The upcoming 2017 Honda Civic Type R will be the fastest front-wheel-drive car around Germany’s famous Nurburgring circuit, the Japanese car maker has claimed.
The current Type R, not offered in Australia, set the fastest time of 7:50:63 around the iconic track in May 2014 – although Honda only announced the results in March last year. The lap time was around four seconds faster than the Renault Megane RS 275 (7:54.36).
This time was only recently beaten by the Volkswagen Golf GTI Clubsport S (7:49:21).
With the next-generation Renault Megane RS expected to ditch its front-wheel-drive architecture for an AWD system to better take on the likes of the new Ford Focus RS (a car that the blue oval refuses to release official Nurburgring lap times for, saying only that it’s extremely competitive), the next-generation Civic Type R may not have all that much real-world competition to compete with.
The chief engineer of the 10th-generation Honda Civic said that regardless of its competitor set, the new Type R is being developed to be the fastest FWD car around the track – beating even the current one, and the efforts of Volkswagen.
“We are developing with that as our target” Tadashi Inazu said.
That would potentially put the new car in the 7:49 category, faster than cars such as the BMW M4.
Asked why having the lap-time record is relevant, considering the competition has moved into AWD territory, Inazu admitted that “I think it’s pretty important information to be included in catalogues [of the car] and other mediums”.
Manual-only production expected
The new Type R, which is expected to come to Australia late next year, will be powered by a 2.0-litre turbocharged engine and coupled exclusively to a six-speed manual transmission. We understand that it will be produced in three- and five-door variants, but not in sedan form.
The Honda Civic Type R is also expected to be the first of potentially other Type R vehicles coming from the revitalised Japanese brand.