Honda announced that the recently updated 2020 Civic Type R will be put on sale on February 28, 2020 at a starting price of $36,995. For 2020, the refreshed Type R received an updated exterior and interior styling, standard Honda Sensing® safety and driver-assistive technology, and a stunning new Boost Blue exterior color.
Like the 2020 Civic Hatchback on which it’s based, the 2020 Civic Type R receives updates to the front and rear bumpers with the addition of body-colored accents to the bumper cutouts. Additionally, Type R gets a new grille design with a 13-percent-larger opening that along with an updated radiator core delivers improved engine cooling in high-demand situations, such as track use, with a decrease in coolant temperature of up to 18° F in testing. In a testament to Type R engineers’ attention to detail, a small reduction in front downforce resulting from the new larger grille opening was countered by a redesigned front spoiler under the bumper, which was made slightly deeper on the left and right sides and modified to include new ribbed sections on each end to deflect air back onto the spoiler.
The suspension for the 2020 Civic Type R has also been updated for more responsive and sharper handling. The Adaptive Damper System’s control software now evaluates road conditions 10 times faster, resulting in improved damper reactions for both better handling response and ride quality. The rear bushings for the lower B-arm have been stiffened, resulting in better toe-in characteristics when cornering. In front, updated compliance bushings (10 percent stiffer longitudinally) and new lower-friction ball joints result in sharper steering feel for better control.
For improved brake performance with better fade resistance as well as reduced unsprung weight, the Type R’s single-piece front brake rotors are replaced by new two-piece rotors gripped by brake pads with a new more fade-resistant pad material. From the cockpit, the brake pedal benefits from a more immediate feel with approximately 17 percent less play before the brakes engage. In addition, the new front brake system reduces total unsprung weight by about 5 pounds (2.5 lbs. at each front wheel) to aid both ride and handling performance.
Inside, the 2020 Civic Type R gets a new Alcantara™-wrapped steering wheel, a new shift lever with a restyled knob and sueded shift boot. The new knob shape is reminiscent of previous Type R models, including the original 1997 Civic Type R. Part of the knob’s design is a 90g counterweight built inside, which helps improves shift feel and accuracy.
Also new for the 2020 model year is the addition of Active Sound Control (ASC). Working through the audio system’s speakers, ASC is tuned to enhance engine sound in a natural way, during aggressive driving in all driving modes.
Debuting for the first time in any Honda automobile is a new performance datalogger, exclusive to Type R. Known as Honda LogR™, the new datalogger combines the Type R’s onboard computer and sensors with a smartphone app to help drivers monitor and record a variety of performance parameters when driving on the track or other closed courses. It’s also designed to help improve their driving skills through the use of a driving-smoothness algorithm developed with the help of professional Honda drivers. With exclusive access to the Type R’s onboard computer, Honda LogR can deliver much more detail than third-party performance logging apps.
Expected this spring, the LogR app is designed to work exclusively with the 2020 (and newer) Type R, for both iPhone® and Android™ users.
Honda LogR features three main functions: a Performance Monitor, a Log Mode, and Auto Score Mode. The Performance Monitor provides vehicle information to the driver on the Display Audio screen while the app is functioning. Log Mode records lap times on the track, allowing drivers to improve their driving skills. The Auto Score function encourages smooth driving by monitoring braking, acceleration and steering, and generating a score based on the smoothness algorithm.
While driving, all interaction with Honda LogR is through the Display Audio screen, but Log Mode and Auto Score both offer more in-depth analysis after driving when the phone is unplugged from the vehicle, including previous drives, performance traces and replays using maps, and detailed vehicle information.
When connected to the app-equipped smartphone, the Type R’s 7-inch center screen displays a Performance Monitor, which allows the driver to see vehicle functions in real time, including coolant and oil temperatures, oil and atmospheric pressures, engine intake air temperature, and gear position.
Drivers can also choose between a “G-Meter” view that indicates acceleration, braking, and cornering G-forces on a “bowl” graph, or a “3D” view that provides a bird’s-eye visual of the car’s pitch, roll and yaw, similar to what one might see in a high-end racing video game. Additionally, the Display Audio screen shows the current drive mode (Comfort, Sport or +R).
Log Mode is designed to help drivers achieve the best possible lap times on the track. The program uses GPS to monitor and map the vehicle’s location and the car’s internal sensors to gather data on acceleration, braking, cornering Gs, and other parameters. The app encourages smooth, controlled driving through the use of a color-coded trace of each lap, with green, yellow, and red colors indicating progression. The goal is to encourage smooth use of the clutch, shifter, steering, brakes and accelerator, keeping the car in balance, and thus improving overall driving skills, not just the skills required for a particular track. Users can save their lap times to compare their improvement over time.
The Auto Score function operates whenever the Honda LogR app is in use, monitoring the driver’s behavior over time by tracking inputs for acceleration, deceleration, and steering (cornering and straight driving), and generating a score for each. It also generates a combination score of those four parameters. The score is generated against the same pro-driver baseline that is built into the app and used in the Log Mode function. Similar to the Log Mode, Auto Score also keeps a historical record that ties in with the GPS function to show driving improvement over time.
ENHANCED SAFETY AND DRIVER ASSISTIVE TECHNOLOGIES
Every 2020 Civic Type R will be equipped with the Honda Sensing® suite of safety and driver-assistive technologies, making the Honda Sensing® suite standard equipment on all Civic models and trims. Honda Sensing® on Type R includes Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC), Collision Mitigation Braking System™ (CMBS™) incorporating Forward Collision Warning (FCW), Lane Keeping Assist System (LKAS) and Road Departure Mitigation (RDM) incorporating Lane Departure Warning (LDW). Additionally, all Honda Civic models receive automatic high beams as part of their Honda Sensing® package.
The 2020 Honda Civic Type R also features a long list of standard active and passive safety features, including Vehicle Stability Assist™ (VSA®) with traction control, driver and passenger front and side airbags, side-curtain airbags with rollover sensor, Electronic Brake Distribution (EBD), Brake Assist and Honda’s next-generation Advanced Compatibility Engineering™ (ACE™) body structure. Civic Type R also features a multi-angle rearview camera with guidelines as standard equipment.
Under the hood, the 2020 Civic Type R continues to draw power from a race-bred 2.0-liter direct-injected and turbocharged 4-cylinder engine with VTEC™ valvetrain putting out a peak 306-horsepower and 295 lb.-ft. of torque (both SAE net), with power to the front wheels delivered through a close-ratio 6-speed manual transmission and limited-slip differential. As before, drivers can choose between three driving modes – Comfort, Sport and +R – that vary damping force, steering assist, and throttle mapping. The Type R’s selectable drive modes and sophisticated design make it both a thrilling companion on a mountain road or a racetrack and a remarkably civilized daily driver with a degree of flexibility unmatched in its competitive set, especially at the price.