So it's actually 1490 miles and 3 days short of 2 months since I first buckled up and took to the cockpit of Type-R 19196.
For those of you whom are interested, please read on to discover my thoughts on the last 6 weeks of the Type-R experience.
Love, Life and Lorente
I am still infatuated with 'Lorente' - the name she has recieved thanks to the way her standard number plate appears to read, the feeling of exoticism and the envious looks she provokes in that little black number.
She wears the Nighthawk black well, which is complimented with red detailing in the right places. Smooth curves, and those raked lines... Gosh, I feel like the geeky guy who knows he is dating a prospective super-model, such is my over-protectiveness.
Is it just infatuation or is there an element of Love?
What initially started out as common flirting, has now become a full fledged affair - the wife reckons so too (literally):
I used to openly admit to going out for a spin around the block, down the A40, and then make it back home for dinner, but now I disappear off for a couple of hours most evenings for no apparent reason, and return home exhausted, empty-handed, at least £20 poorer, and with a mischievious grin on my face - Signs of an affair? Well the missus seems to think so.
Little does my missus know that I randomly take Lorente for some unadultered hard-riding fun, a cigarette break in a deserted car park, then some more fun before finishing off with something to drink before I retreat for the evening - damn she's thirsty.
Such has become the routine of disappearing 3-4 times during a working week, that my missus actually asked me if there was somebody else. To which I devastated her by using Lorente's name, it was only after explaining in great depth did she finally believe me
Seriously though, puns aside - Lorente is still a pleasure to drive once she has warmed up. She can be jerky (Her version of a tantrum) if I try to get a quicky in, in the morning. She is very juicy and for my average/humble means is quite expensive to maintain.
She has had a drop of oil, at least £10 every two days in petrol (V-Power), washed and hoovered weekly, and is never/rarely driven in the rain.
I believe I have learnt to drive the Type-R now, as silly as that sounds...
Although the presence of a Synchromesh in the gearbox deems double de-clutching pointless, I still use this method on downshifts to get firstly a smoother kick, and more of a power-surge feel, rather than a judd, which assists maximum enjoyment through swooping bends and roundabouts. The same applies to cruising at 40-50mph, double de-clutch in to 3rd, sometimes 2nd - and I get a kick that puts me right amongst the revs and that engine note - intoxicating..
Don't get me started on 'Heel-Toeing'... As you can imagine that is also vital with the VSA off down swooping clear A roads.
The Type-R isn't particularly quick, or as quick as I first thought stepping up from a 1.4, but what the Type-R is, is involving, busy, and action-packed if that's the mood you're in. It requires thought, it requires response, and technique to get the best out of the drive. Coupled with the 'everyday firm', but 'pleasurable A-road' handling/ride - I can see why this car has the potential to embarrass higher spec'ed/reputed cars in most challenges, even if there is a lack of torque in the 0-60. I believe that the Type-R in the right drivers control can be lethal on a mixed route - The Type-R is not a straight-line monster, imo.
There, imo, is no doubting the practicallity of owning a Type-R - at least in terms of space. Barring rear access, due to it being a 3 door hatch, the boot is humongous and rear space once you are actually in is in abbundance. I have managed 2 in the back (6 footers), myself and a front passenger - 3 cricket bags in the boot, my spare mats (for inclement weather) an Umbrella, my raving shoes a liter of oil for top-up purposes and a jacket all at the same time and the Type-R hoarded it away nicely, without avalanching out when it came to opening the boot.
Running costs? Well Group 17 as you can imagine is not cheap - I have just harped on about the practicallity of this vehicle, but with it being a Type-R the performance/running costs negate the other practical features the car has to offer - but for the right person, this is perfect for thrills, and practicallity - thankfully I have my mothers Almera for boring stuff.
To conclude.. From the out-side, Lorente is sassy, and she has great character thanks to that i-vtec engine, she is gorgeous from the inside - but the build quality is rubbish, absolutely rubbish - couple that with the hard-ride, and you have squeaks, and rattles.
- I have had my master cylinder changed.
- Sometimes the pedals feel as if they are made of two-pieces (stem and actual pedal) and that it moves under my foot sometimes, as if there's a screw loose
- She creaks first thing in the morning, somewhere from the rear.
- Her windows rattle when down (3 inches from the top) the lower you draw the window, the more the rattle disappears.
- There is a squeak, that I acn't locate from around the dash
- Some ***** have marked the interior plastic as they get into the back.
- Had to have my bumper smart repaired (great job Chiswick Honda) after someone scraped - granted not a build quality fault.
Hopefully that's all.
I hope I haven't bored you, and you have enjoyed reading.. Your comments are appreciated.
And is it just infatuation or Love? It's love, but it comes with it's fair share of maintenance, and hassles - but so does my wife.. I have both, perhaps that means I should have thought twice before getting married then...