Honda civic type r 2006

Great Drives: Honda Civic frais R FD2. It’s a saloon the thinks that a 911 GT3. Thé result is a là that might be the best type R de them all. Think you savoir about Honda Civic type R. We drive the FD2, the hot hatch that’s in reality a saloon. Cette might seulement be the meilleur of auto lot. Words chris Chilton. Photography reach Pearce.

Vous lisez ce: Honda civic type r 2006

Say hello to the Honda the thinks it’s a 911GT3

SUSPENDED ANIMATIONCould the FD2 frais R be the meilleur of the breed?

DRIVINGCould the FD2 Civic joli R it is in the le meilleur of Honda’s distinct breed? we send kris Chilton à 8000rpm and beyond to test the theory.

75 UK cars (est)

What to pay

Concours £20,000

Good £15,000

Usable £10,000

Project £8000

Sometimes amie meet a car that turns everything elle thought amie knew around the modèle on that is head. The 2006-2011 FD2 Honda Civic joli R is auto perfect caisse in point, a Matrix moment on four wheels, at least parce que le Brit hot hatch drivers.

2006 Honda Civic joli R FD2Back in 2006 Honda’s Swindon plant to be starting to churn out the all-new Civic joli R chaud hatch. Ce featured auto latest FN2-generation hatchback Civic’s sci-fi styling, cible the acquainted high-revving, naturally-aspirated 2.0 was perhaps too familiar given that it put out valuable more énergie to offset the bigger car’s fuller waistline.

‘IT could BE A SALOON but IT plainly THINKS it’s A 911 GT3’

But end in Japan cette was a an extremely different story. Instead of offering CTR fans a new hot hatch, Honda served up a four-door saloon, une the spec sheet said was a whole de nombreux more serious about its puissance game.

2006 Honda Civic joli R FD2 – road testThis FD2 Civic joli R was never officially offered here, but the native is it’s worth every penny de the many cette costs over its FN2 UK cousin.

Join us ont we take a set of keys – and a red pill – à find out around CTR life beyond auto FN2.


It’s no strictly correct to say we didn’t importer the FD2 in auto UK, despite it’s quite possible you’ve never seen one. Due to the fact that the seulement un variant de the Japanese-built four-door civic sold officially with UK Honda dealers was auto little-known – et of signification littérale interest venir us, because when ce comes venir driving, stuffing a nail right into a wall is much more exciting – civic IMA hybrid.

The car we’re steering today, courtesy of Devon-based import experts Torque GT, is definitely du interest. Fresh la fin the boat from Japan, and so clean ce looks favor it’s new from auto factory, fairly than almost a te old, it’s merely stunning. But that wow is all down to thé condition and the detailing: thé gorgeous Championship white paint, thé high-rise hoop perched conditions météorologiques the rear boot lid, those stirring Enkei rims and the way thé lowered suspension pulls the body down tight over them. Since when elle look past the baubles, auto FD2 chin is a very plain three-box saloon.

And the contrasts starkly with auto FN2 nous got in thé UK. A brilliantly bold peu of design, the FN2 looked choose a futuristic fighter pilot’s helmet et featured more triangle modèle than année Egyptian Toblerone panneau daffichage ad. Britain’s Pensioners must ont thought they will do woken from a 50-year cryogenic sleep as soon as they walked into their Honda dealership in thé mid-00s.


Inside, the a similar story. Thé saloon FD2’s dash, with its multi-level mélanger of analogiques and numérique instruments, looks outlandish compared to contemporary, conservative European stuff like auto MkII Focus, marqué noticeably less weird than auto hatchback FN2’s.

There’s plenty venir make UK CTR ventilateurs feel at home, though. Drop into auto immaculately well kept Alcantara seats et apart from the windscreen base being so tarif away you’d need one de those litter-collecting claws venir retrieve a stray pay-and-display ticket, thé driving emplacement feels instantly right: aluminium-topped transition ball a short stretch away; clever set du aluminium pedals under her feet. Get the wheels rolling and you’re instantly struck de how light the FD2 feels nous its feet. Thé gear-change is snicksnick perfect et the engine adds revs cleanly and effortlessly, the noise a contempt strained growl that clues at what’s to come marqué when is cette going venir come? While auto UK-spec FN2’s K20Z4 2.0-litre pair cam made 198bhp and 142lb-ft, thé JDM FD2 put out a stomatic 221bhp and 159lb ft courtesy du its K20a, thanks to goodies choose high compression pistons.

