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2020 Honda Civic Type R: Still the Wild Child of the Family

2020 Honda Civic Type R

Competes with: Volkswagen Golf R, Hyundai Veloster N, Subaru WRX STI

Looks like: The Honda Civic hatchback after a trip to the SEMA Show

Powertrain: A 306-horsepower, turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine with six-speed manual transmission; front-wheel drive

Hits dealerships: First quarter

Honda has spent the last two years rolling out light updates to most versions of its popular Civic line, but the Type R has been left out — until now. Making its U.S. debut today at the 2020 Chicago Auto Show, the 2020 Honda Civic Type R gets a light refresh that includes performance upgrades and more standard safety features.

Related: 2019-2020 Honda Civic: Everything You Need to Know

Exterior

Exterior styling changes are minor. The 2020 Civic Type R has a larger front grille opening for better engine cooling, and there are new strakes above the foglights. A new exclusive color, Boost Blue, is also available.

2020 Honda Civic Type R

Interior

Changes to the cabin are similarly minor. The steering wheel is wrapped in Alcantara simulated suede and the shifter has shorter throws and a new shift knob. There’s also a new Active Sound Control system that’s tied to the car’s three drive modes.

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Under the Hood

On the performance front, the 2020 Civic Type R gets new two-piece brake rotors and brake pads designed to reduce fade and improve high-speed braking. Other updates include revised shocks, stiffer rear bushings and updates to the front suspension designed to improve steering feel.

The 2020 Civic Type R’s powertrain carries over: The turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder is good for 306 horsepower and 295 pounds-feet of torque. The engine drives the front wheels through a six-speed manual transmission, and a limited-slip differential is included.

2020 Honda Civic Type R

Safety

In safety, the news for 2020 is big. The Type R is finally getting the Honda Sensing safety system standard, bringing it in line with the rest of the Civic lineup. The suite of safety and driver-assistance features includes forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking, lane-centering steering at higher speeds and adaptive cruise control.

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