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Djan at 8000RPM? – Civic Type-R Feature Part 2

tengku-djan-with-the-type-r-18_600So it continues, the Type R amazed some us here at Zerotohundred.com but it left the rest all wound up over whether or not it’s worth all that hype and money. Throughout the entire week we had it, there were numerous arguments and convincing sessions but none got settled. Something had to be done, such a hot topic could not be left undone, a neutral figure would have to be brought in.

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Someone like the Stig, a pro racer minus the mysteriousness and white race suit. Someone like MME and national drift champ, Tengku Djan Ley. So we called him, convinced him, got late picking him up, fried him in the blistering afternoon sun for the photoshoot, and here’s his take on the Civic Type R FD2R.

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“It all started when I got a call from Keshy asking if I’d be interested in reviewing the new Type R for Zerotohundred.com. I’ve never driven the new FD2R and neither have I done any automotive reviews for the media before, so of course I’d be interested. I heard some pretty good things about the Type-R and I was eager to see what the hype was all about.

The Type R has always intrigued me ever since it’s first introduction with the EG platform. Until today it is still regarded as the weapon of choice for the Super 1600 category in the Malaysian Super Series. While most of the other competitors were running a mildly modified version of the B16, we (R3) had our hands full trying to keep our high-strung CAMPRO in one piece throughout the season. We only managed 4th overall in the championship back in 2005, and that showed us the true performance & potential of the VTEC engine. However, having said that, I am a staunch RWD man. So I still had my reservations.

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What strikes me the most is the “Honda Championship White” paint scheme. It gives it the “Factory Works Car” feeling right from the start, and you know it means business, even when it’s stationary. I absolutely love white cars with white wheels, if you noticed, my own AE86 is also white on white; so to me, that’s definitely a plus point.

So how special can an over engineered FWD machine be? I have had my fair share of driving FWD cars and I didn’t expect the Type R to be any different from the rest since it had 4 doors and its platform is a derivative of a family saloon.

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I’m not going to get into the usual stuff like “the seats are comfy but the steering wheel design is not to my taste etc”. Keshy has already given you a brief idea of the overall car, so I’m going to go straight to the point and give you my experience through what I do best. Which is driving every last drop out of the Type R.

We headed out on to KESAS highway. I always enjoy a slow drive with any new product. This gives me an opportunity to know the car a little better before I start gunning it round corners. But even at low speeds, the Type R gave me the feeling that “town driving” is not what it’s been built for. The suspension is stiff, steering responsive and what really caught me, was that I had my left hand constantly on the shifter. I knew immediately that this car would be quick once I start putting it through its pace.

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The firm ride made the car feel nervous at low speeds. It’s not a relaxing drive at all. Steering wasn’t calm, always tracking towards the ruts and impurities on the road, impact feel (over potholes etc) was at the edge of being thrashy and the engine felt relatively gutless at low RPM which meant I had to constantly work the gears to maneuver round slower traffic.

I was heading to my usual “ride route”, which I use heavily for development of all 3 stages of R3 products. This would give me a good benchmark on how the Type R would perform since the Satria R3 was build on a relatively similar concept of “Pure Performance”. The ride route has a combination of straight road (about 1km long), 90-degree turns, and long sweepers into tight hairpins that required mid corner braking not forgetting all the road impurities we users face on a daily basis.

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So we turned off the main road into the “Ride Route”. First section, 1km stretch of straight road. I kept it at WOT in 2nd, going through the gears. I was up to 6th gear and the car was bouncing off the speed limiter. Damn! This thing is fast! Our Stage 3 Satria R3 (180HP) does 190kmh on the same stretch of road and this car can do easily 200+ without the speed limiter!!

It’s a totally different animal once you get the motor on song. Gear ratios are perfect as it keeps the engine constantly in the VTEC range. The car accelerates in every gear and the engine never once, ran out of breath!

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Next up, 90-degree turn. The Brembo’s as usual did the job effortlessly. Late on the brakes, shifting down the box into 2nd gear before attacking the lefthander. I was told that some of the journalist had issues with the shift quality, especially when shifting down the gears. For me, it was just awesome, quick and precise movement. I couldn’t ask for more. But make sure you drive it like a racecar, which means going through every gear on down shift. You’re asking for trouble if you start skipping gears.

Steering response is just simply awesome on the Type R. Minimal steering input & precise handling is how I would sum up the steering feedback. There was a slight reduction of steering effort off center which reduced the contact between man and machine, but who cares as the overall steering response made up for it! It gave it an effortless drive. The Torsen LSD does a wonderful job delivering the power on to the tarmac. Just enough slip to gain maximum traction out of corners.

