A Honda Type-R with a difference

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It’s sad but understandable to see Honda’s love affair with sporting cars hit the rocks. First the F1 team goes, then the new NSX is canned and now I understand that the S2000 roadster won’t be replaced. Rightly or wrongly, it has plumped for a mass-market, high-volume future in which such cars do not belong. But I hope the Civic Type R is not for the chop because this latest Championship White model had me giggling across the Brecon Beacons.

In truth it’s a white Type-R but with one mechanical enhancement – a standard limited slip differential. It works brilliantly. The problem with fitting LSDs to front-drive cars is those that benefit most from the traction advantage are those with excess torque to direct, but the more torque you transmit through the wheels, the more reaction is felt through the steering. You need a car with a manageable surfeit of torque and good front suspension geometry, both of which the Type R has. Because it has a normally aspirated, 2-litre motor capable of revving past 8000rpm, the way to drive it properly is by keeping the engine spinning above 6000rpm, working the delightful gearbox and making the most of the traction on offer. The suspension is still too stiff, but if you want a solidly built yet fun hot hatch, or a Honda capable of serving up a memorable driving experience, it’s worth a look.