The new Honda Civic Type R Just Broke the FWD Nurburgring Record
You may remember we covered the new Civic Type R less than a month ago, but the data and details were mostly speculations at that point. Sure, we knew a lot of its specifics, but not what it was really capable. Well, today all of that changes, because we have official numbers to back the hot hatchback’s performance claims.
Now, the Nurburgring is not exactly a testament of a car’s true performance since very few people actually track their cars at all, let alone regularly. On the other hand, one could argue that the Nordschleife, the 24-mile 154-turn track called “Green Hell”, is exactly the test most indicative to real world performance without actually driving like a lunatic on public roads. The endless crests, dips and altitude alterations mean it’s as close as a real, public road you can get when discussing race tracks. What’s more, there are practically no runoff areas, so you’re pretty much on your own. One small mistake and you’re off.
And yet, despite that, the new Civic Type R has just managed to blitz the previous front-wheel drive hatchback record with a time of 7 minutes 43 seconds. For those of you wondering, 7:43 is more than three seconds quicker than the previous record holder, VW’s Golf GTI Clubsport S, and almost a dozen than the last gen Type R. If that sounds immensely fast, it’s because it is. We’re quickly reaching a point where front-wheel drive cars can more than match the more ‘traditional’ RWD layout, and cars like the Civic Type R are pioneering the segment.
To say we didn’t expect this exact or a similar outcome would be a lie. When first hearing the new Type R’s headline stats we immediately knew it would be a FWD record contender, with massive aspiration to completely annihilate the poor little Golf. How is the Type R capable of achieving such astonishing lap times? Well, we already know the 2.0-liter engine makes 10 horsepower more, but it now also boasts an independent, multilink suspension setup in place of the outdated torsion beam which was previously there. The tires are 10mm wider both front and rear, and the aero package provides actual downforce at high speeds.
The record breaking car was fitted with a roll cage, so Honda removed the back seats and the infotainment system to make up for the weight difference. They claim the car maintains the same weight, and we’re inclined to believe them. However, it has to be said that the car ran Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2s instead of the standard Continental Sport Contact 6s. Effectively a barely-legal tire, the Sport Cup 2s will supposedly be offered as an option for all Civic Type Rs, but it remains to be seen whether Honda carries through with the claims. In any case, there’s no denying the savageness and brutality of the new Civic Type R. Consider the hot hatchback king officially back.