Posts Tagged ‘civic’

The Honda K20A. A masterpiece of engine design and arguably the best NA( naturally aspirated) 4 cylinder ever built, with the other being another Honda wonder, the S2000’s F20C. While only having 2.0 liters of displacement, what makes this engine such a weapon is the current iteration of Honda’s famous VTEC system. The K20A from the last Type R, the FD2 Civic, uses variable valve timing for both in intake and exhaust valves. Its ultimate configuration is found in the limited Mugen RR, which still keeps its 2.0 liter displacement and pushes 240 Hp and 159 lbs of torque, with a race like redline of 8400 RPMs.

Mated to Honda’s excellent 6 speed manual transmission, many auto enthusiasts have found the K20A to be one of the best powerplants to swap into their cars, which in turn changes a daily commuter into a weekend racer. You will see many EG and EK hatch Civics with a K20A swap, in addition to some family grocery getters like the Honda Fit. But this engine is not limited to Hondas only. Other car enthusiasts have discovered the high potential of the K20A in vehicles such as the Toyota MR-S and the Lotus Elise, with the Honda engine being even better suited than the supercharged Toyota powerplant that comes stock. The original Ariel Atom also used a supercharged K20A for its European model.

So now that Honda has ceased manufacturing of the last Type R this past August, the fate of this gift to the automotive world is unknown. For now, let’s have some fun and relieve the glory of the K20A in a tuner battle to see which car is the perfect match for the Honda screamer.


The FD2 Civic Type R. Anytime a Honda carries the legendary Type R badge on its back, you know you are about to experience something very special. Fans will argue which was the best Type R to ever come out of Japan, with many votes going way of the DC2 Integra. And while it´s hard to argue against the only Type R that America ever saw, I believe the FD2 Civic stands above them all. Sure, the NSX-R might be the rarest, most potent R model, but that comes at a premium price for exclusivity and not necessarily performance. Fast forward to the last Type R, the FD2, and you have a car that sold for under $30k and laps Tsukuba Circuit faster than a 350Z, Evo X GSR, and even a Dodge Viper RT/10.

But how is it possible that a lowly Honda Civic with a 2.0l 4 Cylinder and FF layout can be faster than a Viper, with it’s monster V10 engine, on the track? Pure balance would be the answer. When Honda decided to build its most extreme Civic, they seeked to build the ultimate Type R by maximizing the potential of all its components. The engine, while being only a 2.0l 4 cylinder, was tuned to produce over 220HP with a racecar-like redline of over 8,000 RPMs. Rumor even has it that a stock FD2 Type R was dynoed and managed to put down 237 HP to the wheels. Very impressive numbers when you consider how small the engine is. Even the AP1 S2000 doesn’t lay that much power to the wheels, albeit suffering more drivetrain loss being an FR car. The engine is mated to one of the best 6 speed transmissions ever assembled, gaining praise throughout the automitive press, as many journalists have claimed Honda as the best manual gear maker in the business.

The suspension and brakes are also a big highlight of the Type R. Stopping power came from a perfectly balanced set of Brembo brakes on all four corners. The suspension was fine tuned at the Type R’s natural home, the race track. One of the main reasons why the FD2 can run laps faster than vehicles with more power is that it can maintain higher speeds in the corners. More than one race driver who has tested the FD2 at various circuits around Japan have praised the handling of the Type R for being very stable at high speeds, having a driving characteristic of a FR car, which is the most common layout in motorsports. Throw in a set of lightweight wheels, race bucket seats, a digital cluster for speed readouts and an analog tach reading all the way to 9000 RPMs, everything comes together in perfect Type R harmony.

Last August was the final production date for the FD2 Type R. A successor hasn’t been announced, even though the rumors from Japan are that a Type R version of the new CR-Z could be in the works. With that being said, below you will find Best Motorings Civic Type R video. BM goes in-depth with the team from Honda who developed the FD2, as well as a number of famous race drivers from Japan who give us their professional opinions on what made this Type R the best performing yet.
Now, the wait begins again. What does Honda have up its sleeve and will the Type R badge ever adorn a vehicle again?
Stay Tuned