The Type R versions derive from the normal Honda models. The R type’s are the special, racing versions of these cars.
“R” stands for Racing, in reality Honda was aiming to get the most performance out of their models, in combination with working on reducing the weight.
The more power, the less weight means the more performance and fun. At the beginning Honda was focusing to produce racetrack cars for a very specific market, for the hardcore sports car fans. Eventually they had to aim for a much wider market to get the most profit, it meant that the new Civic Type R for example is much less of a compromise. It runs very well on the racetracks, but also suitable for daily usage.
The high-revving engines by Honda are great fun on the tracks and in daily use too.
Top Gear Test track lap times:
81. 1:31.6 – 2003 Honda NSX Type-R (very wet)
93. 1:32.8 – Honda Civic Type-R (EP3-2004 Facelifted)
102. 1:33.5 – Honda Civic Type-R (FN2-2007)
105. 1:33.7 – 2002 Honda NSX-R (wet)
121. 1:36.5 – Honda Civic Type-R (EP3) (wet)
Seems like the Top Gear team likes to test the Type R’s in rain, too bad i must say!