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Honda Civic Type-R (2006): first official pictures

By Dimitri Pesin

First Official Pictures

14 September 2006 07:12

The lowdown

Honda's ultimate Civic – the Type-R – is unveiled today (Thursday 14). Set to go on UK sale in March 2007 for around £18,000, this Type-R attempts to mate the outgoing hot hatch's high-revving, wild child drivetrain with a more mellow driving experience – when the mood takes you. Indeed, Honda is billing the new car as a 'refined superhatch', a concept Ford and VW have nailed successfully with the Focus ST and Golf GTi. The Type-R is no quicker than its predecessor, but it looks radically different, following the grafting of a butch bodykit onto the cooking hatch's already sci-fi styling.

Design: if aliens did cosmetic surgery

The boggo Civic is eye-catching; in Type-R guise, it's eye-watering. The body has been extended in every direction, by deep sills and bumpers with pouting lips. Mesh packs out the vents, with the nose ditching its plastic lens bar for a contoured grille seemingly modelled on mediaeval chainmail. At the rear, the triangular exhaust ports remain but a vast wing crowns the funky screen. The body hunkers down 15mm lower over the 18-inch wheels, packing out the arches beautifully. Honda admits that the styling of the last Type-R was an afterthought, but the designers have made amends with the new generation. All Type-Rs will have three doors.