Wow, thanks for such a honest review. That's the info I needed. If I get one, it will be driven hard. I have hundreds of laps at my local tracks. Even when I "promise" not to drive my son's M3 too hard, it impossible to hold back when you are picking your way through the run group.gbhstrat:
I would suggest reading everything you can on this Forum about how challenging it is to turn the Type R from the amazing street car it is into the amazing track car it almost is.
I'd start by reading peefree's "Civic Type R FK8 Build thread", and follow that by reading the "Civic Type R at the track, goods and bads." I wish I had....
There are numerous short comings in the Type R that don't surface until the Type R is pushed hard, lap after lap, at the track. And then it really falls apart, unfortunately.
The biggest issue, as you can see from the posts on this thread is cooling. Any track day over 85 degrees is going to be problematic. Sure, run the heater, add water wetter, add a J's grill, and an after market hood with extra vents, drill out some of the plastic shrouding at the front of the car, add bigger oil cooler(s), radiator, inter-cooler, etc and you will reduce, not totally solve, the problem. Is the '20 version better? I doubt it. They seem to have put the Honda version of the aftermarket "J's grill", that so many people here use. It helps a bit.
As the engine gets hot the computer starts pulling power, top speed goes from 130 mph to 120 mph. Then you have to run a cool down lap every 3-4 laps to keep from going into limp mode (top speed 40 mph-I did it entering the straight srtetch at Mid-Ohio, there is no track thrill that compares to being overtaken by cars going 100 mph faster than you are!).
All of these mods are $$$$, plus cost of installation. None seems to totally fix the problem, tho peefree may have?
Next is tire wear. There is almost no ability to add negative camber without re-engineering the front suspension. Many have done it, the after market has all the parts, but it is $$$, again. I ran 18" aftermarket wheels with RE71R's (265/40/18) and corded my outside edges after 3 track days.
Next up: brakes. I was metal on metal on my rear brakes after 2 track days. Again, it is easy to go with upgraded rotors and add track pads, and drive with stability mgt off. As before tho, this is $$$.
If you manage these issues, the Type R is a fabulous track car. The seats are perfect, ditto visibility, great mpg to and from the track, great sound system, lots of storage for tools, spare wheels, etc. And who doesn't like pushing Porsches around, especially with a Honda Civic?
I ultimately ran out of $, and patience, and traded my R in for something slower but easier to maintain at the track. It was not an easy decision. The R was the best street car I have ever owned, and I have owned plenty. It made every trip to the grocery store an adventure. But I bought it as my track car and could not see getting it totally track ready, within the budget I had.
Food for thought.