( Worldcarfans ) - After years of giving them teenage soaps, export lagers and a seemingly endless parade of Ashes thrashings, the Brits have finally sent Australia something better than warm beer and mushy peas - the all-new Honda Civic Type R.
The first shipment of the British-built Honda Civic Type Rs arrived this week from Southampton, en route to Honda showrooms for the official on-sale date during July this year.
With 148kW of power and 193Nm of torque emanating from the high-revving, 2.0-litre engine, the three door sports hatch will re-introduce the Type R badge back into Australia.
In true Type R style, the car's focus is on the spirit of the drive, using the engine, six-speed manual gearbox and race-bred handling in harmony to provide the driver with an engaging driving experience.
Sophistication and comfort were uppermost in the design engineers' minds, with the Civic Type R sporting cruise control, dual-zone climate control, automatic rain-sensing windscreen wipers, auto on/off headlights, a CD-player with MP3 and WMA capabilities, and a leather-bound tilt and telescopic adjustable steering wheel.
Safety has not been overlooked either, with standard safety features including Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA), front, side and curtain airbags, ABS brakes and emergency brake assist.
The Civic Type R arrived on the Tombarra, a pure car and truck carrier operated by Wallenius Wilhelmsen shipping line. Despite their obvious differences in size, there are similarities between the "land-lubbing" Civic Type R and the ocean-going car carrier beyond their shared red livery.
Firstly, they both have three doors, although the Civic Type R's rear boot hatch is dwarfed by the Tombarra's huge rear loading hatch. They also both made their maiden voyage from the UK to Australia.
There are of course many differences below the hood - the Civic Type R's engine is designed to spin freely to the 8000rpm redline, while the Tombarra's slow-speed diesel engine almost never reaches its "redline" of 105rpm.
The Civic Type R can reach 100 km/h within 6.6 seconds, while the Tombarra will take approximately 30 minutes and 15 kilometres to reach its maximum speed of 19 knots. In fairness to the Tombarra, the Civic Type R's light weight of 1345 kilograms compared with the vessel's approximate 38,000 tonnes gives it the edge here.
Where the Civic Type R definitely loses the comparison is in cargo hauling ability - the Tombarra's 54,299 square metre hold puts the Civic Type R's admittedly impressive 485 litre boot capacity in the shade.