Since we last test drove the go-fast Honda Civic Type R, a number of important updates have been made in styling, chassis refinements and interior tweaks, and there’s a special edition to mark the last year of this generation.
The 2021 Honda Civic Type R itself is mostly carry over from 2020, a year in which it got a number of updates including revised front and rear fascias, and a new grille design with larger openings for better cooling capacity.
Also updated are interior bits and pieces like the grippy and sexy Alcantara steering wheel. The metal shift knob with a revised shape continues the tradition of freezing or frying your palm in extreme weather all in the name of retro homage to the old days.
Added since my last drive in the Civic Type R is the addition of Active Sound Control or ASC. It plays deeper engine sounds through the stereo speakers depending on your selected drive mode to help you feel sportier. Now your 306 horsepower 2.0 liter VTEC turbocharged motor sounds as good as it feels.
And because this is a high performance car, you likely care a great deal about the fact that the full suite of Honda Sensing passive aggressive safety minders are now standard on the Type R. You must have been begging for it.
The big news for 2021 however is the addition of the Limited Edition you see here which brings a still higher micro level of handling and performance through suspension, tire and wheel tweaks and a mild pass of light weighting. The exclusive Phoenix Yellow Paint adds some speed too.
The Type R Limited Edition will come in an exclusive Phoenix Yellow color, with gloss black paint on the roof, outside mirror caps, and intake vent on the hood, along with a dark chrome Civic badge on the rear hatch. Inside, each Limited Edition has a special numbered plaque on the center console designating its build number.
Lighter by some 50 pounds, the Type R Limited Edition gets lightweight forged-aluminum BBS wheels, less sound deadening material in the roof, rear hatch, front fenders and dash which means it’s louder. Features like the the cargo cover, rear heater ducts and rear wiper were removed to save weight. This is why it costs more right?
To give you something for your money, the Active Damper System and power steering have been reprogrammed to make highest use of its lighter wheels, brakes and tires. While these software tweaks are made to the Type R Limited Edition, the reality is that all Civic Type Rs got similar tweaks in 2020.
Since our 2017 test drive, the Adaptive Damper System’s control software is now 10 times faster. Front and rear suspension bushings have been stiffened and new lower-friction ball joints all conspire for a sharper and more responsive personality at the limits.
With only 600 available, the Limited Edition adds $6,500 to the Civic Type R base price of $37,495 coming in at $43,995 before the dealership ream you big addendum sticker. Available now, my local dealership in Phoenix wants and additional $10,000.