The new Honda Civic Type R has reclaimed the title as the fastest front-wheel drive production car to lap the famous Nürburgring Nordschleife in Germany. Watch the record lap below…
Stretch your mind back to 2015 and you may remember the previous generation Honda Civic Type R setting a new record lap time for a front-wheel drive production car at the Nürburgring Nordschleife. That record lap time was 7:50.63. Months later, the Volkswagen Golf GTI Clubsport S pulled up at ‘The Ring’ and snatched the record with a time of 7:49.21, relegating the Type R from its throne. The GTI Clubsport S then returned for a second stab at its record and succeeded to improve its lap time with a 7:47.19.
Enter the new Honda Civic Type R
The 'King of the Ring' Honda Civic Type R has reclaimed the FWD record with a time of 7:43.8.
Since then, Honda has been hard at work developing the new Civic Type R, with the production version shown earlier this year at the Geneva Motor Show. In the final phase of the new Type R’s testing programme, Honda unleashed a development car on the Nordschleife on 3 April 2017 and the run returned a blistering time of 7:43.8, nearly 7 seconds faster than its predecessor and more than 3 seconds quicker than the GTI Clubsport S.
The new Honda Civic Type R is powered by a turbocharged 2.0-litre petrol engine with 228 kW and 400 Nm of torque and uses an improved 6-speed manual transmission to lay power to tar via the front wheels.
Honda says that the new lower gear ratios of the enhanced transmission and the Type R’s aerodynamic package helped it achieve the record run. With a body frame weighing as much as 16 kg lighter than before, steering response and cornering ability has also been enhanced, according to Honda. More than this, a new multi-link rear suspension also improves stability under braking and reduces body roll while cornering, resulting in higher cornering speeds.
Aerodynamics, optimised gear ratios, new rear suspension, longer wheelbase and a wider track all contributed to improved stability during the record run.
“The cornering speed achieved in the new Type R is higher because the car features a wider track and tyres, a longer wheelbase, new multi-link suspension in the rear and optimised aerodynamics that improves stability. For example, drivers typically enter the corner after Metzgesfeld at around 150 km/h. Even at this medium-speed corner, the speed is around 10 km/h higher due to the new Type R’s excellent stability. So, with improved cornering performance, we can increase the speed throughout the lap, helping the new Type R to achieve a much quicker lap time” said Ryuichi Kijima, Lead Chassis Engineer.
The development car was fitted with a full floating roll cage for safety reasons and Honda says that the roll cage did not provide any added rigidity to the body. The additional weight of the roll cage was offset by removing the infotainment system and rear seats. Furthermore, Honda says that the development car used for the record run was “technically representative of production specification.” The car was also fitted with road legal track-focussed tyres.
The new Honda Civic Type R's arrival is yet to be confirmed for South Africa, but it's likely, we hope.
The new Honda Civic Type R will be produced at Honda’s Swindon plant in the UK. The new Type R’s arrival in South Africa is yet to be confirmed by Honda South Africa, but we will keep you in the know as soon as more details become available.
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