Type R-ism has long been vacant in the American car world. Used but once before, on the holy Acura Integra Type R (sold as a Honda in Europe and Asia), Honda has reserved its sharpest tools for other markets.

But that stops now: the new Civic Type R is the very first Honda to wear the R badge in America and it’s here to fight its bigger and more established competitors.

There’s no mistaking how and where on the grand automotive scale to place the new Civic Type R, even for the casual layperson. With a prominent splitter, wing, roof spoiler, air-channeling lumps and vents, and the curious three exhaust tips, it’s replete with boy-racer visuals.
But this boy arrives with the right tools.

Tucked under the cornucopia of aero and design appendages sit some drop-dead serious bits of hardware that check all the boxes.

But there’s a far more elusive and important box that this car manages to check—one of mechanical harmony.
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