People love hot hatchbacks. They’re affordable, fun, efficient and surprisingly practical for daily use. Of course, there are hot hatches and then there’s the Honda Civic Type R, which transcends the hot hatch label and becomes more of a “hot damn!” Of course, while it’s cheaper than many sports cars, it’s not exactly cheap, per se.
How “not cheap” is the 2021 Honda Civic Type R? Well, according to an announcement made by Honda on Wednesday, the standard car starts at $38,450 (including destination), which represents a modest bump over the outgoing 2020 model. Luckily, the Type R comes pretty much loaded unless you need a bunch of carbon-fiber bits or more red accents. Honda is also selling a Civic Type R (limited to 600 units), which only comes in Phoenix Yellow (which you may remember from the 2001 Acura Integra Type R) and loses 46 pounds of weight compared to the standard car. The Limited Edition will set you back $44,950 if you can get your grubby little hands on one.
If $40,000-ish sounds like a lot to pay for a Honda Civic, it is — but don’t forget that the Type R is packing an utterly bananas 306 horsepower four-cylinder that also makes 295 pound-feet of torque. This is paired exclusively with a very lovely six-speed manual transmission. The result is a car that (in Limited Edition form, with Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires) set a new front-wheel-drive lap record of 2 minutes, 23.993 seconds at.
The Type R benefits from a handful of changes made for the 2020 model year, including a larger grille opening and radiator for improved engine cooling, an Alcantara-wrapped steering wheel and a new weighted shift knob. The Honda Sensing suite of advanced driver-assistance systems is standard equipment, too.