Clarkson Gets His Hands On A Civic Type R And Talks Performance And Looks

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The new Civic Type R is very very appealing to Jeremy Clarkson, but there’s one thing he just can’t get over.

If you’ve ever felt like you’re alone in thinking “maybe they went a bit overboard on the looks” with the Type R, then you’re not alone. Professional automotive opinion maker Jeremy Clarkson has recently had one to test. While he likes driving it quite a lot, he most certainly doesn’t like being seen in it.

That’s a shame, because it spoils his otherwise very high opinion of the Type R as a driver’s car. And that’s not down to sheer speed either, but it’s ability to be fast and comfortable.

“There’s a wider track than on the last incarnation and a stiffer superstructure. And that sounds as if you’re in for more grip, if you can tolerate the bone-shaking ride. Nope. What you get is phenomenal grip and a ride that’s actually quite absorbent.”

All of that praise is overshadowed because of the new skin the R wears. Clarkson went as far as saying he was embarrassed to drive it. That’s just an opinion, but one has to wonder where the wings and aero tweaks go from functional to fake. Bumper shapes front and rear feature blatantly oversized “vents” that aren’t even vents at all, and we feel could cause the biggest visual infraction.

But do looks really play that big of a part of a car’s appeal? That’s something you have to ask yourself. In the discussion here at Honda-Tech, it’s split down the middle. While none of us think it’s particularly ugly, there’s a noticeable pattern of either “overkill” or “just right.” Does the opinion of yours truly also side with Clarkson? It does.

Patrick Morgan is an instructor at Chicago's Autobahn Country Club and contributes to a number of Auto sites for Internet Brands, including MB World and 6SpeedOnline.

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