Having updated the regular Civic and the warm Si variant for the 2020 model year, Honda is now refreshing the cherry on top of the lineup by releasing the revised Type R. Debuting at the Tokyo Auto Salon in Japan, the hot hatch has gone through mild cosmetic tweaks with an emphasis on improving aero to make the polarizing body sleeker than before.

Needless to say, the styling modifications are in line with those applied to the lesser models of the range. New for 2020 is the slightly larger front grille allowing the engine to breathe better, along with a fresh Boost Blue paint color exclusive to the Type R.

Gallery: 2020 Honda Civic Type R

The mid-cycle facelift comes along with quite a few mechanical changes as Honda has installed newly developed two-piece brake rotors coupled to updated brake pads designed to reduce fade and boost the stopping power at high speeds. In addition, the 2020 Civic Type R has a modified suspension with optimized dampers increasing comfort during normal driving.

Honda’s engineers have developed a new set of rear bushings that are stiffer than before to improve grip, while the front suspension has been modified to make the steering feel more direct by reducing friction.

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Stepping inside the cabin, the performance hatchback has a new steering wheel wrapped in Alcantara, along with a different shifter featuring a redesigned knob and shorter shift throws. In the United States, the Honda Sensing array of safety and driver assistance systems will come as standard, making the 2020 model year the first time Honda Sensing is offered as standard equipment across the entire Civic lineup.

Underneath the hood you’ll find the same turbocharged 2.0-liter gasoline engine making 306 horsepower and 295 pound-feet (400 Newton-meters) of torque. Output is channeled to the front axle through a six-speed, close-ratio manual transmission and a limited-slip differential. As before, drivers will get to pick between three selectable modes (Comfort, Sport, +R) that change throttle and steering response as well as the firmness of the suspension.

The 2020MY debuts Honda’s Active Sound Control that will modify the sound heard inside the cabin depending on the selected drive mode.

Honda says additional details about its revised hot hatch for the U.S. market will be released closer to the vehicle’s launch programmed for later this year. For the time being, there’s no word about a potential hardcore version to reclaim the title for the fastest front-wheel-drive production car at the Nürburgring, a title currently held by the Renault Megane RS Trophy-R with a time of 7 minutes and 40.1 seconds or nearly four seconds quicker than the Type R.

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Refreshed 2020 Honda Civic Type R Breaks Cover at Tokyo Auto Salon

  • 2020 Civic Type R for U.S. market launching later this winter
  • Refreshed model includes multiple performance improvements, with revised aerodynamics, engine cooling, suspension, and upgraded brakes.
  • Multiple exterior and interior styling enhancements, plus standard Honda Sensing®

The 2020 Honda Civic Type R made its world debut today at the Tokyo Auto Salon. The new model year brings a number of changes and improvements to Type R’s winning formula, including revised styling, improved aerodynamic performance, and the addition of standard Honda Sensing® safety and driver-assistive technology.

The new 2020 Civic Type R incorporates numerous changes to improve its already stellar driving dynamics, including new two-piece brake rotors and new brake pads designed to reduce fade and improve high-speed braking efficiency. Suspension revisions for 2020 will include updated dampers for better ride comfort, stiffer rear bushings for better grip, and modifications to the front suspension to reduce friction and improve steering feel. Exterior design enhancements will also include a new larger front grille opening for improved engine cooling, and the 2020 model will be available in a new, Type R-exclusive Boost Blue.

For the 2020 model year, drivers can also expect added refinement, including a new Alcantara™-wrapped steering wheel and a new shifter with a restyled knob and shorter shift throws. The 2020 Civic Type R also adds the Honda Sensing® suite of safety and driver-assistive technologies, marking the first time that Honda Sensing® will be available as standard equipment on all Civic models and trims.

Under the hood, the 2020 Civic Type R continues to draw power from a race-bred 2.0-liter direct-injected and turbocharged 4-cylinder engine with VTEC™ valvetrain putting out a peak 306-horsepower and 295 lb.-ft. of torque (both SAE net), with power to the front wheels delivered through a close-ratio 6-speed manual transmission and limited-slip differential. As before, drivers can choose between three driving modes – Comfort, Sport and +R – that vary suspension firmness, steering and throttle response. New for 2020 is Active Sound Control, which modifies interior sound in concert with chosen drive mode. The Type R’s selectable drive modes and sophisticated design make it both a thrilling companion on a mountain road or a racetrack and a remarkably civilized daily driver with a degree of flexibility unmatched in its competitive set, especially at the price.

Additional information about the U.S.-spec 2020 Civic Type R will be available closer to its on-sale date later this year.

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