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Next section, combination of corners. This is where the great outshines the good. Some cars tend to be nervous through the fast sections and some suffer heavy understeer through the tight sections. The Type R however outshines even the great. The limited slip with perfect torque split made the car tuck into corners on acceleration. The purposeful, semi-slick territory Potenza’s complimented the package perfectly. I was amazed at the amount of front-end grip the Type R could generate. The trick is to keep light amount throttle applied mid corner, just before you squeeze it from apex point to exit point. This is EXACTLY how a FWD Super Tourer would behave.

Chassis balance is next to nothing. The Honda engineers have done a superb job. Hands down. It doesn’t feel like a 4 door family saloon at all. In the drivers seat, the Type R gives you the feeling that the car is small, nimble and informative. The car feels planted even at high speed mid corner braking, never once giving you the feeling it’s going to swap ends. Steering input is kept at a minimum, just like a RWD car due to the superb steering response, (some cars suffer from high level of steering wheel input mid corner).

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By the end of the course, I was amazed at what the Type R could deliver. It was an exhilarating drive. One lap was definitely not enough, so I decided to do another lap to reconfirm what I have just experienced.

From a professional race driver point of view, the Civic Type R fits the cut of being an all out track day car. The concept of “drive to work on weekdays (as it is road legal), and race it on weekends” fits the bill perfectly. Very much like the Lotus concept. Great agility, extraordinary engine performance & phenomenal braking capability. There are not many other products available in the market, capable of providing you with a similar level of satisfaction produced by the latest Civic Type R.

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But the Type R seriously lacks behind in the area of “ride quality”. From the way the car handles and performs, most of the chassis development must have been done on a race circuit, where lap times, handling & outright performance was the main objective making comfort a by-product. It’s not for the faint hearted, and definitely not a car just for posers hoping to pick up. This is a MAN’S CAR where performance overrules everything else known to man. In one word HARDCORE.

In summary, the Type R is built for a very specific purpose, to provide you with the ultimate performance package of speed, agility and accuracy. All these elements of speed can only be unleashed on the circuit, where the Type R is able to spread its wings.

Not many cars have managed to get my enthusiasm and adrenalin pumping. The type R is one of the few. ”

-Tengku Djan Ley-

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So there we have it, a champions view on the highly accaimed Type R but then again, it raises one issue, is it worth the money? To answer that question we needed to see what other alternatives where there in the same price range. After some brain storming sessions and more arguing, we settled that the toughest competition the Type R faces in the same price range is the Volkswagen Golf GTI. Watch out for Part 3, we put the Type R head to head against the Golf GTI, and to avoid wasting time bickering among ourselves over which was better, we dragged Djan along for his view.

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    hondavtec
  • Aug 7, 2008
Nice coverage there guys.
0-100, i would put my money on the type-r.

But ppl kept saying that paying 200k for the type-r is crazy, might as well throw it on a GTi. but i have a different view. bear in mind that, the type-r is build mainly for racing purposes. while the GTi is more of a road-car type. if i had 200k, my choice would definitely be type-r. high-revving NA engine, one of the prides of honda.
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    LOL
  • Aug 8, 2008
type r for me...y?...becos its japanese :)
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"The Type R has always intrigued me ever since it’s first introduction with the EG platform."

Just to have a little correction, Civic Type R is only introduce at EK onwards (Year 1996) and not EG. For EG, only SiR is the highest range.
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    ap3xi
  • Aug 8, 2008
err....type r first intro dc2 actually
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    bangkai_jk
  • Aug 8, 2008
not dc2, but nsx :) however, i dont think R3 can compare with type r.. lol
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    T Djan
  • Aug 8, 2008
Sorry, i got it wrong. It's the EK9.

I'm comparing the latest Civic Type R with the FIRST introduction of theCivic Type R, EK9. Not Type R in general.

I'm also not comparing the Type R directly with the Satria R3. But just as a benchmark as I usually drive an R3 through the same course.
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    Jay
  • Aug 8, 2008
Hi there, I dun mean to brag but I am a proud owner of both an FD2R and a race prepared EK9 which we race in MME every year. I have to say that the FD2R is the matured version of the earlier type rs. The Japs got the formula right on this baby. The handling is very crisp and even without any mods, it was almost as good as the race prepared EK9. I was really really surprised.

Its true, the FD2R is no chick puller..its a MAN's car. I can see my wife smilling now.haha

I agree with Jan that the car has ride quality issues but its not meant to absorb bumps like its elder and more sober brother, the accord, its really a track car with number plates. Its like the Impreza Spec C, a "ready to race" car.

