The latest JDM treat from our favorite resin model juggernaut is the FD2-generation Civic Type R, one that many fans have been waiting to see in the eighteenth scale. This is undoubtedly the coolest Civic ever, though the current Type R is capable of inducing nearly as many oohs and aahs. The mid-2000s saw the Civic really separate itself from its competitors, sporting a new, edgier, more futuristic vibe that Honda has maintained all the way to the present day. Unlike the Corollas and Sentras of the world, it didn’t just want to fit in as yet another boring economy car. And, unlike those two, the Civic actually had a true, high-performance variant—not some half-baked “sport” trim—that vaulted it into sports car territory.
That would be the Type R.
We’re talking, here, about a Civic that thoroughly outperforms the Euro-spec FN2 Type R and shames even Honda’s own DC5 Integra Type R—both of which carry two fewer doors and the latter of which is an actual sports car. What kind of sorcery is this CTR wielding—I mean, there’s gotta be more than just the VTEC kicking in, right? Weight savings, for starters, through the heavy use of aluminum and removal of sound-proofing materials. In doing so, Honda successfully trimmed the Civic’s mass to just a hair over that of the Integra. The four-door structure also has its inherent benefits, providing the Civic with far superior body rigidity than its siblings. Completing the upgrade is the new, independent rear suspension that only the Japan-exclusive FD2 got. This was a luxury that the FN2 was denied and largely the reason why it underperformed on the track, drawing the ire of many a European. Complain all you want, mate, but at least it’s better than the Civic Si we got over here.
The sum of all those parts, according to experts and journalists, is one of the best-handling, front-wheel drive cars ever made. Their words, not mine. I do, however, love the way this car looks. Obviously, it has that big wing going for it—you know I’m a sucker for those things—but otherwise, the visual differences between a Type R and your grandma’s Civic are embarrassingly pedestrian compared to the mutilations that Subaru performs on their Imprezas and Mitsubishi on their Lancers. In this regard, the Civic Type R is a sleeper, and subtlety is the key. The exterior package includes a revised front bumper and a rear diffuser that you probably didn’t notice until I mentioned it. The unique wheels, seven-spokes similar in design to those worn by past Type R legends, are the best means of identifying this special cupcake. Red Honda badges, a favorite accessory option amongst wannabes who drive lesser Hondas, signify this car’s Type R pedigree and are actually appropriate here because this Civic is the real deal.
As is customary with most of Otto’s JDM releases these days, they produce them in multiple colorways, and I do my best to grab all of them once they become available for order. The best Civic ever demands the same preferential treatment. White-on-white is the de facto color combination for any Type R Honda, but the blue-on-silver example will make you question tradition. For the record, the only real one I’ve seen in person was black—marvelous all the same—and I was sitting on a bus looking down at it, eyes fixated and awestruck, as we cruised in tandem down the road. Good times.
Remember the special-edition Mugen Si? That’s what this blue one reminds me of. Here’s hoping that Otto tweaks the tooling on this Civic and gives us one of those too. (and in case you haven’t heard, a Mugen RR is coming soon!)