Spooky Interview: Death Metal Phantom and the 2017 Honda Civic Type R

The Death Metal Phantom of the Graveyard likes to keep a low profile. Generally around six feet below the daisies. In fact, about the only time you’ll spot him is when he’s on tour with his band The Green Hell, or when he surfaces around Halloween to buy a new car. I recently caught up with Death Metal Phantom at an undisclosed cemetery to discuss his latest acquisition: the 2017 Honda Civic Type R.

PB: So what attracted you to this crazy-hot Honda hatch?

DMP: Well, I was chatting with Bruce Wa– er, Batman, and he said Honda had just built the next Batmobile, right down to the paint job. He said it went like the devil too. But when I saw it, I almost died… again! (maniacal laughter) Looks ridiculous.

PB: Too many silly scoops and wings, huh?

DMP: Not enough. That wing could be way taller, it needs more intakes, creases, and only three exhaust tips? C’mon. I want five.

PB: So subtlety isn’t your thing then.

DMP: Nah. And the exhaust sound is way too polite too. But other than that, this Type R is freakin’ amazing. What a chassis! Did you see the way the helical limited-slip differential let me put all 306 horses to the ground and pulled me out the corner just on the other side of the Johnson crypt? No torque steer either, thanks to the unique-to-R dual-axis front suspension.

PB: It gets standard adaptive damping too. What do you think of the 2.0L turbo four?

DMP: It’s got a torque plateau as flat as my ECG! Ha. But seriously, it’s a killer little unit. Almost no turbo lag and hauls right to its redline. Although I do kinda miss the old Honda VTEC engines that would scream to 9,000 rpm. I like screaming.

PB: How do you like the interior?

DMP: The sports seats are fantastic. Super bolstered yet very comfy. And that little shifter for the six speed is nigh on perfect. Do you know the Type-R has auto rev-matching on downshifts? Which is great, cause these green shoes are useless for heel-and-toe.

DMP then jumped into the Type-R, and with the standard 12-speaker audio blasting Ozzy’s Boneyard, he took off for a blazing loop of the cemetery. Within a couple of minutes he was back in view, sliding past the Johnson’s and screeching to a stop, the four-piston Brembos clamping those 13.8-inch front discs with unerring force.

DMP: Did you see that? I threw it into a perfectly controllable four-wheel drift! Show me another front-drive car that will do that and I’ll eat my Marshall stack. Which incidentally fits quite easily into the hatch.

PB: I’m assuming you looked at the VW Golf R and Ford Focus RS before settling on the Civic Type R?

DMP: Oh yeah. The Golf is too polite and the Focus rides like a coffin cart. Plus, with a price of $40,890 all-in, the Type R is a bargain. And by the way, my Type R holds the record for the fastest lap of a front-driver around this cemetery. I tell ya, they were all rolling in their graves when I nailed that one!

PB: Did you know the Type R is made in England?

DMP: Yeah, I love British cars. I also have a Ghost, Wraith, and I just put a deposit on the new Phantom.

PB: Of course. This death metal thing must be profitable.

DMP: Yeah, I sell a lot of records. It’s a big underground scene. Bahahaha!

With that, the Death Metal Phantom whipped out his Jackson guitar and proceeded to shred a blazing solo. The skies darkened, gravestones trembled, and as he worked his way up the neck in a frenzied barrage of bends and tapping, an army of decomposing hands burst from the earth, each waving a Bic lighter in unison with DMP’s aural assault.

I fled. But there was no escape. The tombstones went on forever. Horrible festering hands grabbed for my ankles, and the screaming guitar seemed to follow my every anguished step. Then an opening. I bolted for the gate, and just when freedom was assured, that damn black Civic Type R came from nowhere and blocked my path.

DMP: Dude, where are you going? I need a bass player.

PB: You offering me a gig? Cool. When’s the first rehearsal?

Hella fast. 10/27/2017 10:00:00 AM