McLaren Automotive boss considers floating company on stock market

McLaren CEO Mike Flewitt

McLaren CEO Mike Flewitt with the brand’s 10,000th car, a Ceramic Grey 570S

Road car branch CEO Mike Flewitt reveals that shares could be sold

McLaren Automotive could be floated on the stock market in a bid to further boost investment, the company’s CEO Mike Flewitt has suggested.

In a story published in The Times over the weekend, Flewitt said: “The more successful we become, the more attractive we become to people who want to invest”.

If such a process goes ahead, it would mean McLaren’s road car division, which is part of the McLaren Technology Group, would join Ferrari as a publically listed supercar maker.

Ferrari has demonstrated the benefits of selling stocks publically, with its share value rising by around 62% since it was listed on the New York Stock Exchange in 2015.

Like the Italian brand, McLaren has enjoyed strong sales successes in recent months. The Woking-based car maker shifted 3286 cars last year, almost double what it sold in 2015.

The best-selling single model across the range was the 570S, which was the cheapest model in the line-up until the introduction of the 540C later in the year.

Biggest demand came from North America, accounting for around a third of McLaren sales. Europe was the second biggest market for the company, with 996 units sold there.

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McLaren passes major milestone with production of 10,000th car



Source: Autocar Online

Citroen C3 Aircross to take on Nissan Juke in compact SUV class

Citroen C3 Aircross set to rival Nissan Juke

The C3 Aircross is more spacious than Juke in cabin and boot

C3 Aircross features a modular interior layout which aims at providing class-leading cabin space; on sale in autumn

Citroen has altered the design of its C3 Picasso from MPV to crossover: the result is the new C3 Aircross. Set to take on the Nissan Juke, the funky-looking C3 Aircross comes with the promise of class-leading cabin space that’s helped by a modular interior layout.

The car’s design, which is inspired by the C-Aircross concept shown at the Geneva motor show earlier this year, is significantly sprightlier than the bulbous C3 Picasso it replaces. Design director Alexandre Malval explained that this shift in look is part of the model’s reinvention: “We want to migrate people across from the C3 Picasso to the C3 Aircross but we also want to attract younger customers,” he said, adding that the C3 Aircross is “more playful” than the larger C5 Aircross because he believes that’s what people expect from a smaller SUV.

It’s a similar story inside, where the old C3’s cluttered layout has been traded for a cleaner, more premium one that ditches several dash buttons thanks to the fitment of a 7in touchscreen infotainment system. It includes smartphone integration and sat-nav, and can also be accompanied by wireless phone-charging.

Despite being just 15mm longer and 75mm taller than the Juke, the Aircross can swallow much more luggage. It has space for 410 litres with the rear seats up and 1289 litres with them down – 106 litres and 100 litres more than in the Juke. However, the Aircross’s party piece is its modular cabin design, which includes a 60:40-split rear bench with seats that can slide forward and back by as much as 150mm. The boot has a removable luggage shelf and a dual-height boot floor to maximise flexibility.

Powering the new Citroën is a choice of PureTech three-cylinder engines: three petrols and three diesels. The petrols produce between 108bhp and 128bhp, while the diesels offer from 89bhp to 118bhp. The car’s driveline is urban-focused but has Citroën’s Grip Control system, which offers Sand, All-Road, Snow and ESP-off drive modes to boost traction when off road. There’s also a Hill Descent mode that can control the car down a steep gradient.

Additionally, the car gets driver assist technology including a reversing camera, lane departure warning and blind spot monitoring. There’s also autonomous emergency braking and a driver fatigue sensing system.

The Aircross will go on sale in the autumn. Prices are yet to be confirmed, but a slight increase on the old C3 Picasso, which started at £17,135, is expected.



