The new Civic Type R looks great, sounds like elevator music

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Photo: Honda

The outgoing Civic Type R was a masterpiece in many ways: It was it breathtaking fun to drive, had incredible seats and sent its power through one of the best transmissions ever to appear in a street car. Its appearance may have been divisive, but the styling had as many fans as opponents. However, if it had one flaw that everyone could agree on, it was the sound – despite all the power, fun and suspension magic, it just sounded like a Civic.

When Honda first teased the updated Type R, many fans of the previous car wanted two major changes: Less aggressive style and a better soundtrack. Although the car has not yet been seen without the camo, it seems that the first request was met with brilliance. The second? Not so much. Listen for yourself:

Between the music and Guy Ritchie’s quick-cuts, it’s a little hard to hear the new Civic as it rounds out the Suzuka Circuit. What sound comes through, though, is just A car. It’s not particularly moving or even interesting – simply the sound combustion gives when attenuated by a turbocharger.

However, that turbo can not take all the blame for Type R’s unspoiled chicken breast sound. Four-cylinder turbo engines are everywhere today, but some manufacturers are still finding ways to make them interesting. Like Hyundai:

For Honda’s defense, this video shows a pre-production of the Civic. The final car has not even been unveiled yet, let alone released to the market. There is still time to call for small things like the car’s exhaust sound, which may be part of the reason it’s no longer prominent in the video.

If the new Type R is anything like the last one, a bland exhaust will not be a dealbreaker. The aftermarket entered FK8 and will again for the new car. Still, if Hyundai and Fiat can make amazing-sounding quad-cylinders, then what stops Honda?

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