Sam Preston | EP3 Honda Civic Type R

(Photos: Tom Lynch)

Winter for the more fortunate car enthusiasts amongst us means it’s time to whip out the sealed-atmosphere, temperature controlled cocoons and once again hide their pride and joys away in the garage until Mr Blue Sky returns some time in May.

Unfortunately, my winning lottery ticket hasn’t materialised yet, plus my Civic isn’t quite the car you’d imagine giving such a pampering to, meaning I was free to drive it harder and more care-free than ever over the salty, damp festive period.

To celebrate, I arranged a bit of a south coast jaunt with my friend Tom Lynch who happens to work at Honda UK. Tom agreed to bring one of his lovely FK2 Civic Type Rs along for the trip seeing as it’s almost been a year since we gave our fantastic long-term test car back. Tom set one condition, though: we had to try and make our cars as dirty as possible by the end of the drive. Challenge accepted!

FK2 EP3 Honda Civic Type R Banzai Magazine

Despite only two generations and around a decade separating them, these cars are without a doubt extremely different in their performance capabilities. While Tom disappeared into the distance with his boosted FK2 whenever he fancied dabbing the throttle, things weren’t all doom and gloom in my EP3, which undoubtedly is the car with the better soundtrack, still holding its own in the corners too thanks to my Eibach coilovers, Powerflex bushes and Dixcel brakes.

Finally we swapped keys and I found myself once again sitting in the incredibly supportive, perfectly positioned seats of the EP3’s younger brother. Even with the damp roads to contend with, the power delivery on this pocket rocket never fails to take your breath away, doing things with its clever diff that you’d never believe possible from a FWD motor.

Sadly, the FK2 is already reaching the end of its days, with the even newer, booted car set to make an appearance very soon indeed. But with rumours of even more power, I don’t think we’ll be moaning too much after driving one…!

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