Turbocharged EP3 Civic Type R is a Track Ready Beast!

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No-lift shifting makes a sequential gearbox a perfect match for this turbocharged EP3 Type R track car.

When it comes to modifying our Hondas to go on track, one item on the car is typically left alone, and that’s the transmission. Name any other part of the car and it’ll probably be removed, replaced or upgraded. After all, a 6-speed (or sometimes 5-speed) manual transmission does the trick just fine. That is, till you see what an amazing difference a sequential gearbox can make to a track day car.

This EP3 has such a gearbox and was spotted at Italy’s Franciacorta Circuit. This Civic has had a thorough makeover for it to be a track car, too, with a turbocharged K20, fully gutted interior with a cage, widened fenders and added aero front and rear. Interestingly, it still has a license plate for anyone brave enough to drive it on the road.

EP3 turbo sequential gearbox

Trackside video shows a fast car, but it’s the on-board video that tells more of the story. Shifts are performed not by paddles, but by a lever where the H-pattern shifter used to be. Pull back to up-shift, and push forward to go down. Up-shifts are done at full throttle with no lift, and no need for clutch, however it looks like the clutch is still used to assist rev-matching when going down gears.

On the plus side for this turbo, there’s not even a chance for it to lose boost due to the gear changes being so fast. It’s no wonder then that the whole entire on-board video simply shows the driver eating up the rest of the field with hardly a single car performing an overtake on this EP3. It has made us believe that sequential gearbox transmissions should be an option in every car, especially the new Civic Type R.

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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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