When you are competing against a car such as the Volkswagen Golf R, it would be easy to design something that is a little understated in its looks, but powerful and dynamic in character. It would probably be the best way to chase sales, to match what your rivals are doing, but make it better in a few key areas. Or you could go completely crazy and put big aerodynamic bits everywhere, including a vortex generator and a huge rear wing that will make a turn-of-the-century Subaru jealous. And while you are at it, ignore the move towards automatic and dual-clutch gearboxes and use a short-shift six-speed manual. And cloth seats — who needs leather anyway? And scary, make it look a bit scary. Sensible car Then tell everyone it’s a Honda and not just any old Honda, but a Civic, the same car in which sensible people drive to the shops. Except that this is not just a Civic, and nor was its predecessor or the one before that. This is the Civic Type-R. We are being a little dramatic because it...

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