Honda today unveiled the new 2023 Honda Civic Type R Pace Car, which will lead the NTT INDYCAR SERIES field to the green flag for this weekend ‘s season-opening Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg on the Florida Gulf Coast.
The latest in a series of Honda Pace Cars utilized for Indy car competition since 2006, the new Civic Type R Pace Car is the most powerful model in the Type R ‘s 30-year history, and benefits from additional improvements made to the production Honda Civic Type R for 2023, including an all-new immersive cockpit experience and a sleek, muscular new design.
“Type R is very important for Honda as the pinnacle of our factory performance and an irreplaceable brand that enables enthusiasts to experience Honda’s racing spirit, and seek the ultimate in speed and driving pleasure,” said Hideki Kakinuma, global Civic Type R development leader. “The all-new Civic Type R will continue that legacy, leveraging Honda’s racetrack-proven engineering to deliver extreme performance and passion—both on the road and on the racetrack.”
Already a class leader in ride, handling and steering performance, Honda engineers undertook rigorous testing at racetracks in Japan, North America and Europe to further improve Civic Type R’s chassis. The result makes the all-new Type R more responsive, more comfortable and more thrilling-to-drive than ever before. With 315 horsepower, the 2023 Civic Type R is the most powerful Honda production vehicle ever sold in the U.S.
Under its new vented aluminum hood is an even more powerful version of Honda’s award-winning K20C1 engine. Horsepower, torque and response are improved by a redesigned turbocharger, increased air intake flow rate, and a new more efficient exhaust system that features a straight through design and an active exhaust valve. The size, shape and number of the turbocharger’s turbine wheel blades have been optimized along with the flow path of the intake charge, enabling the turbocharger to generate pressure in a wider range and more efficiently. The turbocharged 2.0-liter, 4-cylinder engine now produces 315 horsepower at 6,500 rpm (SAE net) and 310 lb-ft of torque at 2,600-4,000 rpm (SAE net) – improvements of 9 hp and 15 lb-ft, making the Civic Type R one of the most powerful cars in its class per liter, with a specific output of 157.8 hp/liter, up from the previous generation ‘s 153.3.
Type R’s smooth and precise six-speed manual transmission is further improved by a lighter flywheel and a revised rev-match system, helping maintain stability on corner entry. The high-strength gearbox has also gained a high-rigidity lever and optimized shift gate pattern for a reassured and hyper-precise gear change. A standard helical-type limited-slip differential puts the engine’s power to the pavement effectively.
Now based on the all-new 11th-generation Civic Hatchback, Civic Type R’s scalpel-sharp responses and famously addictive driving feel are increased even further by a significantly more rigid body structure that supports both improved dynamics and refinement. The wheelbase has been extended for a smoother ride and greater stability. Its front and rear tracks are also significantly wider. Together with a retuned dual-axis strut front and multilink rear suspension, these changes improve straight-line stability and steering feel.
Final modifications to the Civic Type R for Pace Car duties include a Honda Performance Development [HPD] brake package, including competition rotors, racing pads and stainless steel brake lines; and four-point racing harnesses.
An exclusive pace car lighting system and Honda graphics caps the conversion from showroom Civic Type R to an NTT INDYCAR SERIES Pace Car.
Since its U.S. introduction in 2017, the Civic Type R has gathered near universal acclaim for its unique blend of potent dynamic performance and day-to-day driving civility. The Civic Type R was named to Car and Driver ‘s 10 Best Cars list for 2023. The Type R has also garnered an enviable reputation on the racing circuit from professional racers utilizing the Civic Type R to compete in the SRO Touring Car America and other racing series around the world.
HPD has three ready-to-race Civic models for touring car competition. The line starts with the affordable and reliable Civic Si TCA race car, then leads to the Civic Type R TC racer that puts legendary Type R performance on track, and culminates with the no-compromise, championship-winning Civic Type R TCR race car. All competition Civics, along with a full line of performance parts, are available from HPD through the company ‘s Honda Racing Line program. HPD ‘s unparalleled trackside support at every level is a unique benefit that no other manufacturer can offer. Find out more about these cars and our performance product programs at: https://hpd.honda.com/Motorsports/Touring