I would not compare the car against the GTI as both were designed for different purposes. The Type R was designed with frequent track outings in mind while the GTi is more of an everyday car, i would not call the GTi a race car as it was not designed to be so. I had a GTi over the weekend and like I've said earlier, the GTi is an ideal everyday car. Its fast, but not so furios. haha.

Anyway, thanks Jan for your article, it was well written.
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    TOMEI-R
  • Aug 8, 2008
Well guys....you should note that the FD2R Civic is the 2nd Runner up Overall Winner in last year's (2006 and 2007) Merdeka Millenium Endurance and Overall Champions in Class A Category for Production Class Cars Category and it has been holding this title for the past 5 years abeit with an older model. If you were driving in the Race, you would feel how fast, stable and reliable the FD2R was during the race. Thats why it even managed to upstage almost all of the Class 0 Competitors that were running on Lotus, Porches, Ford Falcons and the list goes on....
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    Daniel
  • Aug 8, 2008
type R... EG platform.... u must have seen a transplanted EG wif a B16B in it....!~~ lolxx :P there wasn't any EG platform Type R.
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    Daniel
  • Aug 8, 2008
but an EG wif a B16B iz nicer then an EK wif an B16B....!~~ hmmmm....!~~
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    faisal
  • Aug 8, 2008
TOMEI-R,

The HMRT FD2 Type R is a quite different beast to the road going car, as the race car is lighter, has grippeir tires & more powerful brakes etc.

I've driven both cars, and yes the Road car is FAST, but the Race car is WAY FASTER.

As to the fact it out last other Class O cars, lots of factors come into play, not just the speed of the car. Team, strategy etc all are a factor.
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    adlanb20
  • Aug 8, 2008
Lovely write up and review, the best i've read so far on how the type-r feels under driving mode. Damn.. i would love to experience what's been decribed!! maybe in 1-2 years time when an FD-R owner wanna let go his car on the 2nd hand car market!!!
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    David_SGTi
  • Aug 8, 2008
bangkai_jk on August 8th, 2008 9:00 am
not dc2, but nsx however, i dont think R3 can compare with type r.. lol


How to compare dude....1 is sedan n the other is hatchback, Vtec n None V technology.....
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    radhie
  • Aug 8, 2008
love type-R!
powerful sedan!
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    Weider
  • Aug 8, 2008
Now, THAT'S a good review! Probably proof that car reviewers should all have some sort of race/engineering background instead of just talking outta their overly-sensitive arses!
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    manhunt
  • Aug 8, 2008
Well written article.. verified by this owner of FD2R!
loving my ride, this car has 2 character, Jekyll & Hyde... at cruising speed it does fine, the moment it goes into the vtec zone, am smiling wide!
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    netmatrix
  • Aug 8, 2008
User review is as expected. Every point i was sparsely saying is there in Tdjan's review. It is a great car. The first month after the launch, one of my customers friends customers have it. I got a ride and can know this car is serious shit. Later i went to Kinokuniya and there is this specific mag on this type R compared to the Euro last one. The improvements are extrodinary.

Really on the road, nothing in stock form could touch it. Bar those turbo or some high CC cars. Its true this car is not butt friendly. You can't have cup holders there.

Also i did state that Tdjan could use this car as a benchmark for their MME exploits. Which he did make comparisons with their R3 car. I think his head is seriously clicking hard to make their R3 spec'ed cars working like this. Ooohhh....

Anyway good review. Keshy has his job cut out for him. hehehe.
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    keshy
  • Aug 8, 2008
no shit netmatrix... think i'd better leave the pro opinions to Djan from now on.. watch our for more reviews from the champion.. and general reviews from me of course :)
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    T Djan
  • Aug 9, 2008
Kesh, Maybe we can make a video review up Ulu Yam? Satria R3 Stage 3 Vs Civic Type R ;)
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    keshy
  • Aug 9, 2008
That'll be nice.. I'll work on it..

What do the rest say? What would ya'll like to read or watch? Throw us ideas.. If we like it.. We'll do it..
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    bien335
  • Aug 9, 2008
where the Vid at?
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    blind-biscut
  • Aug 9, 2008
Please we would like to watch,maybe a touge battle between R3 stage 3 and the Type-R. And go attack those mountain roads!
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  • Aug 9, 2008
The highly tuned 2.0 litre is so addictive, it just makes u wanna keep on revving HARD!! The vtec shiftlights are there to challenge you to come and chase the power band. The gearing is purely set by the Japs for maximum attack. For daily commute, u really need to go through the close ratio cogs at least 3 times more than normal cars going from point A to B to make reasonable speed.. even 6th gear doing 110km/h is around 4k rpm.. No wonder this Civic guzzles on fuel like nobody's business, more than RM1,000 of petrol in one week! Not to mention the almost jarring ride quality inviting stares and smirks from the girl on the passenger seat trying to hold to her dear life!


