The hot hatch that everyone has been waiting for, the 2023 Honda Civic Type R (FL5) has finally been launched by Honda Malaysia, priced at RM 399,900.
The Civic Type R has been well received in Malaysia, from the FD2R to the FK8, and now, the Civic Type R FL5! Has it already sold out? Well, for this year, there's an allocation of 19 cars, but there will be more next year.
Selection of the 19 fortunate purchasers will be determined by a lottery system, rather than a first come, first served approach. The FL5 is a complete import (CBU) from Honda's Yorii facility. Considering that there's a two-year waiting list in Japan, these 19 units are as good as gold.
The FL5 was introduced in Vietnam last October with a price tag of RM474,000, and in the Philippines, it was introduced in January this year for RM517,000. Now, it's Malaysia's turn! For nearly RM400k, you too can own the latest Civic Type R.
When compared to the FD2R (RM200,000) and FK8 (RM320,000), you might be surprised that the price has almost crossed the RM400k barrier. That's nearly RM60k more than the last one.
There's a new front and rear bumper, honeycomb grille, and improved airflow efficiency, which Honda says is one of the new car's main focus. However, the overall design is less aggressive than the FK8, with fewer decorative vents and smaller air outlets.
Speaking of efficiency, the wheel size has been reduced to 19 inches compared to the FK8's 20 inches. Despite the smaller size, the contact patch is wider at 265/30-profile, compared to the FK8's 245/30).
Inside, you'll find iconic red seats, a new meter design, and the +R driving mode. While this is a sporty car, the interior is not only luxurious but, most importantly, exclusive, seeing the return of the red floor carpets, which Type Rs are known for.
At the heart of the dashboard lies a 10.2-inch digital instrument panel, accompanied by a 9.0-inch infotainment display that also serves as the Honda LogR data logger.
The +R mode which has a dedicated button, is part of the FL5's driving modes, and when selected, it sets the dampers to their firmest setting for flat, precision handling. The EPS also becomes firmer to deliver maximum road feel to the steering wheel, and throttle response becomes more immediate.
Rev-matching mirrors the Sport setting, the engine sound becomes the fiercest, and the DII (instrument cluster) switches to full track mode.
The power and performance of the FL5 are truly impressive. The KC20C1 2.0-litre turbo engine produces 319hp and 420Nm of torque( 9hp and 20Nm more than the FK8). The 6-speed manual transmission is sure to provide an engaging driving experience, just like the previous model.
The performance metrics show a 0-100 km/h acceleration time of 5.5 seconds, an improvement from the FK8's 5.8 seconds. However, the top speed is still capped at 275 km/h.
In reality, this 2.0-litre turbocharged engine has been carried over from the FK8 with some slight changes. Most importantly however, it now features a revised turbocharger with compact housing that improves efficiency. The turbine has an optimised blade count (reduced), but the new blade design provides a boost in power and enhances airflow.
In other updates, the engine also now features a bigger radiator, an enhanced cooling fan, and improved engine components including pistons coated with low-friction molybdenum.
This is Kaizen for you – continuous improvement following the Japanese philosophy!
The FL5 is the inaugural Type R to be equipped with the Honda Sensing suite, a collection of ADAS safety features. This includes Forward Collision Warning, Collision Mitigation Braking System (CMBS), Lane Departure Warning with RDM, Auto High Beam, Adaptive Cruise Control, LKA, and the Lead Car Departure Notification (LCDN).
For the Malaysian market, the FL5 Type R will exclusively be available in the signature Championship White hue. Additionally, like other Honda models, the FL5 Type R comes with a 5-year unlimited mileage warranty, along with an aftersales package of five complimentary service labours for up to 5 years or 100k km.
Wants to live the simple life, especially when it comes to cars and bikes. That's what tech is for he reckons, to make motoring simpler