2020 Honda Civic Type R refresh includes revised brakes, suspension

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The Honda Civic Type R is already a powerhouse of a hot hatch, and now it’s getting a nice bundle of performance improvements, styling and interior tweaks, and tech for the 2020 model year. There’s even a flashy new color.

Hardware upgrades for the refreshed 2020 Civic Type R include new two-piece brake rotors and pads, which Honda says are meant to “reduce fade and improve high-speed braking efficiency.” From there, suspension updates include re-tuned dampers to make the ride more comfortable, stiffer rear bushings to increase grip, and unspecified modifications to the front suspension to “reduce friction and improve steering feel.” 

On its stock 20-inch wheels and low-profile tires, the current Type R is indeed a rigid-riding sports car, so a bit of damper softening makes sense. What the rowdy hot hatch definitely did not need was more grip—Car and Driver recorded 1.02 g on its skidpad test, but clearly Honda figured out there was still some left on the table. Engine performance will not change, which means we’ll get the same boosted 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine good for 306 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque.

On the tech front, Honda Sensing (a package of safety and driver-assistance features) comes standard for the first time in the Civic Type R. In the styling department, there is a larger front grille for better engine cooling. Interior enhancements include Alcantara wrapping for the steering wheel and a new shifter with fresh style and shorter throws that will make the Type R a nicer place to rip hot laps, roast autocross parking lots, or just commute to work.

After launching on the Civic Hatchback, Honda recently adding the popular Sonic Gray Pearl to the Type R, and will now add a zesty Boost Blue hue to its color palette. This paint is exclusive to the Type R. The news of this refresh was announced at the 2020 Tokyo Auto Salon, where the revised Civic Type R was on view alongside an NSX painted in Honda’s old-is-new-again Indy Yellow Pearl.

It’ll be interesting to see how these small adjustments add up in the 2020 Type R. This ultimate Civic was just about perfect the way it launched, but if Honda can even marginally improve this front-drive halo car, we’re on board.

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