Without a doubt, the all-new Civic Type R is quicker than the old machine it replaces, the FK2. It just had to be. Because that’s how evolution works. But exactly by how much?
Although there are many ways to measure performance, these days, the benchmark is how fast it can go around the 20.8 km Nürburgring Nordschleife. This machine did it in 7:43.80 or 6.83 secs less than the old Type R. More importantly, it shaved 3.40 secs off the Volkswagen Golf GTI Clubsport S, thus giving back the front-wheel-drive lap record back to Honda.
Lead chassis engineer Ryuichi Kijima explains the science behind the speed.
To start things off, the refined 320 hp 2.0L VTEC Turbo and shorter-geared 6-speed manual box meant the new Civic Type R could dart out of corners harder and faster. The improved aero package, on the other hand, made sure it stuck to the tarmac no matter how fast it was going.
Then there’s the chassis. Not only is it 38% stiffer and 16 kg lighter, but is also wider, longer, and has a new multi-link rear suspension that allows the new Civic Type R to go around corners so much quicker.
“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,” explained Kijima san.
But if you must know, the particular Civic Type R used for record-breaking run was a “preproduction unit” but “technically representative of production specification.” The roll cage, as Honda claims, was a “full floating” design and doesn’t add any rigidity to the body. Without going into specifics, the car also used “road legal track-focused tires.”
Watch the full record-breaking run below and see how a FWD Honda Civic Type R can go around the Nürburgring Nordschleife in 7:43.80.