New Civic Type R looks good, sounds like elevator music

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Photo: Honda

The outgoing Civic Type R was a masterpiece in many ways: noisy fun to drive, had amazing seats and transmitted its power through one of the nicest transmissions ever seen in a tram. Her appearance may have been divisive, but the style had as many fans as detractors. If there was one flaw everyone could agree on, though, it was the sound—for all that power, fun, and suspension magic, it still sounded like a Civic.

When Honda first unveiled the updated Type R, many fans of the previous car wanted two big changes: less aggressive styling and a better soundtrack. Although the car has not yet been seen without camouflage, it seems that the first request has been met with flying colors. The second? Not really. Listen for yourself:

Between the music and Guy Ritchie’s quick cuts, it’s a little hard to hear the new Civic as it cruises around the Suzuka Circuit. What audio passes, however, is just A car. It’s not particularly moving or even interesting — simply the sound combustion makes when muffled by a turbocharger.

That turbo, however, can’t take all the blame for the Type R’s unseasoned chicken breast sound. Four-cylinder turbo engines are everywhere these days, but some manufacturers are still finding ways to make them interesting. Like Hyundai:

In honor of Honda, this video features a pre-production Civic. The final car hasn’t even been unveiled, let alone hit the market. There’s still time to dial in little things like the car’s exhaust sound, which may be part of why it’s not highlighted in the video.

If the new Type R looks like the last, a bland exhaust won’t be a dealbreaker. The secondary market intervened on the FK8 and will again for the new car. Still, if Hyundai and Fiat can make fantastic-sounding four-cylinders, what’s stopping Honda?

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