Source: Autocar Online

Bosch created Volkswagen Dieselgate cheat software, study alleges

A study has alleged that Bosch created the Volkswagen dieselgate cheat software

Both Volkswagen and Fiat used the defeat devices, says the study; ‘real driving’ and ‘homologation’ modes were used to tweak the cars’ emissions

An academic study from two universities accuses parts supplier giant Bosch of creating the defeat device software that Volkswagen and Fiat subsequently used to cheat emissions tests. 

The study, entitled “How They Did It: An Analysis of Emission Defeat Devices in Modern Automobiles”, was conducted by academics from Germany’s Ruhr-Universität Bochum and the University of California, was part-supported by the European Research Council. The implications were published by Bloomberg

Two modes were found to be used to cheat emissions tests, ‘real driving’ and ‘homologation’, with the latter designed to recognise when the car was under test conditions, and the former to be used by the car’s intended customers.

Affected engines are fitted with Bosch’s EDC17 ECU, which the study says was programmed with the defeat software. 

“Notably, we find strong evidence that both defeat devices were created by Bosch and then enabled by Volkswagen and Fiat for their respective vehicles,” the report says, although only the Fiat 500X SUV is implicated. 

Similar allegations were made against Bosch last year, when a lawsuit filed by representatives of affected vehicles in the US accused the supply giant of being a “knowing and active participant” in the emissions manipulation. Bosch responded by saying that it is not responsible for how a manufacturer uses its components. 

Autocar is awaiting responses from Bosch, Volkswagen and Fiat. 

Read more:

Volkswagen emissions scandal: one year on

When is manipulation software not a defeat device?

Nissan found guilty of using diesel emissions cheat device in South Korea

Volkswagen of America chief surprised by defeat device car fix uptake



Source: Autocar Online

Hamilton dominates action-packed Canadian GP

Motorsport wrap: Hamilton dominates Canadian GP

Lewis Hamilton drove a commanding race in Canada

Your weekly results round-up: F1, British Touring Cars, World rallying – and a London bus…

Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton put in a commanding performance at the weekend’s Canadian Grand Prix, converting a pole position into a dominating win that means he’s closing in on championship rival Sebastian Vettel.

A decade on from his first win at the very same track, Hamilton’s 25 points haul brings him to within 12 points of Ferrari’s Vettel, who salvaged a fourth place finish and 12 points after a troubled start.

Vettel’s chances of challenging for the win were cut short on the opening lap, when a fast-charging Max Verstappen shot up from the second row of the grid and stole second place from him into the first turn.

The Red Bull driver clipped Vettel’s wing on the way through, damaging it and forcing the German to pit for a new one, sending him down the field.

Verstappen showed excellent pace but was then subject to his own troubles, with a battery failure cutting out his drivetrain and forcing him to retire ahead of turn three.

The race was filled with action throughout the field, but things remained calm at the front, with Mercedes driver Valteri Bottas following his teammate home to second place, and Daniel Ricciardo largely untroubled at the end for the final podium position.

Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship: Croft

Ashley Sutton, Colin Turkington and Mat Jackson took wins at the Yorkshire track.

The event was overshadowed by a huge accident in a wet qualifying session that injured several drivers. Luke Davenport was left in an induced coma following the incident.

For Autocar’s full report, click here.

FIA World Rally Championship: Rally Italy

Estonian Ott Tanak scored his first WRC victory after the M-Sport Ford Fiesta WRC driver outlasted his rivals on a bruising event.

Hyundai’s Hayden Paddon led much of the event until crashing on Saturday, with Tanak then pushing hard to build his advantage over Toyota’s Jari-Matti Latvala. Thierry Neuville was third in his Hyundai, having battled for the lead until brake problems slowed him.

Fourth-placed Esapekka Lappi starred on his second outing for the Toyota works team. Having lost time with gearbox issues on the first day, Lappi bounced back with six fastest stage times. Sebastien Ogier was fifth, losing time with a puncture.

UK drivers Kris Meeke and Elfyn Evans both crashed out on the opening day.

