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The FK8 Honda Civic Type R (2017-2021) is one of the most respected and high-strung performance hatchbacks in the market. When it debuted in 2017, the Civic Type R was heralded by enthusiasts and critics alike for its strong performance and superior handling capabilities. We even had the chance to drive the 2020 Honda Civic Type R up Pike’s Peak and came away impressed with its 300-hp engine and sporty adaptive suspension.

We wholeheartedly recommend the FK8 Civic Type R to anyone looking for a practical and sporty hatchback. But if its performance out of the box isn’t enough for you, here are the top five modifications to start with.

1. Modifying the FK8 Honda Civic Type R’s exhaust system is a good start

The triple tip exhaust on the Honda Civic Type R
Honda Civic Type R | Honda

Many FK8 Honda Civic Type R owners have reported gaining over 10 hp by modifying the car’s exhaust system. Don’t get us wrong, the triple-tip exhaust system that Honda put on the Civic Type R is excellent. But many aftermarket parts manufacturers have designed freer flowing systems to extract more power. Some of the most notable brands include HKS, AWE, and Invidia, and most systems are priced at or around $1,000.

2. An aftermarket intake can make the turbocharged engine breathe easier

2017 Honda Civic Type R engine
2017 Honda Civic Type R | Honda

Turbocharged engines can benefit from more air, and the Civic Type R’s 2.0-liter engine is no exception. Many owners have reported good horsepower gains from upgrading the car’s intake system. One of the best aftermarket intakes in the market for the FK8 Civic Type R is made by PRL.

3. Coilovers can make the Civic Type R’s suspension even better

Honda Civic Type R pace car on a track
Honda Civic Type R | Honda

Although Honda made the FK8 Civic Type R handle like a rear-drive car, despite it being front-wheel drive, some owners need more out of it. That said, a good set of coilovers is in order because they can adjust not only the ride height of the car but also its damping. That means if the ride is too soft, it can be stiffened up and vice versa, making it suitable for every driving situation.

4. A downpipe can free up more flow

The downpipe is part of the car’s exhaust system, and the factory version has proven to be restrictive. Fortunately, many aftermarket companies, like 27Won and Ballade Sports, offer FK8 Civic Type R owners larger 3-inch downpipes to free up more horsepower.

5. A short shifter can liven up the driving experience

Honda Civic Type R shifter
Honda Civic Type R | Honda

Honda has always been known for making some of the nicest-feeling and precise shifters on the market. As S2000 owners, we know. The same goes for the FK8 Civic Type R, which has a great shifter from the factory but can be made better. One of the most popular modifications for the Civic Type R is the short shifter kit from Acuity. It costs around $250, so it’s not super cheap, but it will enhance the driving experience.

Th FK8 Honda Civic Type R is amazing from the factory, but modifications are always fun

There’s no denying that the 2017-2021 Civic Type R is a fantastic car right from the factory, but even perfection can always be made better. Plus, modifying cars is fun. So if you plan to purchase an FK8 Civic Type R, these five modifications are a great way to start.