- All-new Civic Type R’s engine makes 240kW / 400Nm
- New suspension improves high-speed cornering
- Time set with techspecs representative of production car
LONDON, England / Nurburgring, Germany – A development model of the Honda Civic Type R, recently launched at the 2017 Geneva auto show, has blitzed the lap record for front-wheel drive cars.
The time? Seven minutes and 43.8 seconds.
The lap time was set during the final phase of the model’s testing regime, on a dry track with an optimum ambient temperature for the best tyre and powertrain performance.
“The lap time is,” Honda announced, “nearly seven seconds faster than model’s predecessor.”
‘MOST REWARDING HATCH’
The latest Type R came from the all-new, 10th-generation, Civic’s development programme – said to be the largest in the brand’s history – and “was engineered to deliver the most rewarding drive in the hot-hatch segment, on road and track”.
Honda told The Corner in a media release: “Several factors contributed to the time on the Nordschleife but at its heart is the optimised and refined two-litre VTec turbo engine capable of 240kW / 400Nm with lower gear ratios in the six-speed manual transmission to improve acceleration.
“A comprehensive aerodynamic package delivered outstanding high-speed stability, with a best-in-class balance between lift and drag.”
The car’s underpinning frame is 16kg lighter than the previous model; its torsional stiffness is 38% greater – each adding benefit to steering response and cornering stability.
A new multi-link rear suspension is said to enhance stability under braking and reduce roll to allow later braking into and faster negotiation of curves.
‘CORNERING SPEED IS HIGHER’
Ryuichi Kijima, the car’s lead engineer, explained the most significant improvements for the Nürburgring against the previous car…
“The cornering speed achieved in the new Type R is higher,” he said, “because the car has wider track/tyres, a longer wheelbase, new multi-link suspension and optimised aerodynamics. “For example, drivers typically enter the corner after Metzgesfeld at around 150km/h – the Type R closer to 160.
“So, with improved cornering, we can increase speed throughout the lap to achieve a much quicker lap.”
Honda says the development car used “was technically representative of production specification” and “the roll-cage installed for safety did not provide any additional body rigidity to the body”.
The weight of the cage was compensated by temporarily removing the infotainment system and rear seats. The car rode on road-legal, track-focused, tyres.
FIRST OFFICIAL ‘R’ CAR FOR US
Civic Type R production will start in the next two or three months at will begin Swindon in England – the global manufacturing hub for the 10th-generation Civic hatchback.
The Type R will be exported across Europe and to other world markets, including Japan and the US, the latter as the first Honda-badged Type R officially sold there. The bad news is that Honda SA told The Corner that there are, as yet, no plans to bring the car to South Africa.