Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Honda Civic Type R 2007 on Singapore Road, Finally !

It arrives Singapore at price around S$105K
While it’s just as exhilarating to drive as the outgoing Civic Type R, the latest high performance version is a more refined ‘superhatch’, with improved comfort levels, integrated styling and handling tuned for enhanced responsiveness and predictability.
The new Civic Type R continues to be powered by the naturally-aspirated, high-revving 2.0-liter DOHC i-VTEC engine but the unit has been significantly reworked to improve responsiveness using a new balancer shaft and drive-by-wire throttle control. VTEC variable valve timing and VTC variable inlet camshaft technology continue to underpin the engine structure.

Further development of the Type R unit means more useable torque, as the switch to high-lift, long duration valve timing (the cam change) now takes place at a lower 5,200 rpm, and continues all the way to 8,000 rpm. So that screaming, high rpm VTEC range is broader and more accessible. To mark the entry to this ‘power band’ a new i-VTEC indicator just to the right of the digital speedometer is illuminated once the revs rise above 5,200 rpm.

Maximum power is now 204 bhp, reached at 8,000 rpm and the car is more responsive generally, while improved aerodynamics ensure the new car cuts through the air more cleanly. Slightly lower gearing compensates for a small increase in kerb weight.

Acceleration figures are expected to be virtually identical to the 6.4-second 0-60 mph time of the outgoing car – and the new car should match its top speed too, powering on to 146 mph.
The chassis of the Civic 5-door – already widely praised for its handling balance – forms the basis for all 3-door models and provides an ideal platform for the Type R.

Building on the Civic Type S suspension, which is fine-tuned for sharper chassis dynamics, the Type R takes those modifications to the next level. Like the Type S, its rear track is almost an inch wider than that of the 5-door model, but otherwise damper, bush and spring characteristics are all unique to Type R.
Broad 225/40 ZR18 tires provide added grip, while a half an inch reduction in ride height further reduces body roll. Firmer steering, a quicker ratio and stiffer steering box mountings all provide pin-sharp responses to steering wheel input, while the fuel tank’s central location beneath the cabin floor helps to lower the center of gravity and reduces the body’s inertia moment.
While the styling of previous Civic Type Rs has almost been an after-thought, the latest car enhances the already-bold appearance of the Civic to build an incredibly assertive look. Seven-spoke 18-inch alloy wheels are fitted as standard and – helped by the car’s low ride height – these tuck neatly under the body colored arches.

The deep front spoiler incorporates a larger air intake to channel air to the induction system, as well as triangular foglamps. There’s no missing the distinct body-colored tailgate rear spoiler, which follows the kick-up line from the rear quarter windows, and provides added down-force. At the front, a black honeycomb mesh grille replaces the glass panel of other Civics, sporting – of course – the infamous red ‘H’ badge.

Inside, it’s all about the driving experience. Front seats are racing-style buckets with large black Alcantara bolsters and red stitching, red fabric seat cushions and backs. The seat bench in the back repeats the same color combination.Also available will be a fully-equipped GT version, with additional features such as cruise control, dual zone air conditioning, fog lights, automatic lights and wipers and curtain SRS bags. A voice-activated, state-of-the-art navigation system is offered as an option.

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