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2020 & 2021 Honda Civic Type R - Many Updates and New Limited Edition

Two New Colors, Better Brakes & Cooling, an Innovative Datalogging App, and More!

Keeping to their promise to constantly improve the Civic Type R platform, Honda has announced a host of great changes for the 2020 and 2021 model years. Here's a summary of the major tweaks that ALL 2020+ Type R models will get:

  • Suspension, brake, and engine cooling performance upgrades.
  • Refreshed exterior and interior styling and a new Boost Blue color scheme.
  • Joins rest of 2020 Civic lineup with standard Honda Sensing®.
  • Debut of Honda LogR™ performance datalogging app, exclusive to 2020+ Type R.

Now, if this wasn't enough, Honda also announced a special track-focused Limited Edition Type R for the 2021 model year! The most awesome part? We see the return of the iconic Phoenix Yellow color from the classic 1997-2001 Integra Type R! Here's a quick rundown of the 2021 Civic Type R Limited Edition special features (remember it also includes all the above 2020 changes):

  • Special lightweight features include forged wheels, reduced sound deadening.
  • Exclusive Phoenix Yellow color scheme.
  • 600 units coming to U.S., each with unique numbered plaque.
  • Lightweight, forged aluminum wheels from acclaimed manufacturer BBS (18 lb total unsprung weight reduction).
  • Further weight reduction of approximately 28 lbs accomplished via reduced sound deadening materials and removal of features such as the rear wiper, tonneau cover, and rear heater ducts
  • Specially tuned dampers.
  • Recalibrated steering for maximum control and feedback.

As mentioned above, the 2020 Honda Civic Type R has notable upgrades to ride and handling, braking performance and engine cooling, and features Honda's first-ever performance datalogging app, available exclusively for use with the 2020+ Civic Type R. The upgraded 2020 Type R also boasts freshened exterior and interior styling, standard Honda Sensing® safety and driver-assistive technology, and a stunning new Boost Blue exterior color, with a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of $36,995 (not including taxes and destination). The powertrain (306 hp and 295 lb-ft torque) for the 2020 Type R remains the same as previous years, but that didn't really need changing. The Type R already has more than enough power for most customers, and those seeking more thrills can always choose from a now plentiful array of aftermarket options.

Dynamic Improvements
Like the 2020 Civic Hatchback on which it's based, the 2020 Honda 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% 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% 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% less play before the brakes engage. In addition, the new front brake system reduces total unsprung weight by about 5 lbs (2.5 lbs at each front wheel) to aid both ride and handling performance.

Interior Improvements
Inside, the 2020 Civic Type R gets a new Alcantara™-wrapped steering wheel, a new shift lever with a restyled knob, and a suede 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.

Performance Datalogger
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.

Performance Monitor
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 and Auto Score
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 Assist Technology
2020+ Civic Type R models will be now have (as standard equipment) the Honda Sensing® suite of safety and driver-assistive technologies. 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.

2021 Civic Type R Limited Edition Details
The ultimate street-legal track-focused variant of Honda's legendary Civic Type R will be the lightest, fastest and most ferocious Type R model to date. It will feature all of the above 2020 model year Type R updates, plus additional enhancements designed to make it the ultimate street-legal Type R track machine. Only 600 units of the 2021 Type R Limited Edition, all in brilliant new Phoenix Yellow and each with an individually numbered serial plate, will be sold in the U.S.

Paying homage to past Type R Limited Edition models, the 2021 Civic Type R Limited Edition will come in one model-exclusive color: Phoenix Yellow. Additional model-exclusive treatment includes contrasting gloss black paint on the roof, outside mirror caps, and intake vent on the hood, along with a dark chrome Civic badge on the rear hatch. On the peformance side of things, the Type R Limited Edition will be all about saving weight and getting around corners faster! It will have special lightweight features including forged wheels (18 lb total unsprung weight reduction) and further weight reduction of approximately 28 lbs accomplished via reduced sound deadening materials and removal of features such as the rear wiper, tonneau cover, and rear heater ducts. In addition, the 2021 Type R will boast specially tuned dampers and recalibrated steering for maximum control and feedback.

2020 Honda Civic Type R in Boost Blue - Front 2020 Honda Civic Type R Boost Blue - Front
2020 Honda Civic Type R in Boost Blue - Side 2020 Honda Civic Type R Boost Blue - Side
2020 Honda Civic Type R - Interior 2020 Honda Civic Type R - Interior
2020 Honda Civic Type R - New Rotor 2020 Honda Civic Type R - New Rotor
2021 Honda Civic Type R Limited Edition in Phoenix Yellow - Front 2021 Honda Civic Type R Limited Edition in Phoenix Yellow - Front
2021 Honda Civic Type R Limited Edition in Phoenix Yellow - Side 2021 Honda Civic Type R Limited Edition in Phoenix Yellow - Side
All the above images from © American Honda Motor Co., Inc.

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