The new Honda Civic Type R has been spotted testing again at the Nurburgring.

This Civic mule was caught testing at the circuit, which is pegged to play a key role in the development of Honda’s new hot hatch.

Honda has already confirmed the Type R for production in 2015, and bosses have set it the target of taking the lap record at the Nürburgring for a front-wheel-drive production car. The record is currently 8min7.97sec, which is held by the Renaultsport Mégane 265.

Our spy photographer also caught the new Civic Type R in a convoy near the Nürburgring with a current Vauxhall Astra VXR and a previous-generation Ford Focus RS, suggesting these are the cars Honda is benchmarking its new hot hatch against.

Company officials revealed to Autocar at the Geneva motor show that the new Civic Type R would get as much as 300bhp, with power set to come from a turbocharged 2.0-litre petrol engine. Know-how gleaned from the Honda Civic that competes in the World Touring Car Championship, complete with a turbocharged 1.6-litre petrol engine, will influence the new Civic Type R road car.

The new Civic Type R is being designed and developed in Europe, with Honda’s Swindon technical base playing a key role in this.

The spy images reveal a series of changes for the Civic Type R over the humble five-door Civic hatchback on which it’s based. These include a lowered chassis, larger alloys with low-profile tyres, beefed-up brakes, quad exhausts, a bodykit, and a large fixed rear wing.