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Hollywood

2018 Honda CTR FK8 - "Sneaky Mode"

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I did a thing and I love the thing...

 

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So a rolling review with updates over time as the new car aura fades...

The Good

Ride:

Absolutely excellent. How they managed it with 20" wheels is beyond me, but in Sport mode (default) the car rides just as soft as a modern Accord/Civic. In comfort mode it's hard to remember you're in Type R. Race mode obviously stiffens it up, but it's still incredibly soft. This is by far the biggest difference I've noticed in testing a Focus RS and this. The Focus felt like dedicated track spring rates; it was jarring and annoying.

-Update 6/22/18: Still in love with the ride, but the handling is even better. I really, really, really, really like driving this thing hard - and it really, really, really likes it.

-Update 10/5/18: Yup, still love it. Find myself driving in the middle "Sport" mode all of the time. The wheels, however, are a death sentence around 610 and its pot holes.

-Update 10/23/2019: Amazing ride. Since switching to a 19" wheel and cramming some more tire in there, I actually drive it in R+ mode more than the rest.

Power:

Holy shit. Absolutely zero torque steer. It does not feel like a FWD car. The torque this thing makes at 3k is mind boggling. Honda purists obviously have been crying about this departure from the high-rev screaming VTEC engines of old, but jesus is this addicting so far. The power out of the corners is insane; as a track toy this thing would be nuts assuming it stays cool (which word out there is that it won't - it'll barely make 2-3 laps in 90 degree ambient). For city driving and highway driving, it's a beast. MPG 25-28 but will definitely be getting a speeding ticket here shortly. The passing power without changing gears is a new experience for me...

The only "eh" I've had about the entire thing is the gearbox. It's still wonderfully Honda, and perhaps this is due to the torque / power, but some gears are a bit "notchy." I'm spoiled by the S2000 and this gearbox is right beneath it.

Auto-rev match: thought I would hate it, absolutely love it.

-Update 10/5/18: As the cool weather descends upon Texas, the heat soaking, timing-pulling power loss is gone and this thing will spin the wheels grabbing third. MPG has jumped as well to 30 on my commute. 

-Update 10/5/18: Could be louder. May change exhaust.

-Update 10/23/19: This car, like most boosted cars, is super sensitive to heat soak. During this past summer, which somehow is still here in October, I could swear there were 100 hp swings as it tried to manage 95+ deg days by yanking timing. Still happy with the exhaust but wish they had made it louder; again, spoiled by the S2000 I think.

Brakes:

Good god.

-Update 10/23/19: Brakes are finally toast. A few track days killed them. Still in awe of the brembos.

Looks:

When I first saw photos, I wasn't sold on it. The inner-17 year old loves it, but then practical thirty something me said what the hell are you doing. That all went out the window when we saw it in person. It is...beautiful. Every part on it. The engineering, the tight panel gap tolerances..it's just...ugh. Even the wheels grew on me. The girlfriend loves it so much that we're going to have to make a sign out sheet on the fridge to decide who gets to drive it each day. 

-Update 6/22/18: Still in love with it, look at it every day when walking away. Love the interior looks as well.

-Update 10/5/18: The stock wheels have taken a brutal beating. With such a tiny tire profile, even a rock in a parking lot will scuff this thing (and does). Pot holes feel like they should be bending the wheel if they haven't already. I love the feel, but will be putting on some Titan7 19x9.5's when the tires are done.

- 10/23/19: Rolling 19 x 9.5 +45 Titan7s wrapped in 265 RE71Rs. Hell of a daily driver combo, I love it.

Space:

Tons of space. It's a big girl. Ample back seat and massive storage boot; it's incredibly practical...it's like a swiss army knife if the knife also had a light saber.

 

-Update 6/22/18: Threw in the type-r trunk mat and weathertech for front and rear seats...it's an incredible family car. The kind of 'finish a track day, pick up the dog and some groceries on the way home while fleeing police' kind of way.

-Update 10/23/19: Trunk space with seats down is incredible, this is probably the most versatile car I've owned outside of a truck...for obvious reasons.

Interior:

As of 10/5/18, this thing has developed a few annoying rattles and squeaks. The most obnoxious is what I've narrowed down to the seat mount. The vibrations from the engine are very severe when revving it out and it's starting to show.