British GT Championship: Silverstone

A double-decker bus took part in a British GT Championship practice session for the Silverstone 500. No, really. A bus. An actual bus.

The ‘safari’ spectator tour bus lapped the track with championship guests on board during a live session. The safety car followed behind, with the GT drivers told when it was safe to pass.

No lap times were issued for the bus.

Bentley drivers Seb Morris and Rick Parfitt Jr won the race.

Round-up

  • Will Power won a thrilling IndyCar Series race at Texas Motor Speedway, finishing ahead of Tony Kanaan. The wild race featured 23 lead changes among seven drivers.
  • Felix Rosenqvist missed out on a double victory in the two FIA Formula E races in Berlin. Rosenqvist won the first race comfortably and finished first on the road in race two, before being handed a 10-second penalty for an unsafe pit release. Points leader Sebastien Buemi inherited the win.
  • Johan Kristofferson extended his FIA World Rallycross Championship points lead with a win in Hell (which is in Norway, obviously). The Volkswagen Polo driver finished ahead of Ford’s Andreas Bakkerud. Local hero Petter Solberg crashed out in the semi-final.



Source: Autocar Online

Opinion: Why Britain is a silent leader in grassroots electric motorsport

Losing a Formula E round hasn’t damaged enthusiasm for EV racing in the UK

It was all going so well until those pesky Not In My Back Yards got involved.

We had one of the most unique races of the Formula E season at Battersea Park, but a small group of locals weren’t having any of it. The round was dropped from the calendar following protests that claimed it was disrupting to the area. And this is one of the world’s quietest sports.

It’s undoubtedly a shame that there’s currently no British round on motorsport’s top electric category, but it doesn’t seem to have done anything to dampen the spirits of those who want to make this country a leader in the field.

I was reminded of this just a couple of weekends back when Shelsley Walsh, the world’s oldest operating motorsport venue, launched a new electric-only hillclimb class. It received backing from Ford and Renault, with the former bringing its new Focus Electric and the latter supplying its upgraded 2017 Zoe to take part, which I drove.

To get such large and mainstream manufacturers on board so quickly was a feat in itself, as was receiving such a positive reaction to the new category’s running. I wasn’t particularly fast – I needed about double the time it took the day’s fastest single seaters to complete the 0.568-mile long route – but competitors from traditional categories and spectators alike were clearly intrigued by the quick launches offered by our EVs.

It was good fun too, not least because the Zoe is a surprisingly good handling car. Its placement of batteries low down in the structure mean centre of gravity is kept very low, and remarkably, not a single mile of range was used all day, because coasting during the descent back down the hill after each run was more than enough to replenish the batteries. I essentially had an energy-free day of running, which left some of the drivers of less economical petrol machinery astounded.

While I was at Shelsley, I was also reminded that plenty of work is going on in the background. I heard whispers of interest from the UK’s motorsport government body, the Motorsports Association (MSA), which is eager to introduce more electric racing at the grassroots level. And also learned that eRally, the team that created the rally-prepared Zoe I drove last year, was making good strides with its ambitions to launch the world’s first electric junior rally class.

It all serves to remind us that while Britain’s absence from Formula E might harm it from making headlines in EV racing, at the base level, there’s a lot going on. And therefore a lot to look forward to.

Renault Zoe vs Ford Fiesta ST200 video



Source: Autocar Online

2018 BMW X7 to be revealed at Frankfurt motor show in September

2018 BMW X7 - clearest glimpse of future Range Rover rival

BMW’s largest SUV will focus on the US and Chinese markets but will be sold in Britain; it’ll get a hybrid version

The BMW X7 will make its world debut at the Frankfurt motor show this September before going on sale next year.

BMW’s seven-seat Mercedes GLS and Range Rover rival will sit at the top of its model range alongside the 7 Series. According to BMW Blog, it will be demonstrated to the public alongside the i3S, 6 Series GT and next X3. Autocar is awaiting comment from BMW to confirm the claims.

