Could the track-focused Honda Civic Type R Limited Edition reclaim the Nurburgring FWD lap record?
The Honda Civic Type R is already a highly capable hot hatch, but Honda made it even more hardcore earlier this year with the launch of the new Civic Type R Limited Edition. Limited to only 600 units in the US, the 2021 Honda Civic Type R is lighter, more agile, and more track-focused. Unsurprisingly, it looks like Honda is using the new track-focused Civic Type R to chase some new hot hatch lap records.
Honda has already hinted it will try to reclaim the fastest FWD crown at the Green Hell with the Civic Type R Limited Edition. The Civic Type R previously held this record but was beaten by the Renault Megane RS Trophy-R last year, which lapped the Green Hell in seven minutes and 40.1 seconds. However, it looks like Honda has already set a new lap record at another famous racing circuit.
A new mysterious teaser video released by the automaker shows the 2021 Honda Civic Type R Limited Edition screeching around the Suzuka circuit in Japan. The short 15-second video ends with the track-focused hatchback crossing the finish line with a shot focusing on someone clicking a stopwatch after timing the lap, implying the hot hatch has set a new lap record. Honda's session at Suzuka will form part of an upcoming "Type R Challenge" video, but Honda hasn't provided any further details.
A couple of years ago, you may remember that the Civic Type R set multiple FWD lap records at circuits including Silverstone, Spa, and the Circuit de Nevers Magny-Cours in France, so this could be the first of many new lap record attempts by the new track-focused Civic Type R.
The current FWD lap recorder holder at the Suzuka circuit is, you guessed it the Renault Megane R.S. Trophy-R, which conquered the 3.6-mile course in just two minutes and 25.45 seconds.
Has Honda finally defeated its French hot hatchback rival at the track? Hopefully, it won't be long until we find out. If Honda smashes the Suzuka FWD lap record by a significant margin, we won't be surprised if the Japanese automaker attempts to beat Renault's Nurburgring lap record.
Compared to the regular hot hatch, the 2021 Civic Type R Limited Edition is 103 pounds lighter thanks to new forged aluminum wheels, and the removal of unnecessary components such as the rear wiper, rear heater ducts, and the tonneau cover, among other tweaks. There are no powertrain upgrades, meaning the 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder unit produces 306 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque, but retuned dampers and steering improve the handling.