Quick: what’s the current fastest front-wheel drive car around the Nürburgring?
If you’ve been keeping up with your motoring news, you’ll know that Honda’s latest Civic Type R has smashed that particular record. Following its recent unveiling at the Geneva Motor Show, a pre-production model lapped the famous German circuit in a time of 7 minutes 43.8 seconds (7 seconds faster than the previous Type R), knocking Volkswagen’s GTI Clubsport off its perch.
The Type R may have had a few things in its favour – aided by a dry track and perfect temperatures, the 2018 model is powered by a refined 2.0L VTEC turbo engine producing 315bhp and 400Nm of torque, coupled with advanced aerodynamics and lower gear ratios to improve acceleration. The new model is also 16kg lighter than the previous version, while a new multi-link rear suspension – which makes the car more stable when braking – allows the driver to brake later while heading into corners.
“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 Ryuichi Kijima, the lead chassis engineer on the Type R. “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 new Type R will enter production this summer at Honda’s UK manufacturing hub in Swindon, for export to Europe and other markets including Japan and the US. Although prices haven’t been released just yet, expect a figure of around €50,000.