An all time great.
The EK9 Civic was an honest little car both economical and practical. Of course, there was the slightly sharper SiR for those that wants a little bit more from the three door hatch. But that was just the start.
After the high praise of the NSX-R, Honda’s first product from their new performance sub-brand. They set out to create more R versions of their passenger cars. The Integra was the second model that received the R treatment and the first for the U.S. market to get a taste of the new side of Honda. They then turned to the humble Civic for their third creation.
Its got a B16 engine producing 183bhp which is mediocre in today’s term but considering that power from a 1.6 litre all naturally aspirated back in 1997 with a curb weight of just 2400 lbs is pretty impressive. Couple it to a new close ratio 5-speed gearbox gives it a race car feel.
Speaking of impressive, the chassis utilized a different construction technique from other mainline Civics with seam welding to reduce chassis flex, a new limited slip differential for the front axle to put the power down, the wheel hub also switched to a 5 lug bolt pattern from the usual 4 lug to be able to withstand heavier cornering load.
Weight reduction was also on the agenda with less sound deadening and titanium gear shift knob that it shares with the two previous hot Hondas.
After over 20 years, the first Civic to get christened with the Type R badge is still one of the greatest Honda and hot hatch ever made.
Interesting little story, I actually spotted one two Summers ago when I was in Taiwan, at first I thought it was just a normal Civic with a conversion kit. Until I saw the driver was sitting on the right side of the car that was when I knew, this is something special.
Once again, another superb casting crafted by TLV, to date this and the R33 GTR Autech Version are my most favorite TLVs ever made as the EK9 and FD2 are two of my favorite Civic Type Rs. TLV went the extra mile in details. Along with the standard features of suspension and individual head/tailight pieces, it’s complete with all the “Type R” emblems around the car along with red Honda logo on each wheel caps. Take a peek inside where you’ll see the red Recaro seats and you look closely enough you’ll be able to see the word “Recaro” printed on them.