This shaves a significant 5.41sec from the previous record holder, the Volkswagen Golf GTI Clubsport S, and makes the new Type R 6.8sec faster around the ‘Ring than its predecessor.
The new lap record holder is described by Honda as being a development model with technical specifications representative of the final car. Like the production car, it uses a 316bhp and 295lb ft VTEC turbocharged 2.0-litre engine.
The latest model’s six-speed manual gearbox also has shorter gear ratios for more urgent performance, and the car weighs 16kg less than its predecessor, at 1366kg. No straight-line performance figures have been revealed yet, but the car will almost certainly undercut the 5.7sec 0-62mph time of the previous one.
Honda’s 10th-generation Civic structure has upped the torsional rigidity of the Type R by 16%. It also uses new multi-link rear suspension for improved stability and has a bodyshape that is claimed to offer a best-in-class performance balance for lift and drag.
Honda set the new ‘Ring record during the final phase of testing for the model, on a dry track with “optimum ambient temperature for the best tyre and powertrain performance”. The car’s only modification was a 'floating' roll cage that Honda said offered no improvements to rigidity. To compensate for the cage’s weight, the infotainment system and rear seats were removed.