JAPANESE car maker Honda has annihilated the front-wheel-drive record at legendary German race track, the Nürburgring Nordschleife, lapping the brutal circuit in 7 minutes 43.8 seconds.
Previously held by VW, who had set a 7 minute 49 second lap last year (ironically having taken it off the 2015 Honda Civic Type R), the new benchmark lap record was set using a pre-production version of the wild looking new Type R.
The new quick time is close to seven seconds ahead of the old mark, and the car maker attributes several factors to the new record time at the Nordschleife, including the refined 2.0-litre VTEC turbo engine, lower gear ratios, an improved aero package, and a lighter, more rigid body frame.
Lead chassis engineer Ryuichi Kijima explains why the new Type R is a step up from the last generation performance Civic.
“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, ” said Kijima-san.
“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 development car that achieved the lap time was technically representative of production specification. A full floating roll cage was installed for safety reasons, but its presence did not provide any additional rigidity to the body frame. The extra weight of the cage was compensated for by the temporary removal of the infotainment system and rear seats.
The car was using road legal track-focused tyres.