The Honda Civic Type R is evo’s 2018 Track Car of the Year
The Honda Civic Type R has been crowned evo's 2018 Track Car of the Year, beating out strong competition from exotic machines and purpose-built cars alike.
Twelve contenders went head-to-head over two days to find the best track car you can buy in 2018, based on how they make you feel. That's right - for this test, the outright pace was put on the back-burner (however important it may be) and in its place came driver engagement, character and panache. You know, the important stuff.
In each segment, two cars faced one another. Here are the contenders
1.Peugeot 208 GTi by PS v Toyota Yaris GRMN
2.Honda Civic Type R v Hyundai i30 N Performance
3.Abarth 124 Spider v BBR Mazda MX-5
4.Caterham Seven 310R v Lotus Elise Sprint 220
5.BMW M4 CS v Porsche 718 Cayman GTS
6.Porsche 911 GT3 v McLaren 570S Track Pack
The Honda Civic Type R's competitor in this test, the Hyundai i30 N Performance, would on any other day be the winner in its class. It’s an incredible first attempt at a hot hatch, but on the track, it succumbs to the experience of Honda's engineers.
Testing the two hot hatches side-by-side allowed the team to thoroughly test the two best hot hatches of 2018. The Type R came out on top.
With 316bhp, 295 lb-ft of torque and a kerb weight of 1,380kg, the Civic Type R has 233bhp per tonne and gets from 0-62mph in 5.8 seconds. But, it isn't the power that makes it, it's how everything comes together. Let us explain - the Type R's 6-speed manual transmission, 2.0 VTEC Turbo engine and adaptive suspension work in symphony. There’s no disconnect with them. They each pull their weight. They each excite.
In the end, as the tester explains, the i30 N is a very good road car and a decent car on the track, but there's only one ruthless monster of a hatchback in this pairing; only one five-door that genuinely makes 911 GT3 drivers perspire, especially so when there’s a sustained downpour. That's down to the dual-axis strut front suspension, multi-link rear and Adaptive Damper System. The chassis eggs you on and inspires confidence.
In the end, the Evo team nail their 2018 Track Car of the Year down to two cars: the Porsche 911 GT3 and the Honda Civic Type R.
In isolation and on the spec sheet, the Porsche 911 GT3 mullers the Honda Civic Type R. It's got it beaten in every department. But it's also unavailable. You can't order one from Porsche through their configurator and to most people, it's way beyond their financial means. So, it'd be unfair to crown it the winner, no matter how good it is. In its place, the Civic Type R delivers 99% of the thrills for under £35k. As Evo explains, “the 911 is the dream choice, but in the real world the Civic wins hands down."