2020 Honda Civic Type R Loaded with Upgraded Motor Sport and Safety for Street and Track

Refreshed 2020 Honda Civic Type-R Revealed Photo Attributes: AHMC 2020

First Look, U.S. Auto Press reveal: 2020 Honda Civic Type R comes to the U.S. market loaded with upgraded motor sport and safety upgrades. Yet, outside of the ‘Boost Blue’ body paint scheme, and a mild re-do of Civic’s iconic 3-D grill design, little would appear to have changed for Honda’s quickest production car, Yet, there’s more to Civic Type R then initially meets the eye. We take a closer look at the hottest hatchback in the segment. Well, I’m impressed.

Honda Civic Type-R Brings Extreme Motor Sport Safety to Street and Track

For those of you who read your Honda news and reviews here, it won’t come as a surprise that I’m a bit bullish on the 2nd generation Civic Type-R; actually the first production Civic to wear the iconic Type-R designation in the United States. The former was the manufactured in Japan, Acura Integra Type R; A great car for the day, but not in the same turbocharged performance class as the current Civic Type-R.

Introduced to North America in late 2016 as a very limited production street and track ready performance hatchback, the manufactured in England Civic Type-R remained largely unchanged until now. Read Early Honda Type-R history here.

Civic Type-R Drive experience

2017 Civic Type R (European Version) AHMC 2017

Thanks to our friends at American Honda, we’ve enjoyed road and track time in Civic Type R. We drive Civic Type-R through the California Redwoods here. But initially, while a unique, edgy looking and comfortable track ready street offering, Civic Type-R was missing a feature or two as pioneered by Honda in the compact sport segment. That all changes for the better in 2020 with the addition of several performance upgrades and a major standard equipped safety feature.

Here’s the short list: Seriously, don’t throw your earlier Civic Type-R in the crusher. But, there’s a notable upgrade or two for 2020 that will be appreciated by those who demand a bit more comfort and safety from their track-ready daily commuter. Honda engineering presents improved rear suspension dampening for overall ride comfort; while stiffer rear bushings insure a stickier handling dynamic for greater control at high speeds.

Reduced brake fade at high speeds

For model year 2020 an already exceptional brake system is improved with upgraded two-piece brake rotors and brake pads. The purpose here is to reduce high speed brake fade. I’ve taken Civic Type-R way north of 100 MPH, and haven’t experienced noticeable brake fade. So, I’ll make the bold assumption that the brake system upgrade is intended for the Track.

Up front we discover an improved suspension dynamic most noticeable at higher speeds: again, Type-R is designed to dive aggressively under all road and weather conditions. And, with 306 horsepower and 295 ft-lb at hand, getting there is not a problem!

Honda SENSING now standard equipment for Type-R

Civic_Type_R _Driver's _Seat
The best driver’s seat in the segment Photo Attribute: Parks McCants 2017

I’m not sure how Honda does it. But for 2020, Civic Type-R will come standard equipped with Honda SENSING, Honda’s award winning driver assist and safety suite. I’ll assume the safety suite includes adaptive cruise control as demonstrated on the streets of Los Angeles. Also, the 2.0 Liter direct injected 4 cylinder VTEC gasoline engine will run cooler under high speeds thanks to the redesigned grill.

New Colors and more

Beyond the addition of a new color, Boost Blue, as pictured in our headline, electronic active sound control, or in this case, cab sound injection, will increase and decrease engine generated exhaust tones to the inside of the cabin in relationship to the drive mode elected. Pretty cool stuff! As of this posting Honda has not published MSRP for the refreshed 2020 Civic Type-R. I’ll keep you up to date as news breaks here.

Amazing 2018 Honda Civic Type-R Production Video

Civic_Type_R_Redwoods
2017 Civic Type_R takes on Redwood Country

2018 Civic Type-R is the quickest production front-wheel-drive high performance hatchback on the road today, how long does it take to build one? The short answer is 4-hours. But there’s a lot more to the process than bolting a few hundred components together. Watch the 2018 Honda Civic Type-R production Video, and be amazed.

This week I posted an article in Honda-Torque News, where Jason Richmond, AKA HondaPro Jason Video records the build of his personal 2018 Civic Type-R hatchback from paint booth to final assembly and drive-off. IN the Video Jason visits Honda U.K.’s Swindon, England production facility — one of the largest automotive assembly plants in the U.K.. For anyone that’s ventured into custom car building,the process is a bit of a mind blower. The 4-hour build process is nothing short of amazing.