The model has been spotted testing several times in the past few months, offering glimpses of the future SUV’s design and scale. It will be the largest SUV yet produced by BMW and adopts a typical SUV body shape with a boxy passenger cabin and flat-faced front end.

Beneath the camouflage will be familiar BMW design features, such as halo daytime running lights and kidney grilles.

The seven-seat BMW X7 is being developed with the US and Chinese markets in mind but was confirmed for the UK market by BMW head of sales and marketing, Ian Robertson, last year.

Speaking to Autocar at the New York motor show, Robertson said: “We will have some versions that are top-end luxury, as well as more mainstream versions. I can’t talk about pricing now, but given that this car will have all the technology and luxury of the 7 Series, it gives you a pretty good idea of the price point we’re talking about.”

Previously, it was thought the X7 would be built on an extended version of the X5’s underpinnings, but Robertson said many parts are actually bespoke. “If you put both cars next to each other, the resemblance is small in terms of wheelbase etc. We’re not going to just extend the wheelbase, it’s a complete new panel cell.”

It is too soon for BMW to confirm which engines will go into the X7, but sources have previously speculated that it will feature a selection of six and eight-cylinder engines, such as the 3.0-litre diesel in 30d, 40d and 50d guises and the twin-turbo 4.4-litre petrol V8 from the X6 xDrive50i.

Robertson also hinted that the X7 would use engines from a wide range of BMW models, rather than just the X5 and X6. A hybrid model will almost certainly be offered, because BMW “sold more hybrids to the UK in the first two months of 2016 than in all of 2015 put together”.

The BMW X7 will be built at the company’s plant at Spartanburg in the US. It will have three rows of seats, making it a rival for the Cadillac Escalade and the Lincoln Navigator in that country and China.

The X7 has been under development since late 2015. The first sightings were of a chassis mule based on a 7 Series. The car, spotted testing in Scandanavia (and shown further back in the gallery), wore weights on its roof to replicate the higher centre of gravity of the future SUV.



Source: Autocar Online

2017 Fisker Emotion revealed with 400-mile-plus range

Fisker Emotion

Henrik Fisker’s latest project, the Emotion, has been revealed.

The Emotion has been revealed by company founder Henrik Fisker. The model is claimed to feature ‘game-changing’ battery technology, with nine-minute fast charging capability

The Fisker Emotion will launch on 17 August with a 400-mile-plus range from its electric powertrain, company founder Henrik Fisker has confirmed.

As well as the class-leading range, the Emotion will be able to charge in nine minutes, and will have what Fisker describes as ‘state of the art’ battery chemistry with the world’s highest energy density, as well as a level of autonomy and connection to its environment; necessary puzzle pieces for full driverless capability. 

A Lidar sensor is hidden in the car’s front central darkened area – there’s no grill as the Emotion is electric – although Fisker hasn’t clarified which of the levels of autonomy the Emotion will be capable of. BMW will be launching a car betweeen levels three and four in 2021, which means it’ll be capable of fully driverless travel some of the time. 

Previous images showed its butterfly doors from the front. Earlier images showed the car’s other angles and rear doors, which open in the same way.

The electric model, which makes use of innovative graphene battery technology, has been designed by Henrik Fisker, the man behind the original Fisker brand and designer of models including the Aston Martin DB9 and BMW Z8.

Read our electric car group test here

In an earlier conversation with Autocar, Fisker claimed that clever packaging enabled leg room and interior space to be maximised in the Emotion. “The entire cabin has been moved forward very much, and we lowered the bonnet of the vehicle to get better aerodynamics,” he said. “Because of the better packaging of an EV model, we have been able to create a more dynamic and sporty design but the leg room is on par with large luxury saloons.”

Fisker said that he decided to “take a risk to change the proportions” because he wants the new model’s design to be original. “It’s a risk because people aren’t used to it,” he explained.

