Four Cylinder Fast Cars

Maximum Performance, Minimum Engine

Honda Civic Type R Concept and the Top 10 Best Four Cylinder Performance Cars

Honda Civic Type-R Four Cylinder Concept

Honda Civic Type-R Four Cylinder Concept

 

Today (or rather yesterday in France) at the Paris Motor Show, Honda has continued their… um, let’s say… extended unveiling of the next-gen four cylinder Honda Civic Type-R. And, in the tradition of the Acura NSX Type-R and Acura Integra Type-R (both badged as Hondas in Europe), this latest über Civic packs a wallop.

 

But, what exactly is a wallop? How about 276 horsepower from a 2.0-liter turbocharged four cylinder with a rev-happy redline of 7,000 rpm? I believe that, for a Honda Civic, that more than qualifies as a wallop. A six-speed manual gearbox, adaptive dampers and something called a “steer axis” hint that the Honda Civic Type-R concept is more than worth of the R designation from a performance standpoint. The bonkers aero kit, big wheels… sorry, rims, and seriously low-profile tires make sure the little four cylinder Type-R looks the part.

Honda Civic Type-R Concept  Four Cylinder

Back of the Honda Civic Type-R Four Cylinder Concept

 

Push the +R button, and the Honda Civic Type-R become more taught in terms of torque mapping, suspension and steering. Whether or not, that means Honda’s latest rocket four cylinder will actually perform as well as it looks on paper (or on screen) will have to be determined after the car goes into production in Swindon, UK and deliveries start rolling out to Europe next year.

 

I’m not sure if we’ll get a Honda Civic Type-R on this side of the Atlantic. But, fear not, we have plenty of fast four cylinder cars on our shores. In fact, there’s pretty much one for every budget. So, here is the TickTickVroom list of the Top Ten Fast Four Cylinder Cars, in no particular order.

Top Ten Fast Four Cylinder Cars

Mini Cooper John Cooper Works Convertible

Four Cylinder

MINI Cooper John Cooper Works Convertible

  • Engine: 1.6-liter turbocharged and intercooled OHC 16-valve inline four cylinder
  • Transmission: Six-Speed Manual
  • Output: 208 horsepower, 192 pound-feet of torque (207 lb-ft with Overboost)
  • Top Speed: 146 mph
  • 0 to 60 mph: 6.6 seconds
  • Braking 60 to 0 mph: 112 feet
  • Skidpad: 0.88 g
  • Base Price: $35,850
  • Reason to Buy: Convertible. Go-kart-handling. Incredibly fun to drive. Minimal torque-steer. Great transmission. Cavernous interior. Gives the Golf GTI a serious run for its money. I had a 2006 Mini Cooper S JCW. I wish I still had it.
  • Negatives: Too big to be a proper MINI. I miss the whine from the 2006 JCW’s supercharger.

Subaru WRX STI

Four Cylinder

Subaru WRX STI

  • Engine: 2.5-liter turbocharged and intercooled DOHC direct injected 16-valve boxer four cylinder
  • Transmission: Six-Speed Manual
  • Output: 305 horsepower, 290 pound-feet of torque
  • Top Speed: 155 mph (limited)
  • 0 to 60 mph: 4.5 seconds
  • Braking 60 to 0 mph: 108 feet
  • Skidpad: 0.97 g
  • Base Price: $34,495
  • Reason to Buy: Incredibly fun to drive. Great power. Relatively easy to tune. Amazing handling in any condition on any road, anywhere. Fade-free braking. Three words: Six. Speed. Stick. I have one. I love it.
  • Negatives: Not the best interior quality with not enough bolstering on the seats. Slight and very brief wobble from the front wheels on hard acceleration. Needs stickier tires. Would top 1.0 g on the skidpad with the Evo X’s Yokohama Advans.

Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X

Four Cylinder

Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X

  • Engine: 2.0-liter turbocharged and intercooled DOHC direct injected 16-valve inline four cylinder
  • Transmission: Five-Speed Manual or Six-Speed CVT
  • Output: 291 horsepower, 300 pound-feet
  • Top Speed: 150 mph (drag limited)
  • 0 to 60 mph: 4.5 seconds
  • Braking 60 to 0 mph: 112 feet
  • Skidpad: 0.99 g
  • Base Price: $35,790
  • Reason to Buy: Telepathic All-wheel-drive. Easy-to-use power. Infinitely tunable. Looks as fun as it drives. Manual transmission. I had one. I miss it.
  • Negatives: They’re not making any more, so no Evo XI. Cheesy interior. Terrible clutch. Needs a six-speed manual.

Ford Focus ST

2015 Ford Focus ST Four Cylinder

Ford Focus ST

  • Engine: 2.0-liter turbocharged DOHC direct injected 16-valve inline four cylinder EcoBoost
  • Transmission: Six-Speed Manual
  • Output: 252 horsepower, 270 pound-feet of torque
  • Top Speed: 148 mph
  • 0 to 60 mph: 6.0 seconds
  • Braking 60 to 0 mph: 112 feet
  • Skidpad: 0.96 g
  • Base Price: $24,910
  • Reason to Buy: Great price. So much fun to drive at the limit. Go-kart-like handling.
  • Negatives: Kind of cartoonish looking. Front-wheel-drive understeer.

Ford Mustang EcoBoost

Four Cylinder

Ford Mustang EcoBoost

  • Engine: 2.3-liter turbocharged DOHC direct injected 16-valve inline four cylinder EcoBoost
  • Transmission: Six-Speed Manual or Six-Speed Automatic
  • Output: 310 horsepower, 320 pound-feet of torque
  • Top Speed: 149 mph (limited)
  • 0 to 60 mph: 5.2 seconds
  • Braking 60 to 0 mph: 106 feet
  • Skidpad: 0.96 g
  • Base Price: $25,995
  • Reason to Buy: Better performance from a Four Cylinder Ford Mustang than from many of the past V8s. Looks stunning. Really impressive handling and braking.
  • Negatives: Not a new V8 Mustang

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Author: Nick Glasnovich

Founder & Executive Editor of TickTickVroom.com.

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