MUCH to the envy of Japanese hot hatch fans and motoring journos alike, McLaren-Honda F1 driver Stoffel Vandoorne has become the first person on Australian soil to drive the all-new Honda Civic Type R.
The rookie driver enjoyed a brief stint driving the 235kW/400Nm hot hatch (which goes on sale here late in 2017) ahead of this weekend's Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne, saying it is "faithful to the ethos of what makes the Type R great - a superb engine, excellent dynamics and Honda's proven quality and reliability."
The Belgian racer may not get as much wheel time in his Honda-powered McLaren Grand Prix car this weekend though, after the power unit was the cause of numerous problems in pre-season testing.
In other Civic Hatch news, Honda has revealed the non-Type R versions that go on sale here in May will cost from $22,390, identical to the sedan version.
The Civic Hatch line-up exactly mirrors that of its four-door stable mate, with the two entry-level cars using a 1.8-litre naturally aspirated four-cylinder engine and the VTi-L, RS and VTi-LX models a 1.5-litre four-cylinder turbo engine.
Prices top out at $33,590 for the generously specified range-topper.
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