Of all the sporty compact cars out there, the 2020 Honda Civic Type R would seem to be the one that would have the most obnoxious exhaust note. It has oodles of scoops and vents, a towering rear wing and fat fender flares. And yet, as we discovered in the above video, it's actually soft-spoken.
The video showcases start up, moderate acceleration, downshifting during deceleration, full-throttle acceleration, and free revving, in that order. The overall volume in all situations is low, which is a bit of a shame, because the tone itself is pleasant. It's a smooth, slightly bass-y note shared with many factory performance Hondas. Perhaps that's not so surprising since the Type R still uses a variant of the venerable K-series four-cylinder to make its 306 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque. Stay tuned for more details on the new Type R in our upcoming first drive review.
It's also funny to think that exhaust volume is seemingly inverse to wing size nowadays. The large winged STI S209 was just a bit less mellow, whereas as the smaller, more subtly styled and less powerful Hyundai Veloster N and Mini John Cooper Works Hardtop have much rortier exhausts.