- 10/23/19: Rattles all over depending on the day. They come and go. No persistent ones. Probably due to the stiff engine mounts. Adds character. No fucks given.

Verdict: 

Honda knocked it out of the park. Welcome back Shigeru Uehara ethos.

 

-Update 6/22/18: Trying to figure out how to buy another one for the lady.

-Update 10/5/18: Would still buy two if I could.

-Update 10/21/18: No end in sight, best daily driver I've owned. 28mpg. Scary fast when it's not an oven outside.

 

The Hilarious Stuff That Doesn't Matter But Isn't Great:

 

Audio / Speakers: They're not terrible, but it's definitely not great. The tweeters are garbage and the lack of an even basic parametric eq (or any eq) makes it worse. The good part is I never have music on when driving it (just like the S2000), so I don't care. The BOV keeps me entertained.

-Update 10/5/18: I've used the stereo twice, and both were for phone calls.

 

Horn: I almost feel like they're playing a joke on owners as the horn is almost comical to use. I feel immediate shame when using it, like it's the punch line to a bad dad joke.

 

-Update 10/5/18: Horn is a terrible joke. I won't use it. Which is good, because people in Texas treat it as fightin' words.

Lack of parking / blind spot nannies: Oddly enough, it doesn't have blindspot (or even the blindspot camera that comes with the Si) nannies or a backup "beep." Again, not that I give a shit, but strange that it's missing when it comes standard in lower models (Si and base Civic). The visibility is excellent so no issues there.

-Update 10/21/19: I genuinely hate the cruise control on this car. It works in % of a single mph, and not great at it. I've even watched it adjust down an mph after cruising happily for a period of time. It has a mind of its own, and takes anywhere between 4 and 24 button presses to increase a single mph, which it may or may not like staying at.

Also, I really wish Honda would have let us choose / customize settings between the 3 modes. I'm not a fan of the R+ steering, but love the Comfort mode. I enjoy Comfort mode suspension too, but don't enjoy the throttle map etc. etc. Kinda bums me out it's all or nothing. Minor, minor minor annoyance.

 

TWO YEAR UPDATE:

As of this month, I have owned the CTR for two years / roughly 18,000 miles. It has been an excellent car. It has retained its value. It is an epic daily driver. It is versatile as hell. It is annoying to clean. It is an epic track toy* when its cold outside. Over the last two years, I've spoken with two people who purchased it and they mentioned my thread as influencing their decision. For that reason....time for this post for posterity. 

*The Civic Type R overheats on track. End of story. 

Without modifications, in stock form, with the heat on full blast, this car will 100% overheat within two or three laps at pace if the ambient creeps above 70 degrees. Understandably, "at pace" my differ by driver and may take more laps for some or less for others and the track configuration may influence it as well...but....the check is in the mail. When she does overheat, she will go into limp mode. Limp mode may take a lap or two to clear, but it will quickly swing back to it once you pick the pace up again. Up until that point, you can feel the car pull timing. It's frustrating.

Other large related issue: the gas tank size for the CTR is the same for the Si. While not a major headache daily driving, under boost this car will drown itself in fuel. A 20 minute session will use an incredible amount of fuel, and while this isn't the end of the world - if the car is under half a tank, you will fuel starve. Big time. 

This is not anything new as you can read up on this elsewhere on the internet, but I figured it needed to be reiterated in my thread.

/rant

Edited by Hollywood
Updated at 2 years ownership

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Whaaaaat. Please tell me you didn't get rid of the S2000. This is awesome. I want a ride, tour, etc at some point!

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Whaaaaat. Please tell me you didn't get rid of the S2000. This is awesome. I want a ride, tour, etc at some point!

 

Oh hell no, she's still in the garage with the new girl. I don't think I'll ever sell that one. Anytime! Maybe a rice box meet this week?  :laugh:

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Congrats!!!! Love the color(s)! Keep her safe, I'm sure the go-fast parts interchangeability to lesser Civic models is high.

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as a track toy this thing would be nuts assuming it stays cool (which word out there is that it won't - it'll barely make 2-3 laps in 90 degree ambient).