Powering the new model will be batteries developed by Fisker Nanotech, Fisker Inc’s sister company and battery division. The company claims graphene technology will enable longer range, faster charging times and longer battery life.

The finished car will be launched as the first model from Fisker Inc. It will be an expensive low-volume model with a carbonfibre and aluminium structure and batteries stored low in its floor.

The car will be built by VLF – a manufacturer Fisker partly owns – and will have the necessary hardware for autonomous driving modes. The software for this will be developed and supplied by external companies, in a move that Fisker believes will help to streamline costs and maximise efficiency.

Second model to follow

There will also be a second, higher volume and lower cost model to follow,” Fisker confirmed. “Production for that will be handled by an established car maker, because the established car brands have really mastered high-volume, high-quality car production.”

While he refrained from going into further detail as to what brand he hopes would produce this car, Fisker did at least confirm the model will be built upon a modular EV platform. “It will be scalable, so more models can be created from it in the future,” he said.

With more models planned for the future, Fisker Inc could become a rival to the likes of Tesla and electric brands from mainstream car makers, including Mercedes’ new EQ sub-brand.

Read more:

Henrik Fisker sues Aston Martin for $100 million in damages

Fisker designed 218mph Force 1 supercar revealed



Source: Autocar Online

New Porsche 911 GT2 RS previewed at Forza event with 700bhp

Porsche 911 GT2 RS

Porsche’s new supercar is a star of the new Forza

Most extreme 911 road car yet has been shown for first time at new Forza Motorsport 7 launch; it’s due later this year

Porsche’s new 911 GT2 RS, the most powerful and extreme road-going 911 yet, has been previewed with an early reveal at the launch for the Forza Motorsport 7 video game.

The car, which is one of the game’s star models, will be officially unveiled by Porsche later this year.

It’s based on the second-generation 911 chassis and gains hardware from the GT3 RS. The rear-wheel-drive GT2 RS will get rear-axle steering with Porsche Torque Vectoring, as well as a fully variable locking rear differential.

It’s been spotted numerous times at the Nürburgring undergoing high-speed testing. The car is powered by a turbocharged flat six engine that’s related to 911 Turbo S‘s unit but has been ramped up to produce close to 700bhp.

Porsche is yet to confirm the statistics, but expect that output to enable scintillating straight-line performance. The 0-62mph sprint is expected to take little more than 2.5sec and top speed will be more than 205mph, dwarfing the numbers of the GT3 RS and even the four-wheel-drive Turbo S.

It will also produce more downforce from its track-spec bodywork than any other 911 on sale, with a fixed rear wing, larger front intakes and GT3 RS-mimicking arch vents.

Earlier prototypes wore winglets on the nose. They are unlikely to make production but suggested the final car’s bumper will generate additional downforce.

Porsche has continually refrained from commenting on the photographed development car, but the brand’s boss of GT high-performance models, Andreas Preuninger, confirmed that a GT2 RS was on its way last year. The showing of the car at Forza’s game event suggests the model is just months away from launch.

The new 911 GT2 will be the first to wear the moniker since the 997-based model that went on sale seven years ago. It offered 611bhp from its twin-turbo flat six engine in a package weighing just 1370kg. It is widely regarded as the most extreme 911 to have gone on general sale to date.



Source: Autocar Online

Most extreme Porsche 911 GT2 RS previewed at Forza event with 640bhp

Porsche 911 GT2 RS

Porsche’s new supercar is a star of the new Forza

Maddest 911 road car has been shown for first time at new Forza Motorsport 7 launch; it’s due later this year

Porsche’s new 911 GT2 RS, the most powerful and extreme road going 911 produced yet, has been previewed with an early reveal at the launch for the Forza Motorsport 7 video game.

The car, which is one of the game’s star models, will be officially unveiled by Porsche later this year.

It’s based on the second-generation 911 chassis and gains hardware from the GT3 RS. The rear-wheel drive GT2 RS will get rear-axle steering with Porsche Torque Vectoring, as well as a fully variable locking rear differential.