Every Honda Hatchback sold in America is built in Swindon

The multiple variant production line raises an interesting question: With several variants of the 10th generation platformed Honda hatchback rolling sown the same production line, how often does a specific component find its way into the wrong car? Interestingly enough, not often! Thanks to advanced robotics parts and component sorting, the possibility of your Civic Type-R coming off the line with a misplaced part or two is not likely. Also, in watching Jason’s Video, we note assembly technician teams working from a detailed ‘build lists.’

Your Honda News was informed that Honda Type-R production will top out at less than 5,000 units per year world-wide, a darn rare Honda. To put that low production number into perspective, 350,000 Honda Civics will be sold in the United States in 2018.

Highly automated production ensures an affordable 2018 Civic Type-R

Honda’s method of systematic assembly is impressive. Beginning with the prime and painted manufactured safety cage (shell) the subject car moves down the production line, never remaining at one assembly station for longer than 60 seconds or so. Parts and components are transferred to assembly stations by robotic arm and magnetic-tracked electric bib-cart.

From time to time, you’ll view a Honda associate gathering a wiring harness or trim component by hand, but not often. Honda Civic Type-R is assembled from the rear forward. And, the doors remain off of the subject car for the majority of the manufacturing process, for ease of assembly and paint-preservation. This highly automated production line keeps the MSRP of Honda’s hottest performance hatchback bellow $34,000 or so in the United States.

Civic Type-R 2.0 L Turbocharged engine and FWD differential, is one unit

The last major component to join the nearly completed Type-R chassis is the front-wheel-drive engine and trans-axle sub-frame. Civic Type-R is assembled from the rear to the front, and from the inside out. After the engine and trans-axle sub frame is bolted into place, complete with Brembo Brake assembly, active dampening struts, shocks, and steering assembly — next up is the radiator, inner cooler, front-wrap, bumper, etc. Civic Type-R comes together with the help of hundreds of associates on the floor of a 3,000,000 s.ft. manufacturing facility. What’s Jason up to?

A cool foot note: Civic Type-R’s 2.0L direct injected, single scroll, turbocharged 4 cylinder gasoline engine is manufactured in The U.S., and shipped to Swindon for assembly. As our freind HondaPro Jason would say: “How cool is that.”

Track and street time behind the wheel of Civic Type-R

Looking beyond 2018 Honda Civic type-R’s 3016 horsepower engine, and limited slip differential sits a fine multiple task-ready high performance touring hatchback. Sure, Civic Type-R is track ready out of the showroom. But I prefer Civic Type-R on the street. You can read about my latest Civic Type-R adventure here.

We head on down to Fort Umpqua Days in 2017 Honda Ridgeline Pickup

Fall is a great time for driving the back roads of western Oregon. The weather borders on perfection and is generally dry, cool in the mornings, warm in the afternoon, and breezy. Last Labor Day Weekend, we headed down to “Fort Umpqua Days,” with Ms Nancy King. Frankly, she wasn’t eager to vacate the driver’s seat of 2017 Ridgeline, and headed south on the old Territorial Highway toward Drain, Oregon.

V6 powered, fuel-efficient, easy handling

In talking with Ridgeline development engineers, as shared with Torque News, Honda’s only pickup truck offering is designed with the part-time pickup truck user in mind. Our 2017 Ridgeline Black Edition comes fully equipped with every bell and whistle in Honda’s arsenal, including HondaWatch ™, active safety suite, standard multi directional back up camera, power adjusted, cooled and heated driver and front passenger seat, leather trim, and black anodized exterior trim details. You will find full specifications here.

For night driving, our Ridgeline comes equipped with LED self dimming headlights, high visibility running and tail lights. Sinister by day, congenial by night, Ridgeline proves an exceptional multiple task master, tough yet accommodatingly posh — in a pickup truck sort of way.

The best seats in the Honda lineup

I realize that what constitutes “best” is a very personal assessment. Yet, our Ridgeline pickup with just a bit under 4,000 miles showing on the odometer, presented the most comfortable seat that I’d encountered behind the wheel of a Honda or Acura for that matter, over several years of short and extended vehicle drive review.