 

That's a bummer. I had a Fiesta ST that I upgraded the IC/Rad/Oil cooler and still barely kept cool. These little hot hatches with high HP turbo are having a hell of a time with packaging and cost :/

 

Still an awesome car, congrats!

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Nice purchase! Thirty something me loves the styling too.

 

I have a major soft spot for showroom stock FWD ring record cars...nuthin sneaky about this laptime: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4YSjItQneNM

*Note its a bit colder at the ring in April than basically any time of year in Texas so take that into consideration...

**Also note the re-donk-ulous trap speeds at Schwedenkruez, Foxhole & Mutt Kurve for a front driver. Shows what a complete package the car is versus Tiergarten which is only about HP.

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*Note its a bit colder at the ring in April than basically any time of year in Texas so take that into consideration...

 

 

Yeah so far the literature / feedback of those that do track it out there say it's manageable with ambient <= 70 or a track with multiple long straights. That rules out the majority of club circuits in Texas, hah. It's a heat soak design flaw (mass production concession) with air flow to the intercooler (and intercooler design / capacity). I don't think Matt Farah managed more than 2 laps last year at Road Atlanta in it before he had to blast the heat in the cabin just to prevent it going into limp mode. Still, in stock form, impressive.

 

 

Awesome video, you weren't kidding about the top speeds / trap speeds...

 

 

This recent article rings true near the end: http://www.motortrend.com/cars/honda/civic/2018/ford-focus-rs-honda-civic-type-r-volkswagen-golf-r-subaru-wrx-sti-type-ra-comparison/

 

We're already trying to decide how to buy another one....

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We're already trying to decide how to buy another one....

I'm just glad you didn't get a Focus RS...that car is so over-rated. Couldn't even manage a sub 8 lap time... :rolleyes:

 

If I was in the market for a FWD barnstormer it'd be hard not to pick the CTR...even though my Germanic bias would have me pulling for a Clubsport S, if they were available in the US...speaking of availability, see also - R26R, the OG front driver ring record holder :wub:

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So real talk: if you had one or two very minor issues...would you take your "babe" in for warranty work when you know the techs are going to joy ride the hell out of it? I went to drop it off today, had 6 shop techs literally fighting over who was going to drive it over to queue, decided to leave.

 

Yeah it's new so I'm super anal (I didn't even let the dealership wash it when it arrived because #swirlmarks keep me up at night), but wanted to know that I'm not the only one who feels this way?

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Hell, I had recall work that needed to be done on my truck and I didn't want to take it in because I knew all my interior panels were going to rattle afterwards. (some seat belt thing) So yes, I'd feel the same way.

 

Spoiler: They did rattle and I had to fix it myself. 

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Hell, I had recall work that needed to be done on my truck and I didn't want to take it in because I knew all my interior panels were going to rattle afterwards. (some seat belt thing) So yes, I'd feel the same way.

 

Spoiler: They did rattle and I had to fix it myself. 

 

This 200%

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I won't take my cars to the dealer until it is absolutely necessary.   

 

Example: took the truck for a transmission fluid flush before Hallett.  Spend couple of hours after picking it up cleaning all the oil spills and stains inside and outside the engine compartment.

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Agreed, can't remember the last time I took a car to the dealer. It makes me cringe thinking about it. RIP your CTR.

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" had 6 shop techs literally fighting over who was going to drive it over to queue"

 

 

For me, this confirms your feelings are justified......I don't blame you one bit.

 

HA!!! and you own a CR.....!!!! 

 

You have done it to yourself, my friend, buying cars that you don't want anyone to touch. LOL!!!

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For me, this confirms your feelings are justified......I don't blame you one bit.

 

HA!!! and you own a CR.....!!!! 

 

You have done it to yourself, my friend, buying cars that you don't want anyone to touch. LOL!!!

 

I actually let the sales guy at the dealership take the CR for a joy ride while I was finishing up paperwork  :laugh:

 

 

 

Yeah everyone's posts definitely strengthened my resolve...unless something on it grenades, I'm ok with it never going there.

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ha! you bought this thing?!?!

 

I was just reading about it yesterday vs. the Focus RS.

 

I saw one at pikes peak this past weekend actually wearing 18s FN-RC01s and it looked "much very nice"

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Hey does it have forward collision warning and adaptive cruise control?

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How big is the trunk? Can I fit Ollie?

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