It’s been spotted numerous times at the Nürburgring undergoing high-speed testing. The car is powered by a turbocharged flat-six engine that’s related to 911 Turbo S‘s unit but has been ramped up to produce 640bhp.

Porsche is yet to confirm the statistics, but expect that output to enable scintillating straight line performance. 62mph should come in little more than 2.5sec and top speed will likely be over 205mph, dwarfing the numbers of the GT3 RS and even the four-wheel drive Turbo S.

It will also produce more downforce from its track-spec bodywork than any other 911 on sale, with a fixed rear wing, larger front intakes and GT3 RS-mimicking arch vents.

Earlier prototypes wore winglets on the nose – they were unlikely to make production, but suggested the final car’s bumper will generate additional downforce.

Porsche has continually refrained from commenting on the photographed development car, but the brand’s high performance boss, Andreas Preuninger, confirmed that a GT2 RS was on its way last year. The showing of the car at Forza’s game event suggests the model is just months away from launch.

The new 911 GT2 will be the first to wear the moniker since the 997-series-based model that went on sale seven years ago. It offered 611bhp from its twin-turbo flat six engine in a package weighing just 1370kg. It is widely regarded as the most extreme 911 to have gone on general sale.



Source: Autocar Online

2017 Honda Civic Type R – full specs revealed

2017 Honda Civic Type R

The extreme focus of the current Civic Type R has been toned down in an effort to attract a wider audience; the GT version commands a £2000 premium

The 2017 Honda Civic Type R will cost from £30,995 when it hits Honda forecourts this July. 

The current front-drive Nurburgring lap record holder is also announced to cost from £299 a month on a three-year, 5.9% PCP deal. The GT version will cost £32,995 outright, and comes with a host of extras, including an upgraded sound system, LED front fog lights and Honda’s Connect system with sat-nav.

PCP pricing for the GT will be confirmed upon launch, but Honda expects the sales split between Type R and Type R GT to be heavily in favour of the GT – 75% of Civic Type Rs bought in the UK will be GT-badged. The higher-spec model gets improved equipment over the standard car including blind Spot Information, dual-zone climate control, LED front fog lights, an improved stereo system and Garmin sat-nav.

Honda confirmed that pre-orders were received before the car was available to order, but didn’t go so far as to reveal how many. Honda did say, however, that US customers will most likely get their hands on new Civic Type Rs first, as it’s a larger market than the UK. It’ll be the first time a Honda Type R car has been officially marketed in the US. First delivery dates are yet to be confirmed.

2017 Honda Civic Type R revealed

The new Honda Civic Type R hot hatch will strike the perfect balance between performance and comfort, according to project boss Hideki Kakinuma.

Talking about the all-new, tenth-generation Civic-based hot hatch, Kakinuma said: “We are trying to balance two aspects. Some rivals focus on extreme performance and others are going in the comfort direction. We want to go right in the middle.”

The current Type R has been criticised for being too performance-focused, so this move is an acknowledgement that a more middle-of-the-road approach is needed in order to attract a broader audience, not least in the US, where the Type R will be sold for the first time.

Despite this intention, Kakinuma also confirmed that the new Type R will make an attempt on the Nürburgring Nordschleife front-wheel-drive lap record this spring.

A pre-production version of the previous-generation model held the Nürburgring record of 7min 49.21sec until last May, when Volkswagen’s Golf GTI Clubsport S recorded a lap time 1.4sec faster. Honda subsequently responded by setting new front-wheel-drive lap records at five European racing circuits.

2017 Honda Civic Type R specs

The new Civic Type R features a revised version of the turbocharged 2.0-litre VTEC petrol engine used by the outgoing model. The flow rate of the exhaust gases has been increased and the ECU’s mapping has been updated which, Honda claims, improves throttle response and driveability at peak. Torque remains the same, with 295lb ft from 2500rpm to 4500rpm, but peak power is up by 10bhp to 316bhp at 6500rpm.

