After years of rumors, the Japanese car maker Honda has finally unveiled the Civic Type R for the European market. The car is designed with a goal of being the fastest front-wheel driven hatchback around the Nürburgring Nordschleife, and Honda seems to have achieved it as well. The car is compact, well-built and has a striking appearance, with the potential to turn heads on the road. With those killer looks, it is insanely fast as well, given the tag ‘race car for the road’.

The exteriors on this five-door features flared arches, multi-vented front wings, wrap-around front splitter with a Honda badge on the grille, sporty 19-inch alloys, and the well-known rear spoiler. The spoiler blends in with the sporty look of the car and is so wide that it is visible in the side-view mirrors. Many efforts and hard work went down in producing this sophisticated spoiler by Honda’s WTCC racing team, to increase down-force at high speeds. It gets the LED combination headlamps with the LED DRLs, for both front and rear lamps.

Inside the cabin of Civic Type R, there is a nice finish and precision to the upholstery, almost matching the luxury segments. The seating position for most drivers is focused, while some taller drivers found it to be a bit high. Although the position is already 20mm lower than stock Civic, the seats can be readily adjusted according to the driver. The steering wheel looks sporty in black and red color combo and grips perfectly in the hand, providing a great response. The aluminum gear knob is perfectly positioned and provides a great grip as well.

The instrument cluster has a digital read-out placed high up in driver’s line of sight and is also accompanied by some conventional dials low down. There is a large touchscreen in the center console and separate heating display below it. All the dials and meters are placed strategically and are easy to read.

Under the hood, the car is a monster featuring the latest 2.0 liters turbocharged VTEC engine by Honda. It produces a peak power of 310 PS at 6,500 rpm, with a maximum torque of 400 Nm (295lb ft.) from 2,500 to 4,500 rpm. Churning out this power through the Front Wheels, is a six-speed manual transmission, with limited slip differential fitted as standard.

Talking of the performance, the car goes from 0-62mph in merely 5.7 seconds and tops at 167mph, making it the fastest hatchback available. With this explosive power, it roars in a loud, aggressive-sounding voice between 5,000-7,000rpm zone. Even with the turbo, this car is a revvy VTEC at heart.

The Civic Type R retails for £30,000, which is a lot for the hatchback, but with these performance figures, it’s all worth it. It poses a strong competition for cars like Alfa Romeo Giulietta QV, BMW M135i, Ford Focus RS, Renaultsport Megane 275 Trophy-R, SEAT Leon Cupra, and Volkswagen Golf GTI Performance Pack.