A redesign is always newsworthy from the carmaker's point of view, and the Honda Motor Company was certainly excited for the Civic Type R to start a new generation with the 2020 model year. More recently, though, they were especially enthusiastic to announce the rest: for 2021 there will be a Limited Edition Civic Type R.


The Honda Civic Type R reigned over Nürburgring in 2017, when it set what was then the world-record lap time for front-drive cars (7 minutes, 43.8 seconds). But that record only lasted two years, until the Renault Mégane RS outraced it by less than 3 seconds. Honda Racing engineers went back to their drawing board, set on making improvements to help the Type R reclaim the top speed, and the initial result of that work is this special edition.


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A Lighter and Truly "Limited" Edition


Getting your hands on a 2021 Honda Civic Type R Limited Edition will be a challenge, since only 1,000 of them are to be produced. Of those, 600 will be sold in the U.S. (with 200 going to Japan, and 100 each to Europe and Canada). They'll all have the same eye-catching exterior: Phoenix Yellow Metallic paint with black elements (hood scoop, mirrors, and roof), and each will have its own numbered Limited Edition plaque.


One major aspect of these track-centric changes is the car's weight reduction. Honda changed the wheels to a lighter option and eliminated some things that just aren't needed in a performance car: rear heating ducts, noise deadening materials, and the sliding cover for the hatch area. It's interesting, though, that they've replaced the noise cancellation with an engine-noise enhancement feature called Active Sound Control, which amplifies engine sound (according to drive mode) inside the cabin to heighten the driver's enjoyment. The six hundred units to be sold in America will keep air-conditioning and the infotainment system, but the other countries' units will dump those components to lose 24 more pounds. All 1,000 units will contain the standard Honda Sensing active-safety technology package.


Further Performance Improvements


The same highlights of the conventional 2020 Civic Type R's redesign carry over to the 2021 Civic Type R Limited Edition. Both have lighter two-piece rotors that shrug off heat damage during high-speed driving, as well as improved software for the suspension module that sends 10x more data per second to the dampers. The lower ball joints have been tweaked for reduced friction, and the rear control-arm bushings are stiffer than previous to enhance handling.


Things stay the same under the hood as well, with the 2021 Honda Civic Type R Limited Edition getting the identical powerplant to the 2020 Honda Civic Type R: a 4-cylinder turbocharged engine with a 6-speed manual transmission. The output is 306 horsepower (at 6500 rpm) and 295 pounds-feet of torque (at 2500 to 4500 rpm). Fuel economy shouldn't be the biggest concern for buyers of a vehicle like this, but it's EPA rated for 28 mpg highway and 22 mpg around town.


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