an easy task, expecially
in this weather..So the reason for this little excursion must
have been pretty darn good. Thankfully, checking out the only
Civic Type R sedan in South Africa was reason enough to get any
petrolhead, especially those in Cape Town, out of bed at any hour.
A legendary brand, a cult of loyal followers - mention the Type
R to any man on the street who knows about cars, and you'll earn
eventually rendezvoused with the owner and had a chance to feast
our eyes on it. First impressions were that it has a very purposeful
design with smooth lines. From the low profile 18" wheels,
massive brembo brakes, large exhaust tailpipe - you just know
that this car was meant to get you (and your family of 4) places...quickly.
It still maintains the space and practicality of the regular civic
sedan model though.
As standard the FD2 Type R has 165kw, and 215Nm of torque. While
it has a normal Mcpherson strut suspension in the front, a double
wishbone suspension system is fitted to the rear for improved
handling in racing conditions.
The interior is a bit more "Type R", with a sporty gearknob
and dash, and red materials all over.
import even came with a japanese sat nav and entertainment unit
still stuck in Osaka Harbour somewhere!
After spending some time taking photos, we got the chance to drive
it as well. Here are our impressions:
- Style and Practicality (5/5):
Because the standard civic layout and design is maintained, it's
got a large boot, space for 3 people in the back and a full house
of interior features. It also looks the part, with a nice boot
spoiler and body kit, white 18" wheels and red Brembo brake
calipers - Instantly recognisable from anything else on the road.
- Performance (4/5): It has one of the most glorious
sounds ever when being driven hard, and the throttle response
is really good. Gear changes are slick and it feels like you are
driving a car with a race setup engine. It just screams for more!
There is however a lack of out and out grunt - major hot hatches
would probably trump this car in straight line performance.
- Handling (5/5): This is where the Type R punches
way above it's class. From the tight steering wheel motion, to
the rear wishbone suspension, it inspires cornering at high speeds.
It’s lap times at the Killarney circuit match those of class
A GTi Challenge race cars.
- Comfort (2/5): That double wishbone suspension
is a double edged sword - while on the one hand you get awesome
handling, it will also result in frequent passengers having back
problems...you feel every bump, stone and hole in the road. While
the driver will always have a grin on his/her face, the passengers
will be a little more concerned about their chiropractic health
after a few journeys.
In conclusion then. A 4 door performance sedan with tear jerking
performance, but a suspension that is just a bit too hard for
our Cape Town roads. One of those scenarios where your heart says
yes...but your head says no. But make no mistake - if these models
ever come to South Africa, there will be more than enough buyers
with happy hearts.