This car is a driver's car, and all these downsides are negligible and forgotten once you put yourself into 'racing' mode, and just indulge in this piece of engineering marvel.. Like Djan already pointed out, this car was developed and engineered to be a track car more than anything else in mind, then only seats, aircond and radio got bundled in.. hehe.. for that, it achieved its whole purpose and objectives, it's a GREAT car for what it is, no doubt..

I am still really, really impressed with the dynamics and traction of the car. Makes u appreciate that the LSD and good tyres are there for a reason. Any guessimate on the OEM semi-slickish tyres' costs? I always wonder, would it still be great if we slap on some reasonable road tyres like the road going Potenza?
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    bien335
  • Aug 9, 2008
Touge FTMFW!!!
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    TitanRev
  • Aug 9, 2008
Keshy & Djan....Touge Battle would be the climax. Really want to see it. Let the tarmac eaters rip~~Yeah!!
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    netmatrix
  • Aug 9, 2008
A Stage 3 R3 would be nice, and to be piloted by Tdjan. So who would be piloting the Type R? You need another driver with such caliber too. Karamjit? Or any of the other R3 pro drivers? Maybe can get one of them Honda test drivers. hahaha. Choose a road and then GO!!!!!
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    - J f D -
  • Aug 10, 2008
"Weider on August 8th, 2008 7:25 pm
Now, THAT’S a good review! Probably proof that car reviewers should all have some sort of race/engineering background instead of just talking outta their overly-sensitive arses!"

Agreed absolutely.

I already knew it was something special when the drift king was raving about it in his Best Motoring videos, now our local drift king has given his view which further cements its legendary prowess.

Once again awesome coverage and great review TDjan! Moar please =D
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    joe_mirage
  • Aug 10, 2008
i really wanna see it!!
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    faisal
  • Aug 10, 2008
T Djan,

Stage 3 Satria R3 vs FD2 Type R on Ulu Yam? That's an interesting preposition. :-)

Back To topic,

It IS refreshing to read a Chassis Engineer Raced driver giving his "Seat Of The Pants " views of car. Djan has managed to give readers a real good impression/review. Reading the article has placing the reader in the driver's seat.

GREAT WRITE UP!!!

Keshy, get Djan to do more driving impressions.
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    BtLeJuiCe
  • Aug 13, 2008
How is the FD2 suspension as compared to the DC5? Is it much stiffer and harder?
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    mist
  • Aug 13, 2008
Excellent review by T. Djan and thanks to ZTH for the intiative!

Incidently, my brother bought an FD2R after seriously considering the Golf GTi as well (... surprise surprise......).

Having lived with it on a daily basis since Nov '07 and taking it to track 4 times, it's just unbelievable what Honda has achieved with the FD2R, we'd say that it's definitely worth every cent to have the chance to own such a pure and focused machine. Think of it as a F430 Scuderia for the masses and you'd have a good idea of what it's like to drive and live with a FD2R. Definitely one for the hardcore enthusiast, posers look elsewhere!
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  • Aug 13, 2008
wow, it's definitely hardcore, even MORE than the nsx-r, but to compare with a scuderia? i have not even seen one! maybe, it think it makes more sense to say it serves the same 'purpose' as the sti spec c or evo MR, and these two are damn good machines!
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    Kenneth
  • Aug 13, 2008
A video will be awesome!!!!!!! Maybe something like Autocar UK review videos.

It's different to just read than to see the car move and hear it, and see Tengku Djan put the car through its paces.
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    mist
  • Aug 13, 2008
adam, i beg to disagree. the spec C or evo MR are soft compared to the NSX-R or the FD2R. as you say, it's the 'purpose' of the car which i'm trying to capture, and one would not have to look beyond truly focused hardcore road-track cars like the NSX-R or the Scuderia or the 911 GT3 RS for comparison of 'purpose' with the FD2R - they all have the same purity and raw driving thrill. just that the white civic is far more accesible to us average joes, hence i still reckon it's a for the masses =)
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  • A
  • Aug 13, 2008
i see.. yeah sure. anyways, it's not that i actually own any of them, or going to anytime soon.. :D
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    subtlesilver
  • Aug 14, 2008
Great review - allow me to add a few perspectives as someone who has just clocked 10000KM on the FD2R... all the bits on the great handling & addictive Vtec roar are all true!

