This story began all the way back in May 2015, when the Honda Civic Type R took the crown for the fastest four-wheel-drive production car around Nurburging, finishing at 7:50.63. Later on, Volkswagen took their GTI Clubsport S to the same course and it crossed the finish line, just by a little more than a one second difference, at exactly 7:49.21. Since then, VW has held the crown for that record. In fact, VW recently went back to beat its own record by a few milliseconds, that is now at 7:49.19.
But the story does not end there, on April 3, 2017, the newest Civic Type R went back and did a “time-attack attempt” at the Green Hell, and crossed the finish line with a time of 7:43.8 – beating the record of the GTI Clubsport S. That was over three seconds faster than VW’s record, and almost seven seconds faster than the older Type R model. This event took place during the last stage of development, which explains why they mentioned that it was a development car they used.
To ensure the safety of the driver that time, Honda installed a roll cage in the cabin. And to reduce some of its weight, the infotainment system was pulled out together with the rear seats. Honda made it clear that the model they brought to Nürburging had “legal track-focused tires” and that it was a representative of the production specification.
Now that the Civic Type R holds the crown for this record, it has to watch its back because Renault’s Megane RS - another car that has its eye on lap times, will be introduced later this year. And who knows, maybe we’ll see it around Nürburging soon enough.
The high performance compact hatchback comes with a 2.0 liter turbocharged gasoline engine under its hood, producing 306 horsepower (228 kilowatts) and a 295 pound feet (400 Newton-metres) of torque. It has a six-speed manual transmission (with lower gear ratios to boost acceleration) that gives power to the front wheels.
Civic Type R is already scheduled for production this summer at the Swindon factory in the UK. As production models are made, the factory will ship these cars worldwide, including the United States for the first time ever. There still has been no word on its final price yet, but it will probably range mid-$30,000.