Honda Civic Type R vs Ford Focus RS vs BMW M140i vs Seat Leon Cupra 300 review

Honda has, in recent years, developed a bit of a reputation for mucking about. Just look at the state of its Formula 1 engine programme, or the amount of time it took for the current NSX to finally see the light of day. Or even how long it made us wait for a Type R to crown the previous generation of Civic.

There has been no such dallying this time around. Mere months after launching the 10th generation Civic and – boom! – here’s the new Type R, on the road, in the UK (where it’s built, of course) and squaring up to three fantastically divergent rivals, all of which sit happily under the broad hot hatch umbrella.

Honda Civic Type R meets its rivals. Shot for CAR by Alex Tapley

Presumably it helped the development process that the 2.0-litre turbocharged engine is an evolution of the last one, rather than something that needed building from scratch, but you also sense this car has been forged in fire by a Honda that’s determined to prove a point. The heat involved in this process may also explain the slightly melty looking rear bumper.

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