Honda Civic Type R 1997-2000

The original Civic Type R never came to the UK officially but it still takes 7th in our best fast Hondas list

This is the hot Civic genesis – the first family hatchback from Honda to wear the special Type R badge. It also set the philosophy from the start, with plenty of weight-saving features over the standard car. These included a hand-tuned 1.6-litre four-cylinder engine with – of course – the company’s soon-to-become famous VTEC system; a limited-slip differential; a close-ratio gearbox to make the most of the 182bhp output; and extra welding on the chassis to stiffen up the bodyshell.

On top of this, and in order to save even more weight, there was no air-conditioning or electric windows, and not even a radio. The focus was on going fast and having fun, with the same great sensory experience from behind the wheel.

Best hot hatchbacks to buy now

The Type R EK9 came only as a three-door, and was never officially sold in the UK – although thanks to exposure on various racing games, the EK9 was a desirable and rare hot hatch so plenty of grey imports found their way over here. This generation of hot Civic was and remains so pure, with a perfect balance of power, grip and feel, that meant it was a hit straight out of the box.

Honda Civic Type R 1997-2000: key specs

Engine: 1.6-litre 4cylPower: 182bhpTorque: 160NmTransmission: Five-speed manual, front-wheel drive0-62mph: 6.5 secondsTop speed: 135mphOn sale: 1997-2000

The all-time best fast Hondas

1. Honda NSX 1990-20052. Honda Civic Type R 2017-date3. Honda Civic Type R 2001-20054. Honda S2000 1999-20095. Honda Integra Type R 1995-20016. Honda Accord Type R 1998-20027. Honda Civic Type R 1997-20008. Honda Civic Type R 2007-20109. Honda CR-X VTEC 1989-199210. Honda S800 1967-1970

Fast Hondas Special

Recommended

'GM taking over Honda would be a disaster'
Honda opinion
Opinion

'GM taking over Honda would be a disaster'

Mike Rutherford is worried about Honda's future, despite its recent motorsport success
6 Jun 2021
Honda to be electric only by 2040 with solid state battery tech coming late 2020s
Honds electric
Honda

Honda to be electric only by 2040 with solid state battery tech coming late 2020s

Battery-electric and fuel-cell only plan for Honda will see solid state battery production cars in the second half of this decade
26 Apr 2021
Honda confirms sale of Swindon factory
Honda's Swindon factory - production line
Honda

Honda confirms sale of Swindon factory

Vehicle production facility sold to logistics company, which promises £700m investment
26 Mar 2021
Honda launches level 3 autonomous technology in Japan
Honda level 3
Honda

Honda launches level 3 autonomous technology in Japan

Honda’s new Sensing Elite driver assistance system allows for hand-off autonomous driving on the motorway
4 Mar 2021

Most Popular

New 2021 Kia EV6 boasts up to 328 miles of range
Kia EV6 - front
Kia EV6

New 2021 Kia EV6 boasts up to 328 miles of range

Kia reveals more specs for its bespoke electric car, with the EV6 offering long range and an 18-minute 80 per cent rapid recharge time
21 Jul 2021
New Vauxhall Crossland Griffin arrives to boost SUV’s appeal
Vauxhall Crossland Griffin
Vauxhall Crossland

New Vauxhall Crossland Griffin arrives to boost SUV’s appeal

The new Vauxhall Crossland Griffin undercuts the SE on price, but adds more equipment
26 Jul 2021
New 2021 Audi RS 3: 395bhp mega hatch priced from £50,900
Audi RS 3 Sportback - front
Audi RS3

New 2021 Audi RS 3: 395bhp mega hatch priced from £50,900

Full exterior and interior reveal for Audi RS 3, with aggressive styling and racy cabin to match strong performance
19 Jul 2021