The new Civic Type R needs to cut three seconds off its previous best time.
Last year, the project leader for the new Honda Civic Type R, Hisayuki Yagi, told Top Gear Magazine that the hot hatch would be made even hotter if its Nurburgring record lap time was taken. Volkswagen and its Golf GTI Clubsport S took the front-wheel-drive Nurburgring lap record from the Type R not once but twice in 2016. We wanted to see if Honda was planning to try and take back the title in 2017, so we reached out to the automaker and were told that yes, it would attempt a record run in 2017.
Honda didn't explicitly say that the run would target Volkswagen, only letting slip that it would attempt to topple its own best time of 7:50.63. "I think it's fair to assume that we'll pursue our own personal best record, and if it beats out other cars that have run the 'Ring, even better," a Honda PR rep told us. Whether or not that record attempt comes in a modified Type R is up in the air. During Honda's last record attempt it removed the air conditioning unit in order to offset the weight gained by the added roll cage. Other than that it said the Type R sported a stock engine, suspension and tires. The Golf that currently owns the FWD 'Ring record isn't exactly a daily driver. There are no rear seats, no center armrest and no floor mats.
Hell, even the material used to sound-proof the cabin has been stripped. Even the battery was downsized to cut weight! Only 400 GTI Clubsport S models were made, making it almost like a purpose-built Nurburgring machine. (It basically is.) The Civic Type R will be built in low volumes but not that low. We asked when Honda will make its record run and will let you know if we get a date or timeframe. Winter is coming, so don't expect it to be soon.