The 2020 Honda Civic Type R is the current king of hot hatches in the United States – not that there are many challengers for the throne at the moment. The Fast Lane Car has gotten ahold of one and held a bracketed drag race against a Honda Civic Si, Mazda MX-5 Miata RF, and a previous-gen Mini Cooper GP.
The races start with the two least-powerful machines: the 205-horsepower (153-kilowatt) Civic Si and 181-hp (135-kW) Miata RF. These also might be the most interesting runs in this video. While the Civic has a power advantage, it has traction control that is very hard to turn off. With the assist only partially deactivated, the Mazda beats the Honda in two drag races. However, after doing the complicated combination of button toggles, brake presses, and handbrake pulls to shut off traction control, the Si finally scores a victory.
Gallery: Honda Civic Type R Drag Race Video
As the winner, the Si then has to race the 2013 Mini Cooper GP. While quite a bit older, the GP is the more powerful model with TFL Car quoting 218 hp (163 kW) for its example, while reports from the debut put the figure at 211 hp (157 kW). While this specific example of the Mini is hardly perfect, its powertrain can still propel the hot hatch to victory.
The 2020 Civic Type R's powertrain continues to make 306 hp (228 kW), despite improvements elsewhere. With more modern tech and a power advantage over the Mini, the Honda wins with ease.
Then, there's a surprise challenger because the CTR has to race a Mercedes-AMG GLC 43. This is obviously a bit unfair. The performance crossover has a 3.0-liter twin-turbo V6 making 385 horsepower (287 kilowatts). It's also all-wheel drive rather than the Honda's front-wheel drive. The two machines aren't comparable in price, either, because the 2020 CTR starts at $36,995, and the GLC 43 is $59,500.
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