Four Cylinder Fast Cars

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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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Volkswagen Golf GTI

2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI Four Cylinder

Volkswagen Golf GTI

  • Engine: 2.0-liter turbocharged and intercooled DOHC direct injected 16-valve inline four cylinder
  • Transmission: Six-Speed Manual
  • Output: 220 horsepower, 258 pound-feet of torque
  • Top Speed: 124 mph (limited)
  • 0 to 60 mph: 5.8 seconds
  • Braking 60 to 0 mph: 100 feet
  • Skidpad: 0.91 g
  • Base Price: $28,305
  • Reason to Buy: 40 years of performance hot-hatch experience culminating in one car.
  • Negatives: Antiseptic styling.

Mercedes-Benz CLA45 AMG

2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA45 AMG

Mercedes-Benz CLA45 AMG

  • Engine: 2.0-liter turbocharged DOHC direct injected 16-valve inline four cylinder
  • Transmission: Seven-Speed Dual-Clutch
  • Output: 355 horsepower, 332 pound-feet of torque
  • Top Speed: 158 mph
  • 0 to 60 mph: 4.4 seconds
  • Braking 60 to 0 mph: 111 feet
  • Skidpad: 0.95 g
  • Base Price: $48,375
  • Reason to Buy: Best looking Mercedes-Benz sedan in eons. Great interior with exceptionally comfortable seats. Great performance.
  • Negatives: Exhaust sounds like a fart can. Numb and unexciting driving.

BMW 228i

Four Cylinder

BMW 228i

  • Engine: 2.0-liter turbocharged DOHC direct injected 16-valve inline four cylinder
  • Transmission: Eight-Speed Automatic or Six-Speed Manual
  • Output: 240 horsepower, 255 pound-feet of torque
  • Top Speed: 153 mph
  • 0 to 60 mph: 5.0 seconds
  • Braking 60 to 0 mph: 111 feet
  • Skidpad: 0.88 g
  • Base Price: $33,050
  • Reason to Buy: Great price. Rear-Wheel-Drive antics and it’s the only of the three German baby luxury cars (BMW, Audi and Mercedes-Benz) to come with an optional manual transmission.
  • Negatives: Iffy styling.

Audi S3

Four Cylinder

Audi S3

 

  • Engine: 2.0-liter turbocharged DOHC direct injected 16-valve inline four cylinder
  • Transmission: Six-Speed Dual-Clutch
  • Output: 292 horsepower, 280 pound-feet of torque
  • Top Speed: 155 (limited)
  • 0 to 60 mph: 4.4 seconds
  • Braking 60 to 0 mph: 118 feet
  • Skidpad: 0.89 g
  • Base Price: $41,995
  • Reason to Buy: Audi Quattro all-wheel-drive grip and grown-up styling.
  • Negatives: No manual transmission.

Nissan Juke Nismo RS

Four Cylinder

Nissan Juke Nismo RS

  • Engine: 1.6-liter turbocharged DOHC direct injected 16-valve inline four cylinder
  • Transmission: Six-Speed Manual
  • Output: 215 horsepower, 210 pound-feet of torque
  • Top Speed: 135 mph (limited)
  • 0 to 60 mph: 6.7 seconds
  • Braking 60 to 0 mph: 114 feet
  • Skidpad: 0.88 g
  • Base Price: $28,345
  • Reason to Buy: Excellent Recaro seats and most unique looking of the bunch. Plus, you probably won’t pull up to another one at a stop light.
  • Negatives: Not terribly fast.

