If you need another reason to head over to your nearest Honda dealer, you have one now: the 2021 Honda Civic Type R Limited. This is the ultimate high-performance Civic. With the release of the Civic Type R in 2017, after setting the world-record front-wheel-drive lap time at the Nürburgring Nordschleife, the Type R burst onto the scene as the baddest of them all. And the 2021 Limited might be even more impressive, including being faster. While there is no increase in power, this limited edition model will feature a lighter weight, sharpened suspension, and recalibrated steering, which promises improvement in both performance and handling. This impressive vehicle has so much to offer, so let’s get into the nitty-gritty details.
How Did it Shed So Much Weight?
Of course, shortly after setting the record for the fastest time at Nürburgring, the Renault Mégane RS broke the record in 2019, but now that the 2021 Civic Type R Limited is here, expect that record to fall again. How exactly did Honda shed so much weight to make this possible? They ended up dropping 46 pounds from the Limited in total. The first thing they did was change the wheels. Replacing the 20-inch wheels for lighter forged aluminum BBS wheels, they were able to reduce unsprung mass by 18 pounds. Unsprung mass is simply the mass of the suspension, wheels, and other components connected to them, as opposed to the weight supported by the suspension.
How else did they manage to shed so much weight? They managed to lose 28 pounds of weight by removing the rear heating ducts, tonneau cover, wiper blade, and sound-deadening materials. The Euro-spec Limited Edition will be even lighter as it will not have the infotainment and A/C systems, which will shed an additional 24 pounds of weight. That’s enough weight to make a big difference for the US-spec and Euro-spec versions, so expect the Civic Type R Limited to be a real enthusiasts’ dream.
Where Can You Get One?
Honda will be selling the Civic Type R Limited all over the world, with 600 slated for the US, 200 for Japan, 100 for Europe, and 100 for Canada. So this is truly a limited run as only 1,000 will be made in total. All of them will feature Phoenix Yellow as the color and will have a unique plaque on the center console.
But if you are wondering how you can get one, which surely everyone is, don’t worry because the 2020 Civic Type R has the same engine. And while it might not have quite the refinement of the latest incarnation, remember how earlier models fared at Green Hell? This is a 2.0-liter turbo-four that produces the same 306 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque. That’s a lot of power for this hatchback and plenty for a street version. The 2020 Type R only costs $37,950, so everyone can experience this impressive high-performance machine.
Weight is not the only change to the 2021 Civic Type R Limited. Lighter, two-piece front brake rotors more resistant to fade, which was also part of the 2020 refresh, and brake pads with a reworked compound were also used. Reprogrammed software for the adaptive shocks was also part of the upgrades, as was a redesigned grille, stiffer suspension bushings, and lower friction ball joints.
The Civic Type R
While not everyone will be able to find a Civic Type R Limited, you can indeed find a version similar to the one that is about to take Nürburgring again. You’ll find the Civic Type R to be nearly as fast as well as immensely practical at your local Honda dealer. And affordable as well. So let’s take a look at what you can expect from this car, just in case you are not one of the lucky ones to land a Limited.
This car goes 0-60 mph in the 5-second range and has a top speed of 169 mph, all while getting 22/28 MPG. It might be the most unique car on the market in that sense, with a rev-matching 6-speed manual transmission and beyond-impressive performance to match its daily-driver sensibilities. You will not find such a competent daily driver that performs like this. Plus, it has one of the best suspensions you will find anywhere. There is nothing like it on the market—nothing that can match the performance and day-to-day practicality of this machine.
Driving the Civic Type R is as exhilarating as you would expect. There’s even a +R driving mode for when you feel like taking it to the track. And when you’re stuck in traffic, taking the kids to school, or on your daily commute, there’s a Comfort setting, where you’ll appreciate the abundant torque alongside the many horses to ease your way through the daily grind. If you want a combination of power and comfort, there’s also a Sport driving mode, which provides a little of both for a fun drive around town.
Inside the Civic Type R
The Civic Type R is deceiving in that it looks like a high-performance car, which it is first and foremost, but it’s also still a Civic and a hatchback at that. So there’s lots of useful space and room for all of your gear. Can you imagine a better car to take a road trip in? It’s not likely there is a better car out there. With a top speed of 169 mph and excellent gas mileage, you will not want to stop—nor will you need to.
The Type R also features sport seats that offer plenty of support and work hard to keep you in your seat when you’re in hard turns. You’ll also find the refined interior of a Civic, replete with ergonomic features and thoughtful designs. Along with the ample cargo space, this is a high-performance machine begging to be driven anywhere and everywhere. A smart cargo cover slides from side to side instead of the usual back to front, and folding rear seats expand the cargo area from an impressive 25.7 cubic feet to an incredible 46.2 cubic feet.
What’s so impressive about the Type R is the number of features you can choose from and the long list of standard features. The top trim level features the track-ready performance equipment like Brembo brakes, a limited-slip differential, and an adaptive damper system. But it also features keyless entry, dual-zone climate control, and a multi-angle rearview camera. Standard is a 7-inch touchscreen, AppleCarPlay/Android Auto integration, and a 12-speaker, 540-watt premium audio system. You’ll also find Honda LogR, which is a performance data-logging system that can be used with the onboard computer and a smartphone app. Honda’s suite of safety and driver-assists is also available.
Performance and Practicality
Whether you’re looking for a hatchback for the family or a street-legal race car, the Honda Civic Type R manages to walk the line better than any other vehicle on the market. It’s hard to ignore its combination of cargo space for family trips and high-performance credentials. The recent incarnation—the 2021 Civic type R Limited—is going for the Nürburgring crown in September, but you can run out and grab one at your local Honda dealership anytime. It might have a little extra street weight, but it was good enough to set the track record in 2017, so it should be enough for the local track.