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

Victoria D. Doty

2021 Honda Civic Type R Limited Edition

Every single Restricted Edition is painted Phoenix Yellow.

Steven Ewing/Roadshow

The Civic Form R Restricted Edition is a screamin’ tiny warm hatch that’s a severe observe weapon. Lighter and sharper than a regular Form R, this smaller-batch Honda can outrun sports activities cars costing two times as significantly, and most effective of all, none of this added functionality comes at the price of every day-driving convenience.


  • Sharp steering
  • Fantastic entrance-stop grip
  • A lot of creature comforts

You should not Like

  • Out-of-date infotainment tech
  • Highly-priced update

A rapid heritage lesson: Following the Form R released in 2017, Honda applied it to set a blistering 7-moment, 43.eight-second lap of the Nürburgring Nordschleife, generating this Civic the fastest entrance-wheel-travel generation automobile to operate the notorious German training course. But then the Renault Megane RS Trophy-R arrived alongside and trounced the Form R’s document, beating the Civic by four whole seconds. When the Form R Restricted Edition debuted in the just before-moments of early 2020, a Honda government told me it was born out of the drive to reclaim that FWD warm lap title. And following the Form R LE’s modern document lap at the Suzuka Circuit in Japan — wherever it conquer the Megane Trophy-R, by the way — Honda’s assured the ‘Ring crown will shortly belong to the Civic when once again. 

In order to lose time though shredding laps, Honda opted to slash bodyweight rather than raise electricity. The Restricted Edition’s 2.-liter turbo I4 carries in excess of from the base Form R unchanged, developing 306 horsepower at six,500 rpm and 295 pound-toes of torque at 2,500 rpm. The 2021 LE’s 6-velocity guide transmission, minimal-slip differential, suspension hardware and Brembo entrance brakes are all similar to all those on the 2020 Form R, way too.

As a substitute, Honda slash 50 lbs out of the US-spec Civic Form R by deleting the rear wiper, taking away the cargo address, fitting lighter-bodyweight BBS wheels and taking away a whole bunch of sound-deadening materials — 28 lbs worthy of, in actuality. That “US-spec” qualification is critical, by the way Restricted Edition designs sold in other marketplaces drop an additional 30 lbs many thanks to the removal of the audio technique and air conditioning.

Now, just before you bitch about the US not having the full Restricted Edition lightweight working experience, this is another heritage lesson: When Honda released the observe-all set S2000 CR in 2007, the radio and air conditioning ended up optional, but only a tremendous-duper-smaller percentage of Individuals requested the CR this way. So unless you might be scheduling to use your personalized CTRLE to set a lap document, which you usually are not, perhaps just crank some tunes and love the great breeze of your AC. Individuals normally imagine they want a stripped-out automobile till they actually have to live with it.

A set of cast-aluminum BBS wheels lowers the Form R’s bodyweight by eighteen lbs.


Simply because it is lighter, the Restricted Edition has a bit unique adaptive damping and electronic steering calibrations than a regular Form R. The dampers hold the Civic managed though accounting for the trimmer overall body, and following driving a Restricted Edition back again to back again with a Form R Touring on observe, the steering tweaks are truly recognizable. Change-in is significantly sharper with more quickly response, but you can find still tons of really feel and comments through the wheel. I’m into it.

Off the observe, the alterations are considerably less clear, but nonetheless appreciated. You can expect to really feel the sharper flip-in, but the retuned adaptive damper settings will not truly alter (browse: spoil) the Form R’s trip high-quality in the metropolis or on the freeway. Truthfully, the Restricted Edition just will help reinforce what will make the Civic Form R so excellent to start off with: A lot of turbo electricity, a slick-shifting 6-velocity adhere and an exceptionally capable entrance-wheel-travel setup. This all will make for a significantly chuckable tiny warm hatch. The Form R has normally been a large-slayer — you can chase down Porsche 911s on mountain roadways all day very long — and the Restricted Edition is no unique.

The absence of sound-deadening materials does consequence in a lot more cabin sound, but it is not that massive of a offer. Snug and properly appointed as it may perhaps be, the regular Civic Form R isn’t accurately a serene freeway cruiser, so I will not imagine most people will discover the added roar from the wind and tires.

This tiny thing’s a riot.

Steven Ewing/Roadshow

As significantly as creature comforts are involved, the Restricted Edition has every thing you will locate on the typical Form R Touring. The sport seats are as supportive as they are comfortable and a 7-inch central touchscreen has embedded navigation as nicely as Apple CarPlay and Android Automobile compatibility. You get a whole mess of driver-support options, way too, such as ahead-collision warning, lane-departure warning, lane-keeping aid and adaptive cruise handle. The only issue that’s missing? Heated seats. Nonetheless. Sigh.

Honda will establish 1,000 illustrations of the Civic Form R Restricted Edition for international distribution, with 600 available in the US. They’re all painted Phoenix Yellow and will have a serialized plaque on the sprint.

With a $forty four,950 selling price tag (such as $955 for spot), the Restricted Edition expenses $six,500 more than the 2021 Form R Touring. Which is probable easy enough for a severe fanboy, collector or observe rat to swing, and as is the case with all Form R-badged Hondas
, the 600 US-spec cars will undoubtedly be sold in small order. Fortunately, the Form R Touring presents ninety eight{394cb916d3e8c50723a7ff83328825b5c7d74cb046532de54bc18278d633572f} of the working experience, so if you are unable to snag one of the Restricted Editions, you can find still plenty of warm hatch greatness to go close to.

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