Despite the upped power, Honda claims improved fuel economy for the new model, of 36.7mpg with 176g/km CO2; that’s 20% more fuel efficient than before, but a 6g/km rise in CO2 emissions. 

Kakinuma said the car’s kerb weight is “just about the same” as the existing Type R’s 1382kg. The new model’s 0-62mph time also matches the current car’s time of 5.7secs, while the car’s top speed stands at 169mph. 

The Type R also retains the six-speed manual gearbox of the current car. Kakinuma said: “We want to offer customers the joy of shifting for themselves.” It also introduces a new rev-match control system which promises to give smoother gearshifts and negates heel-and-toe driving.

The outgoing Type R required the standard Civic’s platform to be significantly re-engineered, so the model launched a long time after the regular hatchback. However, for this generation, the Civic platform was designed for the Type R from the beginning.

The new model is longer, lower and wider than before, with a centre of gravity that is 34mm lower and a 50mm lower driver’s hip point, while further use of adhesive in the standard Civic bodyshell has increased torsional rigidity by 39% compared with the previous Type R, Honda claims.

The MacPherson strut suspension of the standard model has also been revised, with new geometry intended to minimise torque steer and improve handling. It also uses the same multi-link rear axle as the regular Civic but adds high-rigidity suspension arms. There’s also a set of adaptive dampers improved for the new model, with three-chamber designed shock absorbers to add to the car’s more comfortable approach than its predecessor.

Aerodynamics are also improved thanks to a smoother underbody, a front air curtain, a lightweight rear wing and vortex generators along the roofline. Honda claims the result is a best-in-class balance between lift and drag, with a 3% improvement in drag coefficient. Honda claims that the car’s frame is 37% stiffer and 16kg lighter than before, too. 

In a bid to offer a more comfortable ride than before, the Type R will have three driving modes: Comfort, default Sport and, for the track, R. Kakinuma described the Comfort mode as being “in line with the standard model”, while R is “a bit harder” than before. “We’ve extended the spectrum of the modes,” he added. “The previous Type R was only sold in the EU and Japan. In order to appeal to a broader range of customers, such as the US, we added the Comfort mode.”

Despite targeting American buyers, growing in size and developing some new refined character facets, the new Honda Civic Type R hasn’t gone soft, according to Honda’s UK-based New Model Centre Division Manager Phil Haydon, who has been closely involved with productionising the new car at Honda’s Swindon factory, and has been driving a prototype version for extended periods of the last year.

“The new ‘comfort’ driving mode certainly makes the ride more civil, and we’ve made significant improvements to refinement in the car,” confirms Haydon, “but in ‘R+’ mode I’d say the new car’s even firmer-riding and more exciting than before.” 

“We have a more rigid body, wider axle tracks, wider tyres and a lower centre of gravity in play. While the last Type R probably made a bigger impact because of the increase in power and the switch to turbocharging, this one is probably the greater engineering achievement,” he went on. “It’s still our idea of the ultimate front-wheel drive hot hatchback, despite the added breadth of ability.” The tyres are specially-developed 245/30 R20 Continental pieces. 

The car’s brakes are larger than before; 350mm for the drilled front discs and 305mm for the solid rear discs represent growth of 9mm over the car’s predecessor. 

Kakinuma also said work had been done to improve the exhaust note. “A key weakness [on the former model] was a booming sound,” he said. “ We’ve paid attention to that aspect and improved it, especially at low and mid-speed range. We tuned the sound and it’s all natural.” In the car’s intriguing three-pipe exhaust setup, the two outer pipes handle exhaust flow, while the centre pipe is in control of the engine note. 

Honda Civic Type R project boss Hideki Kakinuma on the all-new hot hatch

Honda Civic Type R: will it be good to drive?

Stay up to date with the latest from the Geneva motor show here

Geneva motor show – the 14 cars you must see



Source: Autocar Online

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