10 Things We Love About The Honda Accord Type R

10 Things We Love About The Honda Accord Type R

Once in a while, a vehicle rocks up onto the performance car scene and, despite its overwhelming talents, fades without a trace. Released at a time when the BMW M3 E36 four-door reigned supreme in the world of fast sedans, the Honda Accord Type R came and went without even a whisper. Looking much like any other Accord, the Type R was, however, an accomplished machine, and despite poor sales quickly became recognized as the world’s finest handling front-wheel-drive sedan.

Powered by a complex VTEC engine, the Accord Type R was a car that needed to be worked hard to get the best from it, but, when pushed, it would reward by the fistful. Not as fast in a straight line as the aforementioned BMW M3 or Mercedes-Benz W124 500E, the Honda would, however, leave the more powerful German cars for dead when the roads got twisty.

Surefooted, and boasting enormous levels of mechanical grip, the Accord Type R is still a fearsome weapon, from which many so-called performance cars should run scared. Not hindered by the bulk of electrical gizmos fitted to modern cars, the Accord Type R serves up a refreshingly stripped-back experience. Unfortunately, the Accord Type R was never available in the States, in fact, it was only sold in Europe between 1998 and 2002, and just 1980 units of this model were made. Still, its age means it’ll be eligible for import in a not-too-distant future. An affordable Japanese classic that will not disappoint, here are 10 things we love about the Honda Accord Type R.

10 A Razor Sharp Weapon

Built during a time when average cars didn’t come loaded with weighty creature comforts or vast amounts of technology, the Accord Type R remained something of a featherweight. Immense steering response also allowed for superb feedback when driven hard.

Light, agile, and able to dive from apex to apex, the Accord Type R felt like a racing sedan in street clothes. Excellent levels of mechanical grip combined with a taut chassis made it one of the best-handling sedans ever to be sold.

9 The Best FWD Sedan Ever

Praised by the motoring press on its release as a front-wheel-driven revelation, the passing of time has taken nothing away from the Accord Type R. Even today it sets a tough benchmark for competitors and has yet to be truly bested for sheer driving involvement.

Devoid of computer devised selectable driving modes or fancy electronic aids, the Accord Type R is a glorious throwback to when cars needed to actually be driven. Taken by the scruff of its neck and thrashed, the Accord Type R delivers thrills by the bucket load.

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8 A Family Car With Recaro Seating

With a spacious 15.2 cu-ft of trunk storage and seating for five adults, the Accord Type R can go from racer to runabout with ease. A capable and comfortable cruiser, it can serve as an ideal family car, just one with a sporty Recaro interior.

Beautifully sculpted, and superbly bolstered, the front racing seats nod toward the car’s true potential. Whilst the short-throw shifter, aluminum pedals, Momo steering wheel, and white dials remind drivers that this sedan is set up to annihilate roads, and kill canyon passes.

7 Gutsy VTEC Engine

A veritable work of art, the 2.2-liter VTEC engine would punch out 209 hp, allowing the sporting sedan to hit 60 mph in 6.7 seconds. Keeping the throttle pinned would see the car run on to a very respectable top speed of 142mph.

A high revving masterpiece that loved to hit 7200 rpm, the engine in the Accord Type R provided a dual character. Sedate and fairly economical when used for relaxed driving, it would burst into life when needed and pile on the speed with ease.

6 An Affordable Japanese Classic

The Accord Type R was, at launch, an overlooked gem. Sales were low, as the general buying public wasn’t convinced that a hot Accord was a wise buy. At the time, those looking for a fast sedan naturally gravitated to the number of premium German offerings.

As a result, the Accord Type R never found a firm footing and resale values plummeted. At one time a decent car could be bought for as little as $1500. Prices have recovered slightly, thanks to a fan following, but still remain very low considering the package on offer.

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5 It Spawned A Euro R Model

The natural evolution of the Type R is the Euro R Model, named as it was aimed at the European markets. Lightened and now powered by a more advanced 2.0-liter engine, power increased to 220hp whilst the 0-60 mph sprint time fell to 6.3 seconds.

A far more sophisticated offering based on the seventh generation model, the Euro R retained the fantastic Recaro seating but now featured a better overall interior. Now boasting a six-speed gearbox, the Euro R remained a highly accomplished vehicle.

4 No Fragile Track Day Special

The Accord Type R is a rare vehicle, one that is able to carry out a plethora of daily tasks before heading off to the race track to embarrass more expensive cars. Boasting Honda’s superb build quality, mechanically they are tough and enjoy a thrashing.

The only weak spot in the Accord Type R’s armor is rust, with earlier cars being the most affected. Beyond this, regular servicing with good quality oil and being fed high octane gasoline will see the Japanese rocket rack up big mileage without any loss in performance.

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3 Bit Of A Sleeper

With such low numbers being on the street, when an Accord Type R is actually spotted in the wild it could be easily overlooked as being a dressed-up standard car. Overlooked at release, many gearheads still aren’t too wise to the Accord’s depth of character or performance.

With only a very subtle body kit, rear wing, a pair of performance exhaust pipes, and Type R stickering to distinguish it, the Accord can easily go unnoticed. Now looking like any old aging Honda, the Type R blends in with the crowd, until it chooses to outrun it.

2 Something Very Special

Within the first hundred yards of driving, the Accord Type R can seem a little disappointing. The car’s low-speed experience is nothing to write home about. But stretch its legs, open up the throttle, make the VTEC work and the magic suddenly happens.

The Accord Type R is a car that just thrives on having its limits tested. The rev-happy engine matched to the sharp chassis allows for moments of true inspiration as the Accord dances from corner to corner with such balanced precision.

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1 It Won’t Break The Bank

As previously mentioned, the Accord Type R is still something of an unmined gem. Decent examples can be snapped up for the price of a ropey Porsche Boxster, whilst project cars can be obtained for truly astounding giveaway prices.

Built to last like any other Honda, the Accord Type R has been reported to be a reliable, sturdy companion with only minor repairs needed to keep one on the road. Plus, with a generous 29mpg on offer, it has the potential to be a pocket-friendly family favorite.

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