Honda Civic Type S (VSA)
More dynamic performance for Swindon's 5-door family flyer

The Civic Type-R has conquered all before it in the hot hatch sector. The model is currently taking 50% of all Civic 3 door sales, elevating Honda to pole position in the 3 door compact class, ahead of models like the Ford Focus and Volkswagen Golf.

Honda is anticipating that an improved version of the Civic Type S will work similar magic in the 5-door category when the Civic Type S (VSA) is launched on 1 May.

The flagship Civic 5 door gains Vehicle Stability Assist for improved handling as well as several other dynamic attributes. This includes bigger (16 in) wheels shod with wider 205/55 Series tyres and correspondingly bigger ventilated front brake discs. Other changes include a closer-ratio gearbox with "shorter" fourth and fifth ratios to benefit acceleration.

Vehicle Stability Assist is designed to counteract understeer and oversteer tendencies through a combination of individual wheel braking and engine torque reduction. The Teves supplied system also incorporates a Drive By Wire (DBW) throttle, Traction Control and Cruise Control not previously available on any Civic.

The revised Type S will be introduced as a "running change" based on the user-chooser feedback from the corporate market soon after the original car’s launch. Drivers reported that they loved the car, but felt Honda could improve it by introducing some of the character of the Type-R.

These significant enhancements, alongside the 2004 Civic range improvements, reinforce the quality, refinement and driving enjoyment of the flagship Civic. As previously, the Type S boasts a very high level of standard equipment. Features which may not be expected include climate control, half leather trim plus leather steering wheel, front foglights, CAT 1 Alarm, CD RDS Radio with remote audio controls, 3D blackout instrument dials and electrically adjusted/ heated door mirrors incorporating side indicator repeaters.

Priced at £15,513 (£500 more than the outgoing non VSA model) the Civic Type S (VSA) represents even better value than its predecessor. The model is also available with factory fitted Satellite Navigation (+£1,200), even larger 17" wheels (+£600) plus of course the wide range of accessories available on the rest of the Civic range.

Honda Civic Type S in brief
Engine (cc / PS) 1998 / 160
Transmission 5-speed manual
Max speed 130 mph
0-62 mph acceleration sec 8.7 sec
Fuel consumption, Urban mpg 28.0
Extra urban mpg 46.3
Combined mpg 37.7
CO2 emissions (g/km) 179
Price (on the road) £15,513

Published : 27/03/04 Author : Melanie Carter

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