The new lap record holder is described by Honda as being a development model with technical specifications representative of the final car. Like the production car, it uses a 320hp and 400Nm VTEC turbocharged 2.0-litre engine.
The car’s six-speed manual gearbox also has shorter gear ratios and the Honda weighs 16kg less than its predecessor, at 1366kg. The car will almost certainly undercut the 5.7sec 0-100kph time set by the previous Type R.
Torsional rigidity of the Type R has been improved by 16 percent. There’s a new multi-link rear suspension to improve stability and its body shape is claimed to offer a best-in-class performance balance as far as lift and drag are concerned.
The company set the new ‘Ring record on a dry track with “optimum ambient temperature for the best tyre and powertrain performance”. The car’s only modification was a 'floating' roll cage that Honda said offered no improvements to rigidity. The car came without the infotainment system and the rear seats were removed to compensate for the roll cage’s weight,
The new Honda smashed the Nürburgring lap record for front-wheel-drive cars, clocking a 7min 43.8sec lap time. This shaves a significant 5.41sec from the previous record holder, the Volkswagen Golf GTI Clubsport S, and makes the new Type R 6.8sec faster around the ‘Ring than its predecessor.
The lead chassis engineer for the new Civic Type R, Ryuichi Kijima, said, “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.”
Kijima explained that this allowed drivers to attack apexes with more pace. “Drivers typically enter the corner after Metzgesfeld at around 150kph," he said. "Even at this medium-speed corner, the speed is around 10kph higher than the previous car.”
Production of the new Civic Type R will begin at Honda UK’s plant in Swindon this summer, before going on sale in the autumn with prices expected to rise over the current car’s £30,200 (estimated ₹30 lakh).