When the first-generation Honda Civic Type R appeared in 2001, Honda raised a few eyebrows. It was known for its high-revving VTEC engines and lively Integra Type R already, but when it decided to make a hot hatch out of the British-built ‘EP3’ Civic, nobody was quite prepared for just how good it would be. It was a sensation.
The second generation – the FN2 – was more of the same. Also built in Swindon, the new model was just as quick, just as agile and arguably better looking with its futuristic front end and space age cabin. Even today, 15 years after the model first appeared, it still looks sharp and striking, like nothing else on the road.
This example is an early Type R. The trim level appeared in 2007, a few months after the start of FN2 production, and was offered as either the standard Type R or as it is seen here, in Type R GT form.
The GT Pack made the Type R a little bit posher, adding dual zone climate control, fog lights, cruise control, electric folding mirrors and an air-conditioned glove box to the standard equipment list, whilst removing none of the fun.
According to the VIN number, this is the 4,184th Type R GT made. It was registered in 2007 and spent the first few months of its life as a dealership demonstrator, before being acquired in 2008 by the current keeper’s uncle.
It has since had another family member as an owner between uncle and nephew, but has remained within the one family and has been cherished since nearly new, meaning its entire history is known.
It has never been damaged, suffered mechanical failure or been used on a track, and it has been maintained for all of its life in accordance with the manufacturer’s schedule.
The vendor has owned the car for the past four years but is selling it due to an expanding family and the need for something bigger. He says it is both the most enjoyable and reliable car he has ever owned and is very sad to see it go.
Included with the Civic is a full service history, with all books and manuals and a fully stamped service portfolio.
There are a few receipts and bills, along with an MOT valid until December 2021. The car also has a full UK V5C registration document.
Inside, a similar story unfolds. The cabin is in very smart order with nothing other than signs of very light wear.
The Type R bucket seats are deep and supportive, and they look fabulous finished in black Alcantara fabric with red inserts. The colour scheme is further set off with red door trims and carpets. Being a GT, this is also a well-equipped model with dual-zone climate control, automatic lights and wipers and cruise control. It is also supplied with two sets of keys.
Everything works as it should, including the climate control and stereo.
Finished in Nighthawk Black, which is seen by many as the very best colour for a Type R, the Honda is a very clean and smartly presented car.
There are no major flaws to speak of on the body, other than a few small stone chips and minor marks.
The grey alloy wheels are in good order with decent rubber, and all of the trim and badges are as they should be, again with no notable damage.
Overall, it’s a smart and handsome example in lovely, unmodified condition.
If you’ve never driven a Type R before, prepare yourself for a sensory experience as the hot Honda is unlike anything else on the road.
The 197bhp i-VTEC engine is normally aspirated and it spins freely, red-lining at 7,500rpm, while peak power doesn’t even arrive until 6,250rpm when the VTEC zone kicks-in. It’s a fascinating and clever piece of engineering that uses trick valve timing to achieve a similar power output to rival turbocharged engines, and its power delivery is frantic at the top of its rev range. Yet around town, it will happily trundle around in quite a docile manner, like any old Honda Civic.
Yet it is most certainly not ‘any old’ Honda Civic. This is one of the best hot hatches ever made, with pin-sharp handling to match its wonderful i-VTEC engine. This one has been impeccably maintained and has a full service history. It pulls strongly, sounds great and has no signs of any leaks or strange noises, while the steering, brakes and suspension components also appear to be in good order.
The vendor reports that the car is absolutely brilliant to drive, and has no known issues.
Early ‘EP3’ Type Rs are getting more and more collectable by the day, meaning that the second-generation ‘FN2’ model is bound to follow suit.
This one is a great candidate for preservation, as it has been cherished all its life and is a smart example, with a known history, full ownership record and is in extremely good order.
It’s the perfect definition of a modern classic hot hatch, which is as happy in everyday use as it is as a weekend plaything.
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2007 Honda Civic Type R GT
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