Civic Type R: Icon with a Race Pedigree

September 5, 2017


My name is Martin Ly, I'm currently a third-year BA/Media Comm. student at the University of Sydney. I currently drive a 2003 Honda Civic Type R EP3 in Championship White.


How long have you had the car for and is it your first car?

I have owned the Civic since March this year, having moved on from a 2001 Audi A3 1.8T as I wanted something more engaging and inspiring to drive. I purchased the car with about 120,000km on the odometer, and have since put on about 10,000km of spirited driving in the past 6 months.




What do you like and/or dislike about the car?

Having driven a family member’s Honda Integra DC2 Type R, I thought I’d venture down the Honda path for reliability, practically, as well as the sheer driving experience. I eventually decided on the EP3 as it was the perfect car for my needs; having the practicality of a hatchback as well as the punchy Japanese spec K20A engine. My favourite features would have to be the famous K20A engine which screams all the way to a 8400rpm redline, as well as the distinctive, oddly-placed gear shifter situated on the centre console – making rev-matching all the more rewarding. In true Honda character though, you need to keep the engine working in the upper RPMs in order to extract the best out of it. This is counteracted by the close-ratio gearbox, which keeps the engine in the power band and allows you to row through the gears at choice.  One specific gripe about the EP3 is the electronic power steering, rather than the hydraulic system found in the Integra DC2 and DC5 alike, resulting in a rather numb and vague steering feel.




What modifications have you made to the car? Do you have any favourites?

In typical Honda fashion, the modifications made to the car have consisted of simple, yet rewarding bolt-ons. As it sits currently, the car has a Gruppe M Intake, BuddyClub Racing Spec 4-2-1 Headers and an Invidia G200 cat-back exhaust. The most rewarding of these would have to be the Gruppe M as it is the holy grail of intakes for the EP3, inducing a simply ridiculous intake sound when VTEC crosses over at 6000rpm.




What are your future plans for the car? What do you want as your next car?

I’m looking to take my car to the track eventually once I have the financial means to do as track days are quite an expensive hobby. I’d like to track it as-is, with some basic brake pad/fluid/line work and decent tyres – before potentially investing in some decent coilovers. Cosmetically, I am also trying to source an Air Walker front lip and Mugen wing. After a few years down the track, I may consider a Golf GTI for perfect combination of performance, practicality, and the refinement of German engineering.  



2003 Honda Civic Type R EP3


Price guide: $10,000 - $13,000 with approx. 100,000km on the odometer

Body: 3-Door Hatchback , 4 Seats

Drive Type: Front Wheel Drive

Engine: 4-Cylinder Petrol Naturally Aspirated 2.0L

Transmission: 6-Speed Manual (LSD)

Power: 158kW @ 8000RPM

Torque: 202Nm @ 7000RPM

0-100km/h: 6.6 seconds

P Plate Legal: No (Prohibited vehicle as of late 2016)

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