Following the Honda Civic Type R grand debut at the 2017 Geneva Motor Show, a record-breaking lap time has been set on 3 April 2017 on the world-famous circuit in 7 minutes and 43.8 seconds.
Despite the installation of a full floating roll cage as mandatory due to safety reasons, it did not provide any additional rigidity to the body frame in the slightest. The All-New Civic Type R was part of the tenth-generation development programme – the largest in the history of Honda – and engineered to deliver the most reputable yet satisfying drive in the hot hatch segment, both on road and on the race track.
The optimised and refined 2.0-litre VTEC TURBO engine producing a record of 320 PS and 400Nm of torque, is most definitely one of many factors contributed to the new Civic Type R’s profound benchmark time at the Nordschleife. The additional specification involves the comprehensive aerodynamic package as standard on the Type R, delivering an outstanding high-speed stability rate with a best-in-class balance between lift and drag. It is also 16kg lighter than the previous Civic, providing significant benefits to steering response and cornering stability. Furthermore, the new Multi-link rear suspension reduces the total roll movement of the car, enabling later braking into corners hence retrieving higher cornering speeds during the lap.
Ryuichi Kijima, Lead Chassis Engineer for the Honda Civic Type R explains: “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 then clarified: “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.”
The global manufacturing hub of the tenth generation Civic Type R, Honda of the UK Manufacturing (HUM) based in Swindon is set to begin production in Summer 2017. The Type R will be exported across Europe and to other markets across the globe, including Japan, US and North America.