The stir from the 2017 Geneva Motor Show saw manufacturers unveiling radical new designs, breakthrough technology and more horses than a ‘My Little Pony marathon’. Two models that peak my interest were the new Honda Civic Type-R (FK8) and the Ferrari 812 Superfast. Although Jamaica has been importing a large number of ‘high-end’ vehicles of late, chances are; the Island should see a higher percentage of potential buyers for the Type-R.
The Type R created a huge buzz on social media. The minority being ‘nay-sayers’, possibly because Americans were so excited about getting an R that they didn’t even care what it looked like. It could have been powered by a supercharged lawnmower engine for all they care – well turbocharged in this case. However, it’s actually a great car, well on paper at least. I’ve spoken to persons who rant on how ugly the rear looks with all the over-emphasized aero attributes. Personally I think it resembles Kim K’s posterior in skinny jeans – both man-made perfections (see what I did there :)). I’m elated about the wild design, so much so, that I now count mini type R’s jumping over fences when I go to sleep at night.
The ‘over-the-top’ hatch is armed for track duties as Honda hopes to reclaim their Nurburgring title. Power comes from a 2.0 turbo-charged motor published for producing 306hp and 295tq in the 2500 to 4500rpm band. A vast difference to the high-rpm screaming naturally aspirated motors of its predecessors.
“I’m all for it! I don’t rev to max rpm with the K20 motor, so the mid-range torque of the new Type-R should be refreshing.” Leroy Spence, Driving Instructor, Jamaica Race Drivers Club. Leroy was the owner of a DC2 Type-R Integra and currently owns the FD2 Civic Type-R. Furthermore, he has driven/tested almost every ‘R’ manufactured, under track conditions.
To battle all this front-line action, Honda’s ‘Dual Axis Strut’ front suspension has been employed to reduce torque steer. Evidence of which can be taken from their 7:50.6 lap record – now shattered by the VW Clubsport S; still very successful engineering. Ooohh and guess what?! Honda skipped the rear torsion beam shenanigans, see you in Germany.
How will the availability of the Type R in the states affect the Jamaican market? We can expect mass hysteria when North Americans start purchasing, modifying and popularising the FK8. Will the repercussions extend towards Jamaican car culture? The type R is expected to cost around $35,000 US, thus, will be available to Jamaicans at an estimated 10 million dollar price tag. That’s pitching the Civic against the WRX STI and Audi S3 both 4wd equipped, something a few fans were expecting from Honda.
That projected 10 mil tag is attached to cars directly imported from retailers overseas. With accessibility of vehicle history reports from ‘Carfax’ and other entities, Insurance companies in Jamaica aren’t providing full coverage for repaired vehicles; resulting in non-issuing of car loans. So if you’re looking to ‘do-a-ting’ and repair and import, you might have trouble getting a loan to purchase. Your best bet may end up being to cash in at the dealership. Incidentally, rumours are that ATL Automotive is planning on importing the flared up rice rockets, as soon as the RHD models become available.
In this world there are two kinds of people. Those who like naturally aspirated Type-R’s and those who prefer turbo-charged R’s; the rest aren’t HUMAN. I’m kidding, save your hate emails – sheesh. The FK2 had a short run of 2500 units being produced and sold, how well will the FK8 perform. So far I haven’t seen any FK2’s in Jamaica, is this an omen for the fate for the new edition Type-R in JA? The possibilities of dealership importation could spur sales. We’ll just have to wait and see, R we there yet…?
7th Gear is my weekly rant on rumours, opinions and ‘googled’ investigation on matters related to the automotive community – for the most part. #staytuned