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Honda Civic Type R reclaims Nurburgring title

Five under par: The Honda Civic Type R has eclipsed the record Nurburgring lap time set by the Volkswagen Golf GTI Clubsport S by 5.41 seconds.

Fastest front drive vehicle record nabbed by Honda and its incoming Civic Type R

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Honda logo24 Apr 2017

By ROBBIE WALLIS

HONDA has continued the hype campaign for its upcoming all-new Civic Type R with the announcement that its hot hatch has set the Nurburgring lap record for a front-wheel-drive vehicle, clocking a time of 7 minutes 43.8 seconds.

The Type R eclipsed the previous record time of 7:49.21 set by the Volkswagen Golf GTI Clubsport S in May last year, and is well ahead of the 7:50.6 time set by the previous ninth-generation Civic Type R.

In its final phase of testing ahead of its arrival in Australian showrooms in the fourth quarter of this year, the tenth-gen Type R benefits from improved output from its 2.0-litre VTEC turbocharged four-cylinder engine, revised lower gear ratios for the six-speed manual, greater aerodynamics, revised rear suspension and increased torsional rigidity.

An extra 7kW have been extracted from the car’s carryover engine to bring outputs up to 235kW/400Nm, while the Japanese manufacturer claims that the aerodynamics in the new Type R strike the best balance between lift and drag of any car in its segment.

The new model’s body frame is 16kg lighter than the old one with 38 per cent greater torsional rigidity, while a new multi-link rear suspension set-up allows for greater speed into corners.

For the lap record attempt, the infotainment system and rear seats were removed to accommodate for the weight associated with the installation of a roll cage, which Honda says did not provide any benefits for body stability.

Track-focused road tyres were fitted, while conditions for the lap were dry with an optimal ambient air temperature.

Honda Civic Type R lead chassis engineer Ryuichi Kijima said that improved cornering speed was a big reason for the impressive lap time.

“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,” he said.

“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.” All Civic Type Rs will be built at the Honda of the UK Manufacturing (HUM) hub in Swindon, England, which also serves as the primary manufacturing location for the Civic hatchback.

After the ninth-generation Type R failed to make it Down Under, the new Type R will be making a comeback to Australian showrooms, while also being sold in North America for the first time.

In terms of pricing and performance, the Civic Type R is expected to sit somewhere between the likes of the front-drive Ford Focus ST and Volkswagen Golf GTI, and the all-wheel-drive Focus RS and Golf R.

It will also compete with the upcoming Hyundai i30 N, which is also set to land locally in the fourth quarter of 2017.

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