Although North America has only been able to buy the last two iterations, Honda has been producing a Civic Type R in one form or another since 1997. That means the exceptional new model is the fifth generation in a long line, and the evolution from naturally aspirated three-door hatchback to turbocharged five-door liftback has followed every trend in sport compacts of the past three decades. Those differences are even more clear when you see all five Civic Type Rs together. When YouTube channel CarWow had all of them in the same place, they went one step further and lined them up for a drag race.

The results of the actual standing quarter mile test are skewed significantly by the lack of a physical handbrake in the fourth-gen and fifth-gen cars, but the overall divide in performance is still clear: the three latest generations, all of which boast 300 or more horsepower from a turbocharged engine, easily trounce the two naturally aspirated earlier generations in a straight line. The third-generation car is still competitive with the newer cars in both a slow-rolling drag race and a faster rolling race, but both the third-generation and fourth-generation car are beaten handily by the latest Type R in a braking distance test.

While these benchmarking tests are interesting, none of these cars are built primarily for straight-line performance. After all, the newest car was a major standout on both road and track in our latest Performance Car of the Year testing because it excels when being driven through corners.

Looking to purchase a car? Find your match on the MSN Autos Marketplace

2023-03-06T21:38:21Z dg43tfdfdgfd