After waiting a few months for the new FL5 Type-R's to ship, our car is finally here and it just so happens to be in the BEST color! I've spent many years with the FK8 and after nearly 50,000 miles of family duty, track days, cross-country road trips and competivie Time Attack events I'm confident that it remains one of the best all around cars money can buy.
Sure, you can spend way more money on a BMW, Mercedes, etc but do you really get more car? I had an F80 M3 for a while and sold it because the FK8 Type R was more enjoyable to drive... it was also nearly half the price.
Now in 2023 Honda has given us a new Type-R Civic to lust over and after just a few hundred miles in it, I can see why it has been awarded so heavily by automotive journalists.
Before I gush over how amazing this car is, let me address the biggest problem with it. The price. When I say the price, I don't mean the MSRP... I'm talking about the price that MOST people will have to pay to get their hands on one of these cars. Being that I purchased this car and had to do my own research and locating to get it meant I crossed paths with a number of sketchy, rude, and downright decieving dealerships and salespeople. It's not the look I'm sure Honda would appreciate, but that is a conversation for another day.
The real issue is that these cars are going to cost $50,000+, unless you're a famous Youtuber that has pull at Honda and gets one at MSRP or less. Most people aren't and will run into the cash grab dealer that wants to make as much money as they can because of the demand. My dealer told me they recieved calls everyday from people trying to buy the car OVER what they agreed to sell it to me for. So the biggest issue I have with this car is that it's going to be really hard for someone to get one and the costs will just be inflated for years.
Now, if you're anything like me, you know what the car is worth and don't mind paying a little more for the privilege to own one of the first model years. From the comments my dealer made, it sounds like a lot of people are willing to do the same. So now that the issue of the mark up is out of the way... what do you really get for (let's say) $50,000?
You get one awesome fucking car.
Right away I can tell the car is built better than the FK8. The way the doors open and close. The panel gaps, the paint... just the overall fit and finish of the car is excellent. I remember driving our brand new FK8 off the dealership lot while the A-pillars rattled and squeaked. As a matter of fact, the interior panels rattled so much I shoved a wadded piece of paper in the crack just to quiet it down. That paper is still there nearly 7 years later.
The seats are top notch. They're comfortable, beautiful and extremely supportive. The car is red, which is the correct color. Unlike the USDM Si model, the Type-R is void of all the red trim and fake carbon pattern plastic. In place you'll find matte black / graphite colors with minimal flash. This is exactly the way it should be since that is what Type-R style is. Special but subtle.
The exterior is wide but smooth. Unlike the knife-edged FK8, the styling is more mature and honestly it looks like a $50,000 car. The 19-inch wheels are better suited for the ride (although I'll have 18s on it soon) and boy does it ride good.
If you go around town in +R mode you will certainly get either a stomach or tooth ache because of how stiff and jarring the ride is. Worry not though as you now have the ability to customize the settings. "Individual" mode lets me drive around in hot rod mode but with the comfort dampers which is perfect. I'm not sure if there is a need for the extreme damper settings, but I'm sure I'll find out when I get this to the track.
The engine's response is more impressive than the suspension. It revs fast and pulls strong all the way to redline. In fact, it pulls so hard that it's tough to take advantage of the speed. You'll certainly break every speed limit in the nation if you juice it through 3rd gear. It's fast.
Not only is the car fast but it's extremely easy to drive. The clutch pedal isn't tough and the engagement is easy to place. Unlike the near-lifeless feeling of the FE1 Civic Si's pedal, the Type-R feels good. It's not GREAT... but it's better than I expected after spending a lot of time in the Si.
I'm excited to put this car through the ringer over the next few months. It will see the track soon as we begin upgrading it. It certainly needs to sound better and I must find a way to turn off the fake induction noise that sounds like a UFO beam everytime you floor it.
Check out some of the FL5 parts we have available now!
Stay tuned for more!