Sounds strong nous paper, but there’s non getting far from… well, anything at tous unless tu use all of thé 8600 accessible revs (compared through 8200rpm parce que le the FN2). Plant your foot down at 4500rpm in 4th gear, specifically the alloue at which année Impreza or Evo would erupt down auto road in a forced induction frenzy, and you volonté a peu more noise et not much du anything else. So far it feel like an BMW E30 M3: sweet, marqué slow.

And then suddenly, at roughly 5800rpm, you transported appropriate into thé middle ns one of those Yo VTEC! memes. A polite little VTEC light illuminates nous the dash, if a very rude engine strikes every one de your senses et the aéronautiques in that path. Currently your sweet little four-door saloon is do a noise like a full-on touring car, and you’re frantically throw gears at it to keep auto rev needle indigenous trying venir introduce itself venir the number nine nous the dial. All of sudden your underpowered hot hatch-cum saloon feels properly brisk and you desperately want venir hunt out some deserted road soja you deserve to batter cette between the VTEC switchover point and auto redline again and again.

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A decade ago an engine through this kind de character currently seemed contempt special. Marqué now, in an era ns homogenised turbo power, it’s virtually hard venir believe nous ever had cars soja raw, so… exciting.

But this spectacular drivetrain is seul part du the appeal. A UK spec FN2 currently does much du the exact same job, and a few choice induction and exhaust mods plus some ECU massaging would certainly give you most, si not quite toutes les personnes of thé same buzz. Cible they won’t be able à replicate thé way this là feels.

Because while thé FN2’s styling was mile ahead du the FD2’s et the previous bread van EP3’s in terms ns emotional appeal, under auto skin, fémoral weren’t so clear cut. Si the FN2’s brouillon was firing hot hatch ventilateurs into auto future, that is chassis to be dragging them in the opposite direction, and not because it was heavier than both the predecessor and its saloon transform ego.

The very life EK9 Civic belles R du 1997 featured double wishbones increase front and a multi-link rear, but by the time the EP3 arrived in 2001 auto front prise had to be swapped for cheaper, worse MacPherson struts. With auto FN2, Honda had replaced thé rear multi-link rear v a simple torsion beam.

But thé FD2 saloon stuck with auto multilink behind meaning ce was dragging less unsprung mass and each rear wheel could react an ext appropriately à changes in auto road surface.

That have to mean greater refinement and more control marqué the FD2’s an ext aggressive spring and damper prices means ce feels busy nous less 보다 smooth roads. There’s ne sont pas doubt auto FN2 would certainly be less complicated to habitent with conditions météorologiques a long journey jaune day à day. Cible the FD2 no built pour grinding along motorways. Ce might be a Japanese saloon but it clearly thinks it’s a 911 GT3, and on these nation roads, that almost as much amusant to beast. Maybe an ext so, because amie can thrash cette more de the time.

Whether you’re conditions météorologiques the gas, conditions météorologiques the middle pedal functioning those Brembo calipers, jaune leaning nous the Dunlop Direzzas and feeling the défaut limited-slip diff – a piece of tous the FN2 didn’t comprendre until 2009 – help you claw your way round every corner, the type R feel absolutely in that is element.

And also without année FN2 here for comparison, tu can appel it’d be quicker throughout country. In année episode ns Fifth équipement from auto mid ‘00s Vicki servant Henderson pitted FN2 versus FD2 approximately a wet lock Combe course circuit and found thé JDM car 3sec quicker.

For moi though, the bigger improvement, et one amie can appreciate at toutes les personnes speeds, not seul running complete chat, is one you feel v your hands, not the seat of your pants. While auto FN2 followed auto precedent set par the EP3, going for année electrically assisted steering rack, thé FD2 gained old-fashioned, and much more feelsome, hydraulic steering.

It’s no true à say that tous electric steering is bad and all hydraulic, good – there are so many différent factors at job-related here. Marqué in this caisse the FD2’s steering communicates un message from the front wheels tarif more transparently. And on a driver’s car, that la communication is certain crucial.

That purity of relier sums this public up. Yes sir a sincerity to thé FD2 belles R not all fast cars have the right to claim. Over there are non gimmicks, no ‘sport’ buttons, ne sont pas multi-setting dampers, ne sont pas fake sound effects. Ce doesn’t make any type of pretence at being the perfect all-rounder in thé manner ns a le golf GTI.

Today, the purity du purpose is one ns the reasons FD2s are rare and highly prized here in auto UK.

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While tu can pick up année FN2 parce que le less 보다 £3k, FD2s seem venir be stubbornly refusing to drop listed below ten.