Honda Civic Type R Four Cylinder Press Release

Honda Civic Type R

All-new Honda Civic Type R: unrivalled against the brand’s iconic performance flagship models

– Unmatched performance compared to all previous Type R cars, including Civic, Integra, Accord and NSX – Thrilling turbocharged 2.0 litre i-VTEC engine producing more than 280 PS, sets new standards on power, torque and engine response – All-new ‘+R’ mode for enhanced on-track driving thrills – High-revving performance red-lining at 7,000 rpm, mated to slick-shifting six-speed manual transmission – Innovative new four-point adaptive damper system delivers ultimate handling for enthusiastic driving – Additional ‘steer axis’ system minimises torque steer for exceptional traction – Striking luminous blue Type R Concept model shown on Honda stand

With the automotive world about to descend on the 2014 Mondial de l’Automobile, Honda has released exciting new details about its eagerly anticipated Civic Type R.

The all-new hot hatch – due in European showrooms next year – will be the most extreme Type R yet, signalling the start of a new performance era for the brand.

Power will come from a 2.0-litre i-VTEC engine from Honda’s Earth Dreams Technology series. Developing over 280 PS, it will deliver unmatched performance compared to any previous Type R car. That includes all generations of the Civic, plus the iconic performance-oriented versions of the Integra, Accord and even the NSX.

While complying with strict Euro 6 emissions regulations, this is a Honda Type R powerplant like no other. While its predecessors were naturally aspirated, the new unit benefits from a turbocharger, boosting low-end power delivery. Combined with the high-end performance that’s synonymous with Honda’s VTEC technology – and much-loved by enthusiastic Type R owners – they will deliver a sensational driving experience.

Suehiro Hasshi, Large Project Leader for the Civic Type R at Honda R&D, commented: “Honda has had four Type R model derivatives – the Civic, Integra, Accord and NSX. The engine in this new Honda Civic Type R is unrivalled against all of them in terms of raw power, torque and engine response.”

Hasshi-san emphasised the car’s appeal will be far greater than a new high-performance engine under the bonnet. A number of engineering innovations and enhancements will make the new Civic Type R a true driver’s car, worthy of wearing the famous red ‘H’ badge.

For example, the Civic Type R will mark the debut of Honda’s new ‘+R’ button. Located to the side of the steering wheel, once pressed it activates ‘+R’ mode for the most exhilarating driving experience. The engine response is heightened, with torque-mapping changed to a more aggressive and performance-focused setting. Steering becomes more responsive and, together with the new four-point Adaptive Damper System, delivers the ultimate handling experience.

Hasshi explained: “In default standard mode, the Civic Type R is exceptionally agile, an everyday sports car with an enjoyable and fluid acceleration. The ‘+R’ button brings out a more dynamic and athletic car for the driver, to set pulses racing. The difference in character is immense. The ‘+R’ mode is extreme; the car is ideal for track use and will be appreciated by the genuine sports-driving enthusiast.”

Another example of Honda’s innovative approach is the car’s ‘steer axis’. In order to deliver the power of the turbocharged 2.0-litre i-VTEC engine, the new Civic Type R’s front suspension system includes this additional mechanical system involving two supporting ‘kingpins’. They minimise torque steer and allows the driver to fully exploit the car’s exceptional driveability.

Furthermore, a new four-point Adaptive Damper System has been developed specifically for the Civic Type R. It automatically adjusts the front and rear suspension damping force stiffness in a split second, based on driving conditions. This allows the new Civic Type R to provide a comfortable ride during cruising, yet become firm and agile when high-performance handling is required.

The new Civic Type R will follow in the footsteps of its predecessors with a six-speed manual transmission. The development team selected this option to maximise driving enjoyment.

Hasshi explained: “The manual transmission allows the drivers to select the gear they want, for example, down from fifth to third when approaching a corner. The concept of the new Civic Type R is to be the complete driver’s car so this was the best option.”

The all-new Civic Type R has been developed and engineered for European driving tastes. To be built at Honda’s state-of-the-art plant in Swindon, UK, it will arrive in dealerships during 2015.

To see the latest Honda Civic Type R Concept car, go to the Honda Stand in Hall 3, at the 2014 Mondial de l’Automobile. Honda’s press conference takes place on this stand at 16.45 CET on Thursday 2 October.

 

Author: Nick Glasnovich

Founder & Executive Editor of TickTickVroom.com.

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