i, james may, Like this car

It creates a strange sensation in my hondapants

4y ago

There are a number of things I would criticise about the Honda Civic Type R. I find the engine a bit coarse at low revs, and the power delivery a bit sudden. The interior is rather ordinary and pressing the 'R' button simply spoils whole car: the ride, the steering feel. It’s like having a ‘wings ice up’ button on your aeroplane seat. Everything suddenly becomes much worse.

There’s also the simple fact that it’s about to be replaced, even though it only seemed to arrive – finally – about a month ago.

But what’s really bothering me about the Civic Type R is the way it looks. I think it looks absolutely terrific, but Pinky and Perky disagree. They think it looks awful, and prefer the Golf GTi, because they’re well cubic.

I think it looks absolutely terrific, but Pinky and Perky disagree

Says me

I think we should take a moment to remind ourselves what a hot hatch is for, which is first and foremost to look a bit ridiculous. The Civic Type R looks really silly, and a bit like some flying cars I drew in the back of my maths exercise book. But it also looks fantastic, full of surprising angles and weird interpenetrations. Plus those winglet things. If you drive that, you are a serious helmsman. Or you might be a right yobbo. But either way, it’s better than pretending your focussed performance tool is really just an ordinary hatchback.

For years my main criticism of Japanese cars in general was that they didn’t look very Japanese. They just looked like cars. But the Type R does. I can’t explain why it does, but you just know it isn’t European, it definitely isn’t American, and it can’t possibly be a Hyundai. In fact, it’s definitely a performance Honda. I think it looks tremendous, and it makes me fizz and laugh in equal measure.

But even Jethro Bovingdon, who you will find somewhere in this digital labyrinth, is unconvinced by the ‘styling’. For some reason he believes it’s a good car, whereas I think it’s a faintly aggravating car that I would still have because of the way it looks. What is wrong with everyone? The Civic Type R is terrific.

Am I alone in this? Since what amount to elaborate surveys can now decide things like the independence of whole nations, I’m prepared to put it to the vote.

Please read the following statement and post which response most closely corresponds with your own view.

The Honda Civic Type-R is epic.

_ Yes, I agree. It’s properly tidy.

_ I am a dullard.

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Comments (235)

  • I am an intelligent being with eyes...and this car's styling offends said eyes. If by implying that this car looks Japanese you more specifically mean that it looks like an attempt at origami by someone with a stomach full of saki, then yes, it looks Japanese. 😉

      4 years ago
  • I agree, it's tidy.. So last week i bought one! :D Taking it for a tour around the Scottish Highlands in August for a few days too, rather looking forward to that.

      4 years ago
  • let's just say it's different... and different is good👍

      4 years ago
    • There are lots of terrible cars I like anyway partly because they're different.

        4 years ago
  • yes I agree it's cool as

      4 years ago
  • I don't understand why but I too like this car. I've never driven one or even sat in one. But every time I see one i bore my girlfriend by declaring the fact that it's either up my arse, has just rattled past me or is going the other way in a VTEC cloud of dust. I could use words to describe the way this thing looks. But I can't because I don't know why I like it. I just do. It's just...'cool'

      4 years ago