Somewhere along the line, front-wheel drive (FWD) cars got a bad rap. “They understeer too much;” “it doesn’t require skill to drive them quickly.” Complaints come easy — until you drive the fastest FWD car on the market. The 2017 Honda Civic Type R isn’t your momma’s commuter – despite being based on the same platform. Honda has mustered all its engineering talent to transform a humble hatchback into a track-thumping sports car.
The Type R has finally made it to the U.S. to compete with the latest crop of hot hatches. Much like muscle cars, these compact vehicles are in the midst of a horsepower war. To handle the increased output, most manufacturers have integrated all-wheel-drive systems. Not Honda. The Japanese automaker is holding true to its front-drive performance roots.
To see just how fun (or frustrating) a super-powered FWD hot hatch can be, we journeyed to Ridge Motorsports Park in Washington State for some hot laps.