Hi there – Phil from Sun Rise Cars – here’s my 2cents worth on the EP3 Civic…
Wow – these are really fun to drive. These Type-R Civic’s are what sports cars are all about in my opinion.
To me a sports car should not be a fashion statement – but about being connected to the road in a responsive envelope of machinery. These cars in their later incarnations went from being the hottest hatch in the world to being an accompaniment to the latest mobile phone and handbag!
The original Type-R EP3 that we import and comply is the best! – It’s razor sharp, simple, agile, compact, comfortable and super-fast from point to point.
Check out Jeremy Clarkson’s comparison of the original EP3 to the newer model and he sums it up nicely: ” The newer model got worse! – The original is still brilliant”
I’ve had a few track days at Wakefield Park in these little Type-R Civic’s and they are up there with the turbocharged EVOs and GT-Rs around the twisties! This is awesome fun from a hot hatch – and don’t forget these cars are P-Plate Legal, cheap to insure and don’t attract theives and jealous idiots. These beauties are what I call little sleepers…. The Police don’t look twice at you and you can go out for a night on the town with 2 couples, park it and not stress about it being missing or damaged when you come back for the return journey…
This model came out in 2001 and was fitted with the revised K20A 2.0-liter DOHC i-VTEC engine with 215 horsepower and is fitted with a super slick fast shifting close-ratio 6-speed manual gearbox. What’s even cooler is it’s mounted on the dash – and the gearlever is right next to your left hand – right where it should be – just ask any racing car driver! This really works if you are into driving point-to-point fast and the correct way, hands at ten to ten!
The simple styling is compact and attractive, and has that eye-popping wow-factor when you see the all red RECARO interior race seats (these are not cheap versions – especially in the 1st series EP3), genuine MOMO leather wrapped steering wheel, and milled, weighted aluminum shift knob.
The K20A 2.0 liter DOHC i-VTEC engine has VTEC variable intake/exhaust valve timing and lift at high engine speed and VTC (variable timing control). The VTEC constantly adjusts the intake valve timing phase in line with engine loads and the factory exhaust setup is high-flow (less back-pressure), large-diameter piping, and high-volume mufflers. The motor has gorgeous factory headers with a short intake manifold and equal-length tuned exhaust-ducts, strengthened piston rods are designed to handle the demands of the high-revving motor, and a super-rigid crankshaft. This little puppy revs out an 8500 rpm redline – it sings gloriously at high revs and comes alive after 4000 rpm… fun fun fun and affordable too…
The quick shifting close ratio box uses super strength synchro-mesh cones in all gears including triple cones in 1st and 2nd gears, double cones in 3rd to 6th gear. This means you won’t develop crunches in later life in these boxes – they are purpose built for high revving and fast shifting. This is all glued to the front wheels with a torque-sensitive “Helical Cut LSD” designed by Hondo Racing.
Chassis dynamics were massiely improved over the EK-9 Civic too, with 20 percent higher bending and 80 percent stiffer torsional static rigidity than the previous Civic offerings. Built in to the suspension package includes a front toe control link strut suspension and rear double wishbone setup with a reactive rear link .
The car also comes with VGR (variable gear ratio) electric power steering which is super accurate and speed sensitive.
In 2004 the Type-R got a mild face-lift including slightly different front bumper, 6-lights type projector headlights, rear combination lamps, and red and black two-tone color RECARO seats (I think not quite as nice as the original all red RECAROS).