Best Motoring Puts EK9 Civic Type R Through Its Paces and We Love It
Modern and efficient turbo motors are cool, but some of us are still crying about not having 8,200 RPM Civic Type R’s in our garage.
The EK9 Civic Type R may be forbidden fruit here in the U.S., unless you import one, but its importance cannot be understated. This first Type R model was a big deal in its day, and it’s still a big deal now, because it kickstarted what would be Honda’s sport compact car domination, using the Type name. And, luckily, we have finally been graced with one in the U.S. this time around.
The essence and character the first Type R brought is far stretched from its modern turbo-charged equivalent. This JDM hero was known as the SiR and it sported a legendary B16B engine, making 182 HP and revving to a satisfying 8,200 RPM. It featured a variety of motorsport-focused modifications, including a LSD, weight reduction, a seam welded chassis, and some beautiful red Recaro seats which will still snatch a high price today.
Obviously, the SiR was bred with the intention of racing. Thus, you might be wondering how a EK9 of that caliber might fair in comparison to some of its generational rivals, including the Integra Type R, and, later, the Honda S2000.
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Well, thankfully, legendary Japanese TV show Best MOTORing has released this throwback episode of their on-track test with the SiR from back in 2000 during the Civic’s release. What proceeds includes some 1/4 mile racing, wheel to wheel battles in the wet at Tsukuba Circuit, and a healthy discussion with Spoon president Tatsuru Ichishima. Don’t speak or read Japanese? You’ll be just fine, as the details that make this car so special can be easily seen in its driving ability throughout the video.
In the end of the video, there is a Spoon SiR featured flying around the legendary Suzuka Circuit with some obvious modifications, the most obvious being an increased redline, seemingly over 9,000 RPM. Sometimes all it takes to enjoy a car is watching it get whipped around at the limit by professional racing drivers. While it may not have been the outright fastest product Honda had on the market during its release, it held its own on the racetrack and it continues to do so in the hearts of enthusiasts alike.