2023 Honda Civic Type R sets FWD lap record at Nurburgring, 7:44.881 (video)

Brett Davis

The new Honda Civic Type R has done it, setting a new lap record around the Nurburgring for a front-wheel drive production car. It lapped the circuit in 7:44.881.

That time is around around 1.5 seconds ahead of the previous record set by the Renault Megane RS Trophy-R in 2019. It posted a time of 7:45.389 on the 20.832km layout, and 7:40.100 on the 20.6km course. Unlike the Megane, though, the Civic Type R used for the new record was not a hardcore special edition featuring a stripped-out interior and rigid bucket seats.

However, the model used for the lap record was a special edition available in Europe, called the Type R S. It features no air-conditioning, parking sensors, boot blind, cargo hooks, or an auto-dimming rear-view mirror. Even the vanity mirror lights are removed, and the sat-nav system.

These changes obviously reduce the vehicle’s weight, but by how much exactly has not been mentioned. We know air-con systems can weigh around 10-20kg, depending on the size and what the other connecting parts are made from, while the other bits and pieces mentioned are likely to bring small reductions.

Honda says the Type R S is a left-hand drive model and is available in some European markets only. It is only new. In fact, Honda is pretty much using this record lap as a way of introducing the special edition.

Aside from minor weight reduction measures, the rest of the Civic is just like the one offered in Australia. Although, in Australia the 2.0-litre turbo VTEC engine produces 235kW whereas the European tune unlocks 243kW, likely due to better climate/fuel calibration.

Another interesting point regarding the new record is that the time includes the full 20.832km version of the course, unlike previous records set on the 20.6km layout. Nurburgring officially started using this full layout in 2019.

Lastly, the car featured in the lap ran on Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 Connect tyres. These are optional in the USA through the showroom, but it’s understood they are only available in Europe directly through Michelin. This brings up some concerns about the legitimacy of it being a ‘production’ spec vehicle.

We’re not here to judge that, though. A time of 7:44 around the difficult and very demanding circuit in a front-wheel drive is an outstanding effort. It would be interesting to know what sort of time it could achieve with the standard Michelin Pilot Sport 4 S tyres as well. Click play below to see the full lap record as it happened.

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