2017_ridgeline_interior

It may simply be relative to my personal size, weight, body condition, etc, I don’t know, but I’m very impressed, so was Nancy! In short, 6 foot 5 inches tall, and 5 foot 6 inches tall, both found 2017 Honda Ridgeline infinitely adjustable, medium soft as to ride quality, without being squirrely, and powerful enough as to engine performance.

Interior sensory perception

Ridgelines interior is pleasing to the eye and touch, and while a bit plastic-rich, does present a nice balance of utility meets refinement. I  further appreciate the ergonomically correct layout of Ridgeline’s center stack touchscreen monitor, instrumentation and i-MID. We both found Ridgeline personal electronic connectivity to work seamlessly, as did the Garmin based navigation.

2017_honda_ridgeline-2

And of course, the backup camera as displayed through the monitor produced images of clarity, although a bit grainy at night!  The leather seating in our black edition is nicely detailed with muted red piping seating surface inserts,   and perforated for heating and cooling. I further found the fit and finish as to material interface exceptional.

Engine exhaust tone, shift patterns, cab noise, and more

I truly appreciate the throaty exhaust tone of Honda’s mechanically bulletproof 3.5 Liter V6. Our Ridgeline test mule is equipped with “Econ mode.” and at the touch of the button will seamlessly transition to 3 cylinders when driving at speed on the highway.

Honda employs the 6 speed automatic transmission across the lineup with torque transfer duty relegated to either a FWD ( front-wheel-drive) differential or optional “Intelligent Variable Torque Management,” VTM 4, AWD (all-wheel-drive.)

For 2017 all Ridgeline trucks come equipped with a push button “dedicated traction mode,” We discovered it initially in the all new Honda Pilot. Bottom line: Ice, Mud, Snow, no problem! But for us on this mostly dry day (we did encounter a raindrop or two,) Ridgeline proved a no fatigue drive and ride experience, despite an 8 hour, 400 mile drive day, on mostly two lane rural roads. Like I said, Ridgeline is quiet, smooth and fun to drive.

2017_honda_ridgeline_dash

23.9 MPG combined real world fuel efficiency

On a day rural two lane, highway and gravel road transitions, on the flat and through the mountains, our 2017 Honda Ridgeline Black Edition, as fully loaded as you can find one, averaged 25.7 MPG combined on regular unleaded gasoline — we didn’t baby it!  And yes, we did encounter more than one conventional pickup truck owner that appreciate the almost sinister look of Honda’s latest and greatest offering.

In conclusion

I recommend 2017 Honda Ridgeline Pickup to anyone considering a new truck purchase, or wishing to eliminate a car or two from the stable, while opting for a vehicle that presents truck toughness, crew cab, SUV-like utility and premium Accord-like interior comfort and quiet. For those of you living in regions that don’t require AWD traction, take a look at the all new FWD(front wheel drive) Ridgeline with a beginning MSRP of $29,475 to $42,870 +.

nancy_parks_2016

What I’d change

Truthfully, not much. However, for dedicated off-road use, I’d personally like to find a bit more ground clearance, specifically up front. I talked a bit with Honda engineering as to a possible air-suspension option, it could be done. Also, a few more inches in truck bed length and rear door seat access  would be appreciated. But then it wouldn’t be a Honda Ridgeline.

2017 Honda Ridgeline is the makers greatest achievement to date on the road to reinventing their entire line.

An unprecedented week for American Honda Motors

The HondaJet returns from a night-time function and reliability test at Cobb County International Airport in Atlanta.
The HondaJet returns from a night-time function and reliability test at Cobb County International Airport in Atlanta.

We’ll take 3!

For the 2nd week in December American Honda Motors was honored by finalist  consideration of 2016 Honda Civic and 2016 Honda Pilot for the prestigious “North American Car and Truck of the Year” honors.

I’ve had the privilege of experiencing some extended pre-production quality seat time in both vehicles, with a follow up extended drive and review of the all new 2016 Pilot.

Find my latest article from Honda-Torque News here

In other news, U.S. based Honda Aircraft Company was awarded “Type Certification” from the Federal Aviation Administration for the designed and built in the U.S.A. Hondajet. 3 decades in the making, Hondajet is the quickest and most fuel efficient 6-place corporate jet in its segment.

My congratulations go to American Honda Motors. Well done!

Parks.