It’s been a long time coming but the definitive production version of the Civic Type R looks well worth the wait.
The first-ever turbocharged Type R bowed at the Geneva motor show overnight and its maker claims to have created the most powerful and fastest front-driven model ever to be sold.
The all-new 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine, which retains Honda’s time-honoured VTEC technology, produces official output figures of 231kW at 6500rpm and 400Nm at 2500rpm, though redline is indicated at 7000rpm.
While purists will bemoan the loss of Type R’s screaming naturally aspirated characteristics, turbocharging affords engine performance more aligned with the world’s output-benchmarking small capacity units.
Heroic power yields equally impressive performance claims: the new Civic Type R is said to hit 100km/h from a standstill in just 5.7 seconds on its way to a top speed of 270km/h.
It will be offered exclusively with a six-speed manual gearbox.
Of course, spirited handling and keenly focused dynamics engineering are Type R hallmarks, with the hottest new hatch on the block introducing a suspension tweak called Dual Axis Strut.
Similar to Ford’s RevoKnuckle system, the Type R’s strut-based front end benefits from additional steering knuckle designed to cut torque steer by 50 percent over the regular Civic design.
Torque regulation across the front axle is aided by a mechanical limited-slip differential.
Steering is electrically assisted but the tune is bespoke for the Type R model, while the version showcased at Geneva also has adaptive suspension dampers.
The striking bodywork has also been revised since the Civic Type R concept appeared at last year’s international motor shows, its aero addenda said to be wind tunnel honed to produce positive rear downforce and high-speed stability.
Rolling stock comes with 235/35 tyres wrapped around 19-inch wheels, while the front brake package comprises 350mm cross-drilled discs and four-piston Brembo calipers.
The interior is familiar Type R territory: fabric-trimmed race-style bucket seats, lashings of red highlights and, of course, a signature aluminium gear knob.
Word on the Geneva floor is the Japanese concern is aiming to eclipse the quickest front-driver record around the Nordschleife from the Megane RS 275 Trophy R and the hot Civic will need to better 7min 54sec in order to do so.
Closer to home, the Civic Type R is expected to go on sale some time in 2016, though exact timing at this stage is pure speculation.
Get your free weekly report from the world of fast cars - subscribe to the MOTOR newsletter!