It's a good time right now if you're a Kiwi with an itchy chequebook finger for the Honda Civic Type R. The new FL5 version sold out immediately at launch late last year (naturally), but Honda NZ has now announced it has another 50 examples to offer. It's taken a leaf from Toyota's book (check out our Zooming with DRIVEN chat about it here) and is running a lottery to allocate the cars - although prospective buyers have to actually front up to a Honda Store and place a deposit to be in for the May 15 draw.
It's a good time for the Type R globally as well: the FL5 has just reclaimed the Nurburgring Nordschleife lap record for front-drive cars, so it's back with Honda after the Renault Megane RS Trophy grabbed it from the previous FK8 Type R in 2019.
The Type R lapped the 20.8km-long track in 7:44.881, but it's also an interesting tale of changing track lengths and hot-hatch status. Read more about it here.
Anyway, DRIVEN has had its share of fun with the Type R on track as well, including a last blast around Pukekohe Park Raceway. It's an epic machine on a circuit: easier to drive than the previous model, yet more precise and even harder-edged when you press the bright red R button and go max-attack.
But hot hatches are supposed to have broad appeal. Track credentials are important (tick), but this genre also trades on day-to-day driveability and practicality (that's the "hatch" bit in hot hatch). We've finally had a chance to try the new Type R on real-world roads; see what we thought in the video above.
HONDA CIVIC TYPE R
ENGINE: 2.0-litre turbo-petrol four
GEARBOX: 6-speed manual, FWD