2023 Honda Civic Type R Sets New Front-Wheel-Drive Nurburgring Record

Nurburgring / 4 Comments

It's the fastest FWD overall, and the fastest FWD car still in production.

There was no way Honda would let the all-new Civic Type R introduction slide without taking a run at a Nurburgring record. Officially, the hot hatch managed to lap the Nordschleife in 7 minutes and 44.881 seconds.

Honda is claiming the lap record for a front-wheel-drive car, though Renault might hit back, stating that its Megane Trophy R set a faster time in 2019. The French vehicle completed the lap in 7 minutes and 40.1 seconds.

In fact, if you look at the record set by the previous generation Type R, you'll notice that it was also faster, with a time of 7 minutes and 43.8 seconds. It appears Honda does not recognize its own previous record, which was smashed by the Megane a few years later.

There is good reason, however.


Honda says the record is based on the official Green Hell record rules instituted in 2019. The standard lap is now 20.832 km long. Before 2019, lap times were measured with a lap length of 20.600 km, and times were not officially certified by the Nurburgring.

The only problem is that Renault also set the record on the full official lap, in line with the 2019 Nurburgring rules. The time it flaunted was seven minutes and 40.1 seconds, but that was for the shorter lap. The lap time for the 20.832 km lap was 7 minutes and 45.3 seconds.

Officially, Honda's Type R is the fastest FWD car overall and the fastest FWD currently in production. The Megane is now a fully electric quasi-crossover and a shadow of its former self.

Honda used the optional Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 Connect tires rather than the standard Michelin Pilot Sport 4 S rubber for the record. The Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 Connect is a track day tire that improves grip in the dry but is also legal for Street Tire racing categories.


"Under the concept of 'Ultimate SPORT 2.0,' we developed the all-new Civic Type R with the spirit of 'going beyond our past achievements' and strived for the ultimate FWD sports car by refining the 'essential value' and 'emotional appeal' unique only to our Type R models," says Hideki Kakinuma, Civic Type R Development Leader.

"Since the start of sales in Japan in September 2022, we have received numerous customer feedback from all around the world filled with amazement and joy, far exceeding our expectations. However, we still had one more mission to fulfill, which was to claim the title as the world's fastest FWD car with a record Nurburgring lap time."

Whether you think Nurburgring times matter or not, it's a spectacular lap to watch from the cockpit, and the new Type R is a speedy car. It's also a testament to what can be done with a front-wheel-drive hot hatch in a world where 400 horsepower and all-wheel drive have become the norm.


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