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April 25, 2017

2018 Honda Civic Type-R is the Fastest FWD Car at the Nürburgring Nordschleife

You’re looking at the fastest front-wheel drive that has ever lapped the famous Nürburgring Nordschleife circuit. The all-new 2018 Civic Type-R blitzed the challenging track in just 7 minutes and 43.8 seconds—some 6.83 seconds faster than the previous record holder: the 2015 Civic Type-R.

Considered as one of the final phases in the Civic Type-R’s development plan, the record breaking lap was done last April 3. It was done on a dry track with ambient temperatures perfect for tire and powertrain performance.

Honda cites several factors contributing to the all-new Civic Type-R’s benchmark time at the Nordschleife. For starters is its optimized and refined 2.0-liter VTEC Turbo engine that produces 320 horsepower and 400 Nm of torque. Next, new lower gear ratios in the 6-speed manual further improve the Civic Type-R’s acceleration while comprehensive aerodynamic tweaks deliver outstanding high-speed stability while striking a balance between lift and drag.

The all-new Civic Type-R’s body frame is highly rigid, having a torsional stiffness improvement of 38 percent. This provides significant benefits to steering response and cornering stability. At the same time, it’s also lower in weight: 16 kilograms lighter than the previous model. A new multi-link rear suspension then enhances stability under braking and reduces the total roll movement of the car, enabling later braking into corners and helping to achieve higher cornering speeds during the lap.

“The cornering speed achieved in the new Type-R is higher because the car features a wider track and tires, a longer wheelbase, new multi-link suspension in the rear and optimized aerodynamics that improves stability, ” said Ryuichi Kijima, the Honda Civic Type-R’s Lead Chassis Engineer. “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,” he added.

The development car that achieved the record-breaking lap is technically representative of the production specification Civic Type-R. However, a full floating roll cage was installed for safety reasons, but its presence did not provide any additional rigidity to the body frame. The extra weight of the cage was compensated for by the temporary removal of the infotainment system and the rear seats. The car used during the record setting run was also using road legal track-focused tires.

Production of the all-new Civic Type-R starts in a few months for European customers at Honda’s UK Manufacturing plant in Swindon. The Type-R will then be exported across Europe and to other markets around the world including Japan and the US. No official word whether or not Honda Cars Philippines will be bringing the 2018 Type-R locally, but it was displayed at the recently concluded Manila International Auto Show. It is rumored that HCPI will be bringing in the Type-R as a limited edition model.


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