THERE’S no shortage of hot hatches to choose from. We Brits love ‘em, and the UK has become one of the most fertile markets in the world for manufacturers of this type of car.

Immediately recognisable as something different from their regular stablemates, some are discreet in their design, others are flashy not only in the design but also the choice of body colours.

Then there’s the Honda Civic Type R, the new king of the hot hatches and poke-you-in-the-eye attention-grabbing gorgeous to look at. Discreet it certainly is not.

The designers left barely any blank canvas by the time they had finished with the exterior. And there’s plenty more to see and admire inside too.

What takes the Type R to the top of the pile is not that it is the fastest – because it is not – or that it is the most powerful – it ain’t that either – but that it not only looks the business but also cuts the mustard as you drive into a corner on a windy B-road and is wonderfully enjoyable at any time thanks to its superb steering and short-throw six-speed gearbox.

Last year it lapped the infamous Nurburgring circuit in a time of 7 minutes and 43 seconds to claim the fastest lap time ever for a front-wheel-drive car. That says it all about the car’s dynamic performance.

There will be some who knock the design as being too boy-racer, even somewhat chavvy, but most will simply admire those curves and adornments that make this such a head-turner.

Settle into the snug sports seats, press the start button, and you immediately get the sense that not only are you about to drive something special but also that plenty of pairs of eyes will have settled on its form.

The three drive modes – comfort, sport and Type R – enable you to alter the steering feel, damping, vehicle stability assist, traction control, throttle response and rev match system.

There are just two versions to choose from: the standard Type R at £30,995 and the more luxurious Type R GT (tested here) at £32,995, which brings with it features such as dual zone climate control, blind spot information, a higher grade audio system, wireless charging and front and rear parking sensors.

Wider, longer, and lower than its predecessors, the new Type R has short overhangs, muscular lines, pronounced wheel-arches and sculpted front and rear intakes.

But attention to detail is not confined to the exterior. Inside, you will find improved levels of quality, comfort and refinement. Front and rear seat occupants benefit from greater visibility and more space, while the large boot ensures the car retains its position as the most practical high-performance hatchbacks.

New suspension, a lower centre of gravity and a boost in body rigidity help this latest generation Civic Type R to the top of the pile.

To help the driver manage the Type R’s prodigious power, its front wheels are equipped with a Brembo brake package.

The new Civic Type R is 165mm longer, 36mm lower and 2mm wider than the previous-generation model.

Peak power output from the direct-injected turbocharged 2.0-litre engine is 320 PS. It covers the 0-62mph sprint in just 5.7 seconds and will go on to a top speed of 169mph.

Unique to the Type R is a driving mode-specific illumination function that features specialised readouts, including an LED gearshift indicator light, boost pressure gauge, G-Meter and lap time recorder.

In common with the new Civic hatchback, the Type R features a suite of safety technologies that uses a combination of radar and camera information.

Honda wanted to infuse its passion creating the perfect sport car into this latest version of the Type R. Job done folks.