Swindon is no stranger to Honda's hottest Civics
Code name: EP3
Total built: 4490
Swindon produced two versions of the EP3, the second Civic Type R, one for the European market, and one for the Japanese market, both based on the seventh-generation Civic three-door hatchback. The European version was the softer of the two, with a 197hp variant of the 2.0-liter VTEC four under the hood, a close-ratio six-speed transmission, and uprated brakes. The faster, more focused JDM model got a special 212hp engine built in Japan, as well as a helical limited-slip differential, sharper suspension settings, and red Recaro seats.
Code name: FN2
Total built: 2,985
Japan and Europe went quite different ways when it came to the third-gen Civic Type R. JDM versions (FD2) were based on the eighth-generation four door Civic sedan and built in Japan, while European models were based on the Civic three-door hatch built in Swindon. As such, the FN2 shared platform elements with the Honda Fit, including the under-seat fuel tank, and a torsion-beam rear axle instead of the more complex multi-link rear end used on the FD2. And while the JDM Type R boasted a new engine with 222hp, the FN2 carried over the previous car’s 197hp powerplant.
Code name: FK2
Total built: 15,978
Based on the ninth-generation Civic five-door, the FK2 was a more serious car than previous Swindon-built Type Rs. With this car, Japan didn’t get to hog the good stuff. Built in a single spec for the world, which boosted production numbers significantly over the previous two Swindon-built Type Rs, the FK2 got the 306hp K20C1 (the same engine that powers the new FK8) built in Anna, Ohio, along with the all-important helical limited-slip differential. As with the FN2, the rear axle was a torsion-beam unit—adoption of a multi-link rear suspension was one of the key changes made with FK8.
Photos from our trip to the 2018 Honda Civic Type R’s factory: