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First Drive: 2017 Honda Civic Type-R

Honda aims to rule the "hot hatch" category.

by on Jun.14, 2017

The 2017 Honda Civic Type-R finally reaches U.S. showrooms after a two-decade wait.

Pity the poor American driver. Sure, they have plenty of options to choose from, but many of the most intriguing alternatives haven’t made it into U.S. showrooms. Until recently, that included some of the most exciting offerings in the hot hatch segment, like the Ford Focus RS and the Honda Civic Type-R.

We’ll have to wait a bit longer to get our hands on the Blue Oval’s entry, but we had the good fortune to spend a long weekend in Montreal, first sitting back to watch the annual Formula 1 Grand Prix and then logging some track time of our own behind the wheel of the Type-R, the first version of the Honda five-door rocket ever to reach the U.S. market.

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The latest and last entry into the largest line-up of Civic alternatives ever, the Type-R is also the most powerful, delivering a blistering 306 horsepower to the front wheels. From first glance, the five-door is also the most audacious, with the sort of aero treatment you’d expect on something specifically designed for the track. But it’s all functional, and despite some concerns about Honda’s decision to stay with a front, rather than all-wheel-drive layout, it all magically comes together. And with a starting price as much as $5,000 less than key competitors, this hot hatch seems destined to become a hot ticket. (more…)