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Honda Civic Type R 2023 Malaysia: This 315hp hot hatch costs RM400,000

Honda Civic Type R 2023 Malaysia: This 315hp hot hatch costs RM400,000

Honda Malaysia is keeping the ball rolling with the introduction of the new Civic Type R. — Pictures by SoyaCincau

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 28 — Having launched the WR-V and facelifted City this year, Honda Malaysia is keeping the ball rolling with the introduction of the new Civic Type R. Codenamed FL5, the hot hatch is based on the latest 11th-generation Civic but exists on a different performance plane altogether, as expected of a car wearing the hallowed red H badge.

Honda Civic Type R 2023 Malaysia price

The Honda Civic Type R has seen a sizeable jump in price over the outgoing FK8, which retailed at RM330,002. The latest one costs a whopping RM399,900 on-the-road without insurance, an increase of nearly RM70,000. A five-year, unlimited-mileage warranty is included with every purchase, as is five times free labour for servicing within the first five years or 100,000km.

For 2023, Honda Malaysia is bringing in 19 units, with the buyers being decided through ballot. Unlike the regular Civic, which is assembled locally in Pegoh, Melaka, the Type R comes fully imported from Honda’s Saitama plant in Japan. Just one colour, the iconic Championship White, is offered in Malaysia.

Honda Civic Type R 2023 performance

As before, the Civic Type R is powered by the venerable K20C1 2.0-litre VTEC Turbo four-cylinder petrol engine, which receives a more efficient turbocharger, a revamped ECU, a lighter flywheel and a freer-breathing exhaust. Power is up 7kW (9hp) to 235kW (315hp), while torque has seen a 20Nm jump to 420Nm. The Malaysian-market model has been detuned slightly—due to fuel quality differences—from the one sold in Japan and Europe, where the Type R makes 243kW (325hp).

All this is sent to the front wheels through a six-speed manual transmission, the only gearbox option available. To keep torque steer to a minimum, the Civic Type R retains its dual-axis front suspension—now featuring new lower arms for increased camber rigidity—along with a limited-slip differential. You also get retuned adaptive dampers, a heavily revamped electric power steering system and a significantly wider rear track.

Revised Brembo brakes with red callipers—linked to a new master cylinder—hide behind 19-inch alloy wheels that are an inch smaller than the FK8’s. They are wrapped in bespoke 265/30R19 Michelin Pilot Sport 4 S tyres. All this allows the Civic Type R to lap the fearsome Nürburgring Nordschleife in 7 minutes 44.881 seconds, a record for a front-wheel-drive production car (albeit achieved with stickier Pilot Sport Cup 2 rubber).

Sleeker, more aerodynamic design

The FL5 builds on the 11th-generation Civic’s more mature styling, losing the FK8’s sharp lines. Instead, the new car cuts a sleeker figure, highlighted by the muscular fenders that are now fully integrated into the body. These are vented at the front to reduce wheelhouse air pressure.

Cooling was a major bugbear on the FK8, so the new Type R gets a larger front grille and air intake to feed the large intercooler, while a new extractor vent in the bonnet—now made of lightweight aluminium—dissipates heat and reduces front lift. At the rear, you’ll find a much wider wing that increases downforce in concert with the large diffuser, the latter housing the distinctive triple exhausts. Overall, Honda is quoting a 12% reduction in drag compared to the FK8.

Inside, the Type R shares the same basic dashboard layout as the rest of the Civic lineup, with higher-quality materials and a honeycomb full-width air-con vent design. Unique to the Type R is the suede upholstery, which adorns the steering wheel and the red lightweight sports seats—now mounted 8mm lower. You also get a numbered plaque on the dash, stainless steel pedals and a teardrop-shaped aluminium gearknob, while the carpets are now red, evoking the legendary EK9 Civic Type R.

New LogR performance monitor including lap timer

As with other models in the Civic lineup, the Type R features a nine-inch centre touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. A new LogR performance monitor allows drivers to keep track of various vehicular metrics, including G-forces, engine, water and oil temperatures, and even the maximum grip available on all four tyres.

There’s also a lap timer that logs the aforementioned metrics, while a new scoring system helps drivers improve their performance on track. All this data is either stored in the vehicle or uploaded to the cloud—where they can be accessed via the Honda LogR 2.0 app. The latter is available on the Apple App Store and Google Play Store.

Elsewhere, the Type R gets a fully digital 10.25-inch instrument display with a unique Type R screen when put into the +R drive mode, along with shift lights at the top. Speaking of which, the available drive modes have been bolstered with a new Individual setting, allowing users to customise features like throttle response, damper stiffness and steering feedback.

Other toys carried over from the regular Civic are keyless entry with walk-away auto lock, remote engine start, a slim keycard, dual-zone climate control, active noise cancellation, a Qi wireless charger and eight speakers. The new Type R is also the first in Malaysia to come with the Honda Sensing suite of driver assists, including adaptive cruise control and lane centring assist for Level 2 semi-autonomous driving. — SoyaCincau