As the launch of the new 2015 Civic Type R begins, Honda have announced that their return to the hot hatch market comes with a record-busting title.
A pre-production version of the Civic Type R has been timed at 7 minutes and 50.63 seconds lap around the Nordschleife. This beats the current front-wheel drive title holder, the Megane 275 Trophy, by 3.6 seconds (7:54.3) and the previous record holder, the SEAT Leon Cupra 280, by 7.8 seconds (7:58.4).
Following SEAT’s slightly iffy definition of production-spec, using upgrade packs that weren’t available to order and stripping out the air-con, there may be questions about the Honda’s claim to the title. The air-conditioning, front passenger seat and stereo were stripped out for the record lap, supposedly to make up for the extra weight of a rollcage. This was added for safety reasons, say Honda, nothing to do with extra rigidity. It’s hard to argue with that safety claim as the Nordschleife’s notoriously tricky conditions can catch out even the best test drivers, especially when they’re on a hot lap and pushing for a new record. However, expect a backlash from the Renaultsport stalwart.
In all other respects (engine tune, suspension, drivetrain, exhaust, brakes and aerodynamics) the Civic Type R used was the same as those Type Rs destined for showrooms. There’s no claim of expensive optional dampers or performance packs either, which adds a bit of strength to Honda’s position.
The development car used standard wheels too, a set of high-rigidity 19-inch alloys fitted with a Continental 235/35 R19 road tyres. It was during the testing of these tyres that the Civic achieved its record lap, so expect to hear about some new semi-slicks from Continental soon.
2015 Honda Civic Type R Specifications
|Performance & Economy||2015 Civic Type R||2007 Civic Type R|
|Engine||1,996cc turbocharged inline 4-cylinder||1,998cc inline 4-cylinder|
|Transmission||6-speed manual, front engine, front-wheel drive||6-speed manual, front engine, front-wheel drive|
|Power (PS / bhp)||310 / 306 (at 6,500 rpm)||200 / 198 (at 7,800 rpm)|
|Torque (Nm / lb.ft)||400 / 295 (from 2,500 to 4,500 rpm)||193 / 142|
|0 - 62 mph (seconds)||5.7||6.6|
|Top Speed (mph)||167||146|
|CO2 Emissions (g/km)||170||215|
|Combined Economy (mpg)||38.7||31|
|Price (OTR)||£29,995||£17,600 (in 2007)|