Everything there’s to know about the 2023 Honda Civic Type R FL5 is out in the open. It’s the fastest and most powerful Civic Type R ever and will likely be the most expensive too once it hits our shores this year.
It’s definitely going to be sold here officially via Honda Malaysia as they’ve let the cat out of the bag during a media briefing, projecting a slide with the Civic Type R’s unmistakable manual gear knob.
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Honda Malaysia has quite a close-knit relationship with the mothership in Japan and has culminated in some preferential treatment with regards to that iconic Type-R badged Civic. Back in 2007, Malaysia was the only market to officially offer the Civic Type R FD2R outside of Japan and that trend continued with the previous generation FK8 Civic Type R a couple of years ago.
The FL5 is based on the 11th generation Civic and loses much of the ricer cosmetics of its predecessor. Instead, the more polished exterior belies greater improvements in terms of aerodynamic efficiency, power and grip.
Power comes from the same engine as its predecessor with some extra ponies massaged out of it. The K20C1 2.0-litre VTEC Turbo four-cylinder engine from the FK8 Type R has a revised turbo and exhaust system that increases power to 330 PS and 420 Nm of torque in its native Japan.
However, markets with low-quality fuel such as Vietnam saw output detuned to 320 PS. Vietnam was the first Asia Pacific market to get the FL5, followed by Thailand, Indonesia, and the Philippines – in that order. Expect the Malaysian model to get the full 330 PS though.
Vietnam for the car back in October 2022 while Thailand launched it in December 2022. Pricing in those markets are a whopping USD 100,000 (~RM 470k estimated) and THB 3.8 million (~RM 478k). Of course, that's also due to the weak Ringgit.
Also Read: Priced from an eye-watering RM 470k! Vietnam is first in Asia Pacific to launch FL5 2023 Honda Civic Type R
A limited slip differential (LSD) does its best to regulate torque to the front wheels from the crisp 6-speed manual transmission while Brembo brakes and sticky Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tyres complete the handling basics.
Inside, it carries the hot hatch continues with the signature red-and-black perforated suede interior upholstery. There’s also a little homage to the legendary S2000 as the digital instrument cluster features a layout in R+ mode that mimics that of the rear-wheel drive roadster.
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Besides that, the dash also carries a 9.0-inch infotainment screen that doubles up as the Honda LogR data logger for circuit use.
Expect fans of the scarlet Honda emblem to fork out whatever the asking price is; expected to be in the region of RM 350k, due to its heritage and the fact that it remains an outlier of mechanical and analogous purity with a traditional 6-speed manual against the all-wheel drive, dual-clutch transmission competion.
Orders globally have surged past 20,000 units, proving the formula is still very much capable of stirring the loins of driving enthusiasts into parting with their money.
Unfortunately, we’re expecting supply to fall vastly short of demand in the Malaysian market. Apart from the huge backlog of orders, the current state of parts supply chain and logistics mean only 400 cars can be produced each month.
That limited production figure means that it would take at least 50 months; or 4 years and 2 months, to clear the current order backlog. This is before the Malaysian launch, so expect a waiting period here… if you’re lucky enough to get on the list.
Also Read: There's now a 4-year waiting period for FL5 Honda Civic Type R in Japan, orders paused
Honda Malaysia will likely carry out a symbolic launch as allocation will be extremely limited, and like nearly all other markets, the model will be sold out even before its price is announced.