Track Battle: Honda Civic Type R vs BMW M3 and Audi RS3

The Honda Civic Type R has beaten the hot hatch elite, now it takes on some more serious rivals...

We’ve been blown away by the performance of the new Honda Civic Type R. It’s already beaten a SEAT Leon Cupra and Renault Sport Megane Trophy round our test track at Llandow in South Wales. And that got us thinking. Let’s just say you want a practical performance car with four doors and a reasonable boot, but one with even more power than the 306bhp Honda Civic Type R. Just how much extra would you have to pay and how much more performance would your extra dosh get you?

Well for £10,000 more than the £30,000 Honda, the Audi RS3 Sportback has a 2.5-litre five-cylinder turbo with 361bhp – which is a 55bhp improvement over what you get from the 2.0-litre four-cylincer turbo in the Type R. However, if you were to pay a further £6,000 you could have a BMW M3. Then you get a 3.0-litre twin turbo engine developing 425bhp, which is 64bhp over the Audi and 119bhp more than the Honda Civic Type R.  

Unless you're playing top trumps, however, performance stats don’t matter all that much. How the cars perform out in the real world is what really matters. So we took a BMW M3 and an Audi RS3 Sportback to the exact same track where we had previously timed the Civic Type R to see just how their power advantages translate into improved lap times.

This test would allow us to compare three different ways of putting power down to the ground: front wheel-drive, all wheel-drive and rear wheel-drive. Fortunately, on the day of our test the conditions were exactly the same as when we timed the Honda and so this meant we would have a fair comparison. However, what actually happened came as quite a shock to us all. We won’t give the game away here: you’ll have to watch the video for the full result. But suffice to say, the outcome won’t be quite what you are expecting…

Read a full review of the Honda Civic Type R here...

Recommended

Hot Hatch of the Year 2020: Honda Civic Type R
Honda Civic Type R

Hot Hatch of the Year 2020: Honda Civic Type R

The Honda Civic Type R is the 2020 Auto Express Hot Hatch of the Year, with the Ford Focus ST and Mercedes-AMG A 45 S commended
13 Oct 2020
New Honda Civic Type R Limited Edition 2020 review
Honda Civic Type R

New Honda Civic Type R Limited Edition 2020 review

The new Honda Civic Type R Limited Edition has already sold out, and those buyers are in for a treat
30 Sep 2020
New Honda Civic Type R 2020 review
Honda Civic Type R

New Honda Civic Type R 2020 review

We find out if the revised Honda Civic Type R can stay at the top of the hot hatch class
22 Sep 2020
New 2020 Honda Civic Type R: UK prices revealed for updated line-up
Honda Civic Type R

New 2020 Honda Civic Type R: UK prices revealed for updated line-up

The lightweight limited edition model has sold out, but the subtle Honda Civic Type R Sport Line model now joins the range
7 Sep 2020

Most Popular

Renault could cut UK models in no deal Brexit profit drive
News

Renault could cut UK models in no deal Brexit profit drive

Renault’s new CEO says the firm is examining the possibility of reducing the range of models it offers to UK buyers as it aims to boost profitability
20 Oct 2020
Honda axes diesel power in the UK
Honda

Honda axes diesel power in the UK

Honda has quietly phased-out its diesel-powered models in Britain
19 Oct 2020
New BMW 5 Series 2020 review
BMW 5 Series Saloon

New BMW 5 Series 2020 review

Have updates made the BMW 5 Series even better? We try out the new M550i xDrive to find out…
20 Oct 2020