Watch Honda Civic Type R Limited Edition Set Suzuka FWD Record
10 Juillet 2020 - motor1
The Renault Megane RS Trophy-R has been dethroned.
I know what you're going to say – lap records are pointless. That may be true to some extent, but it's interesting to observe how the Honda Civic Type R and the Renault Megane RS have been at each other's throats for years, claiming one lap record after another.
The French hot hatch in the Trophy-R guise established a record at Suzuka for the fastest front-wheel-drive production car at the end of 2019 when it lapped the twisty circuit in 2 minutes and 25.4 seconds. It has now been dethroned by its archrival as the Civic Type R in the track-focused Limited Edition guise has shaved off one and a half seconds from the Megane's record.
Technically, Honda didn't break the record with an actual production vehicle as it used a development car, but I guess that still counts. Honda does say the vehicle it used had the "same technical specifications representative of the production version, with no modifications or performance enhancements."
It completed the 5.8-kilometer (3.6-mile) course with its 1.2-kilometer (0.7-mile straight) straight in 2 minutes and 23.9 seconds. The record-breaking run actually took place back in February while Honda was putting the finishing touches on the car, but it's only now the company is making the record official.
Billed as being the "most extreme Type R to date" – yes, more extreme than the NSX Type R from the early 1990s – the new variant is a limited edition (shocker!) with only 600 coming to the US and just 100 earmarked for the European market. It's lighter than the regular Civic Type R thanks to BBS forged aluminum wheels shaving off 8.1 kilograms (18 pounds) and by reducing the amount of sound-deadening material. The rear heater ducts are also gone, eliminating a further 12.7 kilograms (28 pounds).
The Euro variant is even lighter as it ditches the air conditioning system and infotainment system altogether, as it was the case with the development car. All these weight-saving measures help the variant sold on the Old Continent weigh 47 kilograms (103.6 pounds) less than the standard Type R.
Fun fact: When Honda unveiled the Limited Edition in Europe, it took a jab at Renault by pointing out the hardcore Civic Type R still had rear seats, "unlike other brands' track-focused performance hatchbacks." As you may recall, the Megane RS Trophy-R does away with the rear bench in an effort to shave fat.
It remains to be seen whether Honda is aiming to regain the title for the fastest FWD production car at the Nürburgring. It would have to complete a lap of the Green Hell in less than the 7 minutes and 40 seconds needed by Renault's extreme hatchback.