New Honda Civic Type R Beat Old Honda Civic Type R At Suzuka

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Honda sets the FWD lap record straight.

Last summer, Honda showed up at the famous Suzuka circuit, home to some of Japan's most iconic races, and simply took names. A 2021 Type R Limited Edition took the FWD production car lap record from a Renault Megane RS Trophy-R. The Type R LE's time? A 2:23.993, nearly two full seconds faster than the Trophy-R's 2:25.45 lap time. For stripped-out, track-ready production cars, that's a huge gap to pull out.

Since then, Honda has been hard at work developing the new 2023 Honda Civic Type R based on the newly-released Civic. Honda has taken the track credentials of the new model very seriously, posting times at the Nurburgring on the regular. The result of all that on-track development? A 2:23.120 at Honda's home track of Suzuka, almost a second quicker than the last Civic Type R - and a new FWD car record. Underwhelmed? Don't be. A second is a lightyear on track, and this is still very impressive.

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The 2:30.120 lap record is evidence that the things that made the Honda CivicType R great are still there. That rear wing provides grip to wheels that otherwise wouldn't be getting any, and the manual transmission is still proving that you don't need paddles to go fast. It also tells us a bit about the kind of power the Type R makes. Much like the Civic Si (and thus the Acura Integra), Honda likely hasn't changed the power output of the new Type R.

Now, about the lap itself. What a lap. Down the front straight, the new Type R hits 143 mph before braking for the first turn, through which it carries some impressive speed. That trend continues through some of the circuit's most iconic corners. Into The Spoon, the Type R hits 120 mph before ripping through the tricky corner at 60+ mph. Oddly enough, that's actually slower than the last R, which did 128 mph into The Spoon and held around 65 mph through it. However, through 130R, the 2023 Type R managed 106 mph to the LE's 99 mph. That's also where the new car made up the majority of its time.

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This Suzuka time helps put our minds at ease. The new Type R is clearly pretty close to the LE in many corners on Suzuka, but now that speed can be managed in a car without any of the pitfalls of the LE, like the 28 lbs of sound-deadening Honda ditched to make the LE faster. The Type R is clearly still a beast on track, and now all that's left is to wait for the summer 2022 debut to see if it's still a beast on the street.

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