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FOL­LOW­ING the pro­duc­tion model’s de­but at 2017 Geneva Mo­tor Show, all­new Honda Civic Type R has set a bench­mark lap time for front-wheel drive cars the Nür­bur­gring Nord­schleife.

On April3, 2017, a pre­pro­duc­tion car lapped world-fa­mous cir­cuit in 7 min­utes 43.80 sec­onds.

The lap time was achieved dur­ing the fi­nal phase of the model’s testing regime, on a dry track with an op­ti­mum am­bi­ent tem­per­a­ture for best tyre and powertrain per­for­mance. The new time rep­re­sents im­prove­ment of nearly 7 sec­onds com­pared to the model’s pre­de­ces­sor.

Civic Type R was part the all-new ten­th­gen­er­a­tion Civic’s de­vel­op­ment pro­gramme – largest in Honda’s his­tory and en­gi­neered to de­liver the most re­ward­ing drive hot hatch seg­ment, both on road on the race track. Sev­eral fac­tors con­trib­uted

new Civic Type R’s new bench­mark time at the Nord­schleife. At its heart is op­ti­mised and re­fined 2.0-litre VTEC TURBO en­gine, pro­duc­ing 320 PS 400Nm of torque. New lower gear ra­tios in the six-speed man­ual trans­mis­sion fur­ther im­prove the car’s ac­cel­er­a­tion, while the new Type R‘s com­pre­hen­sive aero­dy­namic pack­age de­liv­ers out­stand­ing high-speed sta­bil­ity, with a best-in-class bal­ance be­tween lift and drag.

The high-rigid­ity body frame of the all-new Civic Type R is 16kg lighter than pre­vi­ous model’s, with a tor­sional stiff­ness im­prove­ment of 38 per cent, which pro­vides sig­nif­i­cant ben­e­fits to steer­ing re­sponse and cor­ner­ing sta­bil­ity. New multi-link rear sus­pen­sion en­hances sta­bil­ity un­der brak­ing re­duces the to­tal roll move­ment of car, en­abling later into cor­ners and help­ing to achieve higher cor­ner­ing speeds dur­ing the lap.

Ryuichi Ki­jima is the lead chas