Here's just a few Buts thrown in to please the critics (or the occasional GTI fan)

1) The ride is bone jarringly, physhiotherapy-needed HARSH! Yes, I know it's a car meant to be driven to the track and raced; but driving to the track itself will literally give your lumbar a massive shakedown and wished you stocked up on botox - even before you reach the pits! Driving it in town, over bumps and potholes are still bearable (to the extent that if you have previously owned/gotten used to mod suspensions), but the killer comes when you take it on the highway. If PLUS needed a tool to sense undulations and know which stretch to fix, this is the car for them (FD2R as staff car ;-) Not to be sexist, but girls - you will need to wear a BRA when you take the FD2R on the h/way.

The SOLUTION? Drive faster - when you have 2 (or more) Vtec lights opened at 6th gear (dont ask me how fast cos the meter is stuck at 181), nothing else matters

2) The Looks - to spend 200K on a car and look like every other civic out there...not the most flattering, and too add insult to injury - when some everyday Joe notice, "eh .. ur civic got no fog lights and signal light on side mirror one ah.. u bought low spec version is it?" You guys driving the champion white might never face this as HM has done a good job marketing the TypeR in Msia, but when you have a Silver R on the road with the same red badge, skirts, spoiler and diffuser -- the thought POSER comes in.. and 9/10 times on the hway, I get people trying to take a closer look which always end up with the vtec lights greeting them ;-)

3) Those Tyres - does a 200K car needs to share the same tyres with the 600K GTR?? They may make the car corner like rails in DRY, but these re070 are a killer in the wet - as in they will kill you if you are a little to fast in say a WET basement cement floor! And if you survive, replacing them will be another attempt to rip you of at least RM1.1K/Tyre.

Its a love-hate relationship, but everytime I hear the orgasmic vtec howl, I smile and save up for my next set of tyres!

p.s. honest truth - there is more than 1 color for the type R - just that HM could only bring in 1.
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    Eddiesan
  • Aug 16, 2008
huh...
R3 VS FD2R

i was wondering if the result coming out from the race .. if getting it on , please let us know when the hill climb match will be ... i think there will be a lot of racer wanna watch the match...
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  • F
  • Aug 16, 2008
brilliant write up.

wonder how T Djan will handle FD2R with mods added on.........and curious to know how fast a FD2R lap time in Sepang. Thx
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    ariel
  • Dec 28, 2008
2.43++ in SIC is the best lap time of FD2R I've ever see in Youtube. Loves this car very much...but no more on stocks.Need to wait for used version in 2-3 years ahead.
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    kecy82afr
  • Dec 29, 2008
when is it coming out,the part 3?
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    rafi
  • Jan 6, 2009
i hav drive type r since DC2, EP3, DC5, CL1 Euro R, CL7 euro R... Something is mising..
yeah DSG gearbox...
Now drive GTi .. in drag race.. Mod Type R FD2r 260hp vs My GTi apr tune 245hp
still FD2r still can catch up with GTi..
i'm happy with GTi in term of fuel consumption, appearance (continental), chick magnet, built quality, Sound (pop! from exhautse), handling, top speed (270km/h eerr can FD2r make it?)
... its more matured then FD2r..
i think type R suitable for age 28 and below. when u get older, u will like GTi
GTi - a racer peace of mind
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    ak
  • Feb 26, 2009
nowadays the price of the car is quite high...hope one day they can drop that price so i can buy this type-r..
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RAFI-its normal when people claims they have driven many cars and still loves what he/she had right now even in real world they haven't.the facts is they don't like the cars (cars that they claimed they've driven it.they just to others know his/her car is better.i'm used to it to be honest.
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    k20A
  • Aug 30, 2009
err... i dont think so... my my fren before is drive GTi oso... but now had chged to FD2R... if GTi is realli tat got then y he wana to chg it???
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    SnooPDoGGY
  • Sep 16, 2009
woitsss... when is Part 3 coming out???

cant wait to read it...

miahahahahahahaha
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    petrol-head
  • Jan 15, 2010
May I ask, is there part3 being posted up in zerotohundred? Coz I've been searching for it for quite sometime.
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    s.alam07
  • Feb 2, 2010
I think FD2R maintainance is much more reasonable than GTi. Anyone can help to verify this fact?

Can't wait to drive FD2R. I love it!
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    MetalZord
  • May 17, 2011
I love this car too much..and yes true indeed the car wasn't fun to drive at low speed.Honda make such a great FWD car..nice reviewed by the zerotohundred crew and the famous Drift King.Keep it up!!
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