PUNCHY AND ROOMY
“The new Honda Civic makes its debut, sporting 1.0-litre and 1.5-litre turbocharged engines, and an all-new platform,” writes Anthony Ingram for Evo.
“Styled by Daisuke Tsutamori, the latest Civic’s shape was penned with European tastes specifically in mind. It’s better-proportioned than before, thanks to a 30mm wider, 130mm longer body, while it’s also 20mm lower.LED daytime running lights are of course present and correct, and higher-spec versions will have full LED headlights too.”
The new shape “liberates more interior volume, and despite the new rear suspension setup boot space has barely decreased, from 487 to 478 litres.
“The entry-level unit is a 1.0-litre, three-cylinder unit producing a healthy 130 hp at 5,500 rpm. For the time being, a 1.5-litre,four-cylinder turbocharged VTEC unit will top the range. With 180 hp, it offer significantly greater punch than the old 1.8-litre naturally aspirated petrol model.
“Suspension – for the first time since these venth-generation Civic – is once again fully independent all-round, with struts at the front and a multi-link setup at the rear. Adaptive damping will also be available on some models.” (Link: Evo, 19 September)
A SPORTS CAR OF THE HIGHEST ORDER
The NSX returns to the sports car elite – and magnificently,” says Matt Prior of Autocar, in the mag’s comparison of the “hard-hitting” NSX, the McLaren 570S, and the BMW i8.
Boasting a total output of 560hp, “the car’s mid-mounted twin-turbo 3.5-litre V6 accounts for 500 bhp of its total, while a 50 hp electric motor assists at the rear, and two 40hp motors help out at the front.
“If you ask questions of the NSX, then it delivers. Honda’s development team had surprisingly little experience of developing sports cars – limited to the three engineers who had worked on the previous NSX – but even so, they’ve done a magnificent job here.As you get towards the NSX’s 7,500 rpm red line, it’s eye-poppingly fast. Neither suspension mode is too harsh for the road, but the softer setting is better on British back roads. Body control is terrific and because there is torque going to both front and rear, traction is magnificent. The NSX reacts in a more overtly sporting manner than the i8.”
There’s a “good level of feel” to the steering, “and handling never strays beyond engaging and gripping.”
Exterior design and interior quality draw praise from Prior: “With composite bodywork over an aluminium chassis, the NSX looks as contemporary as its technical makeup. The NSX also has conventional doors, rather than the dihedral
ones like the other two cars.The NSX also has the widest, most accommodating seats of the three. The driving position is sound and visibility is spot on.
“The Honda is a sports car of the highest order. There are times when you’d have a strop on a back road, a long cruise on a motorway, and get out at the end and know you’d driven one of the most interesting, engaging, and capable sports cars of modern times. The ‘land of the rising sun’ has a supercar to be proud of here. No question, the NSX is back.” (Source: Autocar, 28 September)
TRIUMPHS OVER THE KADJAR
Top Gear’s Ollie Kew has pitted the Honda HR-V against class rival the Renault Kadjar, assessing both vehicles for practicality, design and driving performance, and the Honda came out on top.
“If you’re not fully loaded with people most of the time, the Honda HR-V is a tad more useful at picking up things, and is a much more ‘clever space’ than the Kadjar.
“Inside is where you spot the Honda’s superiority. Touch-sensitive heater controls combine with clearer instruments and a responsive seven-inch touchscreen. It also feels mightily well made.
“Being smaller, with faster steering, the HR-V feels like a puppy running rings around the old Renault. Its 1.6 turbo-diesel is also healthier of boost and the ride is firmer too.“If generous cabin versatility and smarter handling are your thing, the HR-V takes the win.
Civic Type R Concept
MOST EXTREME' TYPE R EVER
“Old-school charm is exactly what the new Honda Civic Type R needs,” says Jim Holder for Autocar.
The concept “looks stunning -mean, moody and laced with over-the-top design features that could only belong on a Type R. This is a blistered, bulging hot hatch with old-school charms, and no one need apologise for that.
“The best bit? The ducting that channels air from the roof sides down to the huge rear wing. Will these make production? Perhaps not, but it delivers a message about the technical detail Honda is going to put into the production car.
“Even though Honda won’t any technical details, you can take it as read that a front-wheel drive lap record at the Nürburgring will fall its way again. With Honda, you read between the lines, and when it says this Type R will ‘be the most extreme ever’, you have to interpret it as meaning they’ll stick to the tried and tested front-drive formula.
“They’ll be celebrating over in Swindon, too, where the car will be made and, for the first time, exported to North America. Expanding Swindon’s global touch via a cutting-edge hot hatch can only be a good thing for its reputation.
“The Civic Type R is big, bulging and sure to give the Ford Focus RS a run for its money. A shock its reveal may be, but the new Civic Type R has already made 2017 look a whole lot more interesting.”
Added: 16 November 2016
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