New ’Ring King

New Civic Type R smashes the front-drive Nurburgring record

THE FIERCE fight for the front-wheel drive lap record at the Nurburgring Nordschleife continues, with Honda claiming its new Civic Type R has reset the benchmark with a 7min43.8sec effort.

This puts Honda’s new hot hatch in the same ballpark as the likes of the Porsche Cayman GT4 and shaves almost six seconds off the previous record time, held by the VW Golf GTI Clubsport S, which in turn dethroned the previous-generation Civic Type R.

Honda says the record-setting car had “technical specifications representative of the final production car,” which means under the bonnet there was a 235kW/400Nm 2.0-litre turbo fourcylinder, feeding power through a six-speed manual gearbox to the front wheels via a limited-slip differential.

A “floating roll cage” was installed for safety purposes, which Honda claims did not provide any additional structural rigidity, though to compensate for the cage the infotainment system and rear seats were removed from the car.

The tyres were “road legal trackfocused” items, though it’s not clear whether these tyres will be available on the production-spec car.

The new Civic Type R improved on its predecessor’s time by almost seven seconds, a gain Honda attributes to the new car’s “bestin- class” aerodynamic efficiency, lighter and stiffer bodyshell and lower gear ratios for the six-speed manual ’box.

Australian VTEC enthusiasts were left high and dry following the decision not import the previousgeneration Civic Type R, however, Honda Australia expects the new model to hit dealerships in Q4 of 2017 with a competitive price tag of around $50,000. – SN