The all-new 2023 Honda Civic Type R is an amazing hot hatch, but you get the feeling that it doesn’t have a lot in common with its predecessors. It’s big, well-equipped, turbocharged, and, above all, very expensive. If you add the insane markups to the $44,000 base price, it becomes worlds away from a cheap EK9 Civic that you can pick up for $2,000.
From 1995, Honda produced the sixth generation of the Civic Type hatchback, better known to the world as the EK9. We’ve always loved the styling of these things. From a distance, they’re like any old cheap cars, jellybeans with wheels. But there are plenty of reasons to make them popular.
Just because these things had two doors, it doesn’t mean you should go around calling these things hatchbacks. But these really were supposed to be cheap cars, powered by your average 1.6-liter engines. Things got a little spicy with the Civic Si which produced 160 hp from said displacement with the help of VTEC and 16 valves.
Of course, the EK9 is cool because it’s also the genesis of the Civic Type R. This was lighter, more focused and powered by the legendary B16B engine with produced 182 hp, the highest power output per liter of any engine at the time. And yes, all that is done without a turbo. Honda didn’t use those until the FK2 in 2015.
If you’re into counting, know that the 2023 Civic Type R is the sixth generation of the Type R and it’s based on the 11th generation of the Civic. And it basically doesn’t look like the same type of car as the EK9 Civic.
The 5-door hatchback body is almost two feet longer and a foot wider while also being 1,000 lbs heavier than your basic EK9. But rendering artist Sugar Design still wanted to know what a 2023 Civic Type R would look like if it was designed the same way as in the 1990s.
That’s why you’re looking at a boxier hatchback body with just two doors. But then it also preserves some of the features of the modern FL5 Type R, like the fact that its fenders have a widebody design. Its features are also more sports car-like, such as the bolted-on rear wing, the big brakes and the triple exhaust tips.
Hot hatchbacks with only two doors used to be quite common about a decade ago. You could get a Golf 7 GTI that way up until about 2017. But nowadays, you’ve only got smaller offerings like the Abarth and MINI Cooper. As Jason Cammisa put it: since we have less money for toys, we’re asking more and more from the sports car.