HEAD-TO-HEAD. 2017 vs 2015 Honda Civic Type-R at Nürburgring

What does seven seconds around the Nürburgring look like? Find out on-board the new Honda Civic Type-R, which just set the circuit’s fastest front-wheel drive laptime ever

Honda becomes the latest manufacturer to break a record around the Nürburgring, the new Civic Type-R becoming the fastest front-wheel drive car around Germany’s most notorious racetrack in the process.

The Civic Type-R’s laptime – a 7m 43.8s – knocks Volkswagen’s Golf GTI Clubsport off the top spot by just over three seconds, apt given that the previous generation Civic Type-R was usurped by Volkswagen’s flagship hot hatch in 2015. The 2017 run is also an impressive seven seconds faster than Honda managed two years earlier, despite the 2017 model boasting only an additional 10bhp and a kerb weight 16kg lighter. You can check out a comparison between the two courtesy of Autocar’s video above.

Honda has been quick to emphasise that the 7m 43.8s laptime is ‘representative of what the production Civic Type-R could achieve around the Nürburgring, despite the 2017 development car being fitted with a roll cage. Rather bizarrely, the Japanese marque has decided against revealing the name of the driver.

But what does the tenth generation Honda Civic Type-R bring to the hot hatch arena? Well, a new chassis and heavily strengthened bodywork for starters, with torsional rigidity apparently improved by up to 38 per cent. In an effort to deliver ‘the most rewarding drive in the hot-hatch segment’, the MacPherson struts and independent rear suspension have also received significant tweaks, as has the Brembo brake package. Don’t be fooled by that typically garish Type-R styling either, revisions to the underbody and air travel across the roof in particular making the tenth generation model more aerodynamic than its predecessor.

At the heart of the new Type-R is a 2.0-litre turbocharged VTEC four-cylinder based on the same brand new architecture underpinning the standard Civic. Power is up from 306bhp to 316bhp, with torque now rising to 400Nm (295lb ft). Each is sent to the front wheels via a new six-speed manual transmission, and while segment rivals like the Ford Focus RS and the Volkswagen Golf R have adopted all-wheel drive, Honda has ruled this out for the new Civic Type-R. Performance figures remain a mystery at present, though given its capabilities on-track, expect the 2015 model’s 5.7 second 0-100kph time to tumble.

Enjoy this Honda Civic Type-R / Nürburgring video?

You can check out more Nürburgring features HERE, and more Honda articles HERE

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