2021 Honda Civic Type R Limited Edition review: Sharper on the track, but still great on the street

Every Constrained Edition is painted Phoenix Yellow.

Steven Ewing/Roadshow

The Civic Form R Constrained Edition is a screamin’ little warm hatch which is a severe observe weapon. Lighter and sharper than a common Form R, this tiny-batch Honda can outrun sporting activities vehicles costing twice as a great deal, and finest of all, none of this additional functionality will come at the expenditure of daily-driving comfort and ease.


  • Sharp steering
  • Great front-conclude grip
  • Loads of creature comforts

You should not Like

  • Outdated infotainment tech
  • Highly-priced up grade

A swift history lesson: After the Form R released in 2017, Honda used it to established a blistering 7-moment, 43.eight-next lap of the Nürburgring Nordschleife, making this Civic the swiftest front-wheel-travel manufacturing motor vehicle to run the infamous German course. But then the Renault Megane RS Trophy-R came together and trounced the Form R’s record, beating the Civic by 4 full seconds. When the Form R Constrained Edition debuted in the prior to-moments of early 2020, a Honda govt explained to me it was born out of the wish to reclaim that FWD warm lap title. And following the Form R LE’s modern record lap at the Suzuka Circuit in Japan — wherever it conquer the Megane Trophy-R, by the way — Honda’s self-assured the ‘Ring crown will quickly belong to the Civic once once more. 

In buy to shed time while shredding laps, Honda opted to slice excess weight instead than strengthen energy. The Constrained Edition’s two.-liter turbo I4 carries over from the foundation Form R unchanged, developing 306 horsepower at six,five hundred rpm and 295 pound-toes of torque at two,five hundred rpm. The 2021 LE’s 6-velocity guide transmission, minimal-slip differential, suspension hardware and Brembo front brakes are all identical to all those on the 2020 Form R, also.

Instead, Honda slice fifty kilos out of the US-spec Civic Form R by deleting the rear wiper, taking away the cargo cover, fitting lighter-excess weight BBS wheels and taking away a full bunch of sound-deadening material — 28 kilos worthy of, in actuality. That “US-spec” qualification is important, by the way Constrained Edition products sold in other markets drop an more 30 kilos thanks to the removing of the audio method and air conditioning.

Now, prior to you bitch about the US not receiving the total Constrained Edition lightweight working experience, here’s another history lesson: When Honda released the observe-ready S2000 CR in 2007, the radio and air conditioning were optional, but only a tremendous-duper-tiny proportion of Individuals ordered the CR this way. So except if you might be arranging to use your personal CTRLE to established a lap record, which you aren’t, probably just crank some tunes and delight in the cool breeze of your AC. Individuals generally consider they want a stripped-out motor vehicle till they basically have to live with it.

A established of cast-aluminum BBS wheels lowers the Form R’s excess weight by eighteen kilos.


Simply because it really is lighter, the Constrained Edition has a little various adaptive damping and digital steering calibrations than a common Form R. The dampers retain the Civic controlled while accounting for the trimmer overall body, and soon after driving a Constrained Edition again to again with a Form R Touring on observe, the steering tweaks are seriously obvious. Change-in is a great deal sharper with quicker reaction, but there is nonetheless tons of really feel and suggestions as a result of the wheel. I’m into it.

Off the observe, the variations are considerably less apparent, but nevertheless appreciated. You’ll really feel the sharper convert-in, but the retuned adaptive damper configurations do not seriously change (browse: damage) the Form R’s experience high-quality in the metropolis or on the highway. Truthfully, the Constrained Edition just can help fortify what tends to make the Civic Form R so wonderful to get started with: Loads of turbo energy, a slick-shifting 6-velocity adhere and an amazingly capable front-wheel-travel setup. This all tends to make for a significantly chuckable little warm hatch. The Form R has generally been a big-slayer — you can chase down Porsche 911s on mountain roads all working day prolonged — and the Constrained Edition is no various.

The lack of sound-deadening material does final result in a large amount a lot more cabin sounds, but it really is not that large of a deal. Cozy and properly appointed as it may well be, the common Civic Form R isn’t really particularly a serene highway cruiser, so I do not consider most people will observe the additional roar from the wind and tires.

This little thing’s a riot.

Steven Ewing/Roadshow

As significantly as creature comforts are involved, the Constrained Edition has almost everything you’ll locate on the normal Form R Touring. The activity seats are as supportive as they are comfortable and a 7-inch central touchscreen has embedded navigation as very well as Apple CarPlay and Android Automobile compatibility. You get a full mess of driver-guidance attributes, also, including ahead-collision warning, lane-departure warning, lane-keeping help and adaptive cruise management. The only thing which is lacking? Heated seats. Still. Sigh.

Honda will develop 1,000 illustrations of the Civic Form R Constrained Edition for worldwide distribution, with 600 out there in the US. They are all painted Phoenix Yellow and will have a serialized plaque on the sprint.

With a $forty four,950 rate tag (including $955 for place), the Constrained Edition prices $six,five hundred a lot more than the 2021 Form R Touring. That is possible effortless sufficient for a severe fanboy, collector or observe rat to swing, and as is the scenario with all Form R-badged Hondas
, the 600 US-spec vehicles will undoubtedly be sold in brief buy. Luckily, the Form R Touring delivers 98{446c0583c78045abf10327776a038b2df71144067b85dd55dd4a3a861892e4fa} of the working experience, so if you can’t snag just one of the Constrained Editions, there is nonetheless a lot of warm hatch greatness to go all over.