Tuesday, January 31, 2023
Reviews 2021 Honda Civic Type R Limited Edition Quick Review: Beyond the Phoenix,...

2021 Honda Civic Type R Limited Edition Quick Review: Beyond the Phoenix, it’s Just a CTR

It's far too late to buy a new Honda Civic Type R Limited Edition. And it's not really worth buying used.

  • The CTR Limited Edition was priced at $54,600 in Canada, $43,995 in the US.

  • Only 100 units were available in Canada, 600 in the US.

  • If you’re thinking about buying one, expect to pay a HUGE premium over retail.

  • The FK8 CTR is peak ICE.

I’ve recently reviewed the 2021 Honda Civic Type R and, well, I quite liked it. Truth be told, over the last four years, I’ve driven the CTR no fewer than four times and on two of these occasions, I was able to push it hard on my favorite track in the world, the Circuit Mont Tremblant. Full confession: I actually twice booked the Polished Steel press unit – this was to be the last time I got to drive an FK8 Honda Civic Type R. But it wasn’t.

2021 Honda Civic Type R Review: Under the Spell of FWD Perfection

In a conversation with the swell folks over at Honda Canada, I was informed about the existence of an extremely rare Civic Type R Limited Edition that they had at their HQ. And if I was ever in the Toronto area that they would happily hand over the keys for a test drive. I was and they did.

This glorious Phoenix Yellow 2021 Honda Civic Type R Limited Edition was not just any old LE, it was CAN serial # 000. Based on what I was told, this car, once its usefulness expires, will be destroyed. On at least two occasions in the past, I’ve driven pre-production cars which eventually suffered a similar fate. One was a Porsche 911 Sport Classic…

Phoenix Yellow and what really defines the Limited Edition

2021 Honda Civic Type R Limited Edition | Photo: Matt St-Pierre

Tragic though this may be, I did get to spend a few hours with 000 and discovered a few things. But first, let’s break down what justifies the $54,600 retail price over the Type R’s $46,200 in Canada ($43,995 vs. $37,895 in the US.)

The ultimate stand-out clue is the nostalgia-inducing Phoenix Yellow colour. Rightfully stolen from the 2000 and 2001 Acura Integra Type R, the colour contrasts heavily with the gloss black and carbon fibre trim found throughout the CTR – it’s unbelievable. It also likely covers about half of the $8,400 of the LE’s premium. Another feature, or features, are the lightweight forged aluminum 20-inch alloys from BBS. They cut unsprung weight by 4.5 lbs per corner however painted black, they are nearly indistinguishable from the standard wheels. The wheels are wrapped in Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires and together, account for roughly an estimated $3,000.

Is it a CTR+?

2021 Honda Civic Type R Limited Edition | Photo: Matt St-Pierre

Delving deeper into what makes this 2021 Honda Civic Type R a Limited Edition, we find that Honda’s extracted 28 lbs of sound-deadening materials from the roof, rear hatch panel, front fenders, and dash. The LE does without a cargo cover, rear heater ducts, and rear wiper mechanism were removed to save weight. The total weight reduction is of just shy of 50 lbs. If I noticed anything specific during my time with the LE, it was that it’s far noisier onboard than in the regular CTR.

Finally, the Civic Type R LE gains specially tuned dampers and recalibrated steering. These two items were impossible to evaluate in my time with 000 as the weather conditions, the roads, and the time I had simply would not allow it. To be frank, unless I’d been able to track both versions of the Type R back-to-back on a track, I don’t think I’d be able to pinpoint any differences. The Type R’s included dual-axis strut front suspension and adaptive dampers are already exceptional.

2021 Honda Civic Type R Limited Edition | Photo: Matt St-Pierre

Also brilliant is the CTR’s turbocharged 2.0-litre 4-cylinder engine and its 306 horsepower at 6,500 rpm and 295 lb.-ft. of torque from 2,500 rpm to 4,500 rpm. Matched to one of the top 3 best manual gearboxes in the world, no car this side of a Porsche 911 GT3 is this involving. But you probably knew that already.

Should you spend the extra money?

The question is whether or not, should you be in the market for a Honda Civic Type R, if you should spring for a Limited Edition. The short answer is no. As I write these lines, there are no less than 15 offered for sale in Canada with prices ranging from $70,000 to $99,000(!). I’ll give it to the CTR LE that it’s rare and Phoenix Yellow but it’s not worth the current going price.

2021 Honda Civic Type R Limited Edition | Photo: Matt St-Pierre

A used 2017-2020 Type R ranges in price from $42,000 to $50,000 and is everything you could hope for in this car. For far less than $10,000, you can fit the wheels you prefer, wrap them in your favorite rubber, and take the CTR’s stance to a lower level.

Note: I’ve come to understand and realize that 000 was a prototype mule Type R Limited Edition which explains why this car rolls on 20-inch Continental tires and that a rear wiper is found on the hatch.

2021 Honda Civic Type R Limited Edition | Photo: Matt St-Pierre

2021 Honda Civic Type R Limited Edition | Photo: Matt St-Pierre

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Matt St-Pierre
Trained as an Automotive Technician, Matt has two decades of automotive journalism under his belt. He’s done TV, radio, print and this thing called the internet. He’s an avid collector of many 4-wheeled things, all of them under 1,500 kg, holds a recently expired racing license and is a father of two. Life is beautiful. Send Matt an emai


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