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A red 2023 Honda Civic Type R is shown from the front while on a racetrack.

The Honda Civic Type R Gets a Glow-Up for 2023

Honda has been teasing the release of its 2023 Honda Civic Type R for quite some time now, and the specs are finally in. Everyone has had a lot to say about this model and what it might include, and it looks like it is quite a step up from the 2021 model. This model has gotten an exterior refresh to elevate the styling, and the engine puts out more power than it did before. The high-performance hatch is back, and it’s ready to take its first lap in the market.

While previous versions of the Honda vehicle have been called “over-stylized” and likened to vehicles commonly seen in anime, the newest iteration has been re-styled with a more casual look that is far more palatable. This four-dour hatch can seat up to four passengers, so you can bring the whole squad along on track day or load up for an exciting night in town. It’s a new year for the Civic Type R, and we are excited for it to arrive.

What Stays the Same?

While we are eager to hear all the details about the newest features, there’s something to be said for what is already working for the Honda Civic Type R––mainly the engine, transmission, and its rear wing. Though there are some minor tweaks here and there, the turbocharged four-cylinder engine, manual transmission, and the highly visible rear spoiler are very similar to the last model’s, though they have been improved upon according to Honda.

Even though there are varying opinions on four-cylinder engines (the Jeep drivers we know detest the four-cylinder models), the turbocharged four-cylinder is capable of producing competitive amounts of both horsepower and torque that’s more powerful version of the previous engine. While many automotive companies are moving to automatic transmissions for the majority of their vehicle lineup, Honda has decided to stick with manual transmission for the 2023 Type R, which makes sense as it is more of a sports car than anything else, as evidenced by the styling. The Type R features a rear spoiler, which gives the Type R a little more downforce and grip, which is especially helpful for those who like to race around corners, though hopefully, you’ll do so on the track instead of in a neighborhood.

Honda is also keeping the same suite of safety and driver assist features in 2023 as it had for the 2021 Civic Type R. The Honda Sensing suite comes standard, which means you’ll get:

  • Forward Collision Warning
  • Collision Mitigation Braking System
  • Lane Departure Warning
  • Road Departure Mitigation System
  • Lane Keeping Assist System
  • Adaptive Cruise Control

Some other features you will be happy to have include the Auto High-Beam Headlamps and Multi-Angle Rearview Camera with Dynamic Guidelines. These are all great features to have when you take your Type R off the track and out on the regular pavement.

The interior of a 2023 Honda Civic Type R is shown form above the center console.

What Changes Have Been Made?

As mentioned previously, the outside of the Type R has been redesigned so that it appears more sleek and sophisticated than its predecessor. Likewise, the interior of the Type R has been taken down a notch, simplified, and as a result, becomes more of a standout, with exciting red accents and all interior fabric in a bright red. With such a luxurious pop of color in the interior, you are going to feel like a standout everywhere you drive, even if you go with the basic white exterior paint.

New tires are part of the 2023 model’s getup, down from the 20-inch Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires to 19-inch Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tires. These new performance summer tires with a taller sidewall are going to give you the best ride possible when you really start to push the limits of this model. In dry or wet conditions, these tires will be responsive to your commands, so passing by the others cars in your way will be a breeze.

There is also an updated infotainment system, complete with a 9-inch touchscreen and a 10.2-inch digital information cluster. This system has Bluetooth, navigation, and is compatible with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Charging your phone is easy with the wireless charger, and you can crank up the music with HD radio or a subscription to SiriusXM, which will sound great coming out of the 12 speakers and subwoofer in the Bose Premium Audio System.

There are some upgrades in the safety and driver assist department for 2023. Drivers will get the Blind Spot Information System and Traffic Sign Recognition. Honda has always put an emphasis on safety, so it’s not surprising to see a few more features make their way into this vehicle.

The racer-inspired hatchback has a sleek, fast, sports car look, complete with flared fenders, side sills, a diffuser, and wider rear doors than other Honda vehicles. This makes it even more of a standout among the Honda staples. If you’re looking for something sharp but less show-off, the 2023 Type R might be right up your alley.

A close-up of the rear spoiler of a white 2023 Honda Civic Type R is shown.

What About the Performance?

The 2023 model is, without a doubt, the most powerful Type R to date. The 2.0L turbo four-cylinder engine is ready to do the work with 315 hp at 6,500 RPM and 310 lb-ft of torque at 2,600-4,000 RPM. All of that power flows through the six-speed manual transmission with rev-match control.

The Type R is here to be a high-performance icon, and we certainly think it delivers in that regard. After all, it made its initial U.S. debut on the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course with superstar driver Colton Herta behind the wheel. However, while this vehicle is perfect for the track, it doesn’t lack on the road either, and you can have quite a lot of fun showing off around town in your new ride.

Bring on the 2023 Honda Civic Type R

There is a lot about this new version of the Civic Type R to get excited about, and we certainly can’t wait to get behind the wheel and push this model to its limits. We are also excited to see how drivers respond once these models start hitting the streets and the track. Will it do better sales-wise than in previous years? Will people go for the toned-down looks, or will the overly stylized version become more sought after? While you might think people would prefer the more sophisticated version, some do enjoy a more outlandish design because it’s unique and will stand out, though maybe not for all the right reasons.

We’re hoping to see the Type R put through its paces on the racetrack or at rallies so that we can see how far it can be pushed and still perform at a high level. Do the beefed-up engine and exterior accouterments actually make it more powerful? Will we be able to tell that much of a difference if there isn’t a lot more horsepower? Can it keep up with all of the other models out on the track? While we have gotten a lot of answers to our many questions about this model, there is still a lot to uncover in the new year. Bring on the 2023 Honda Civic Type R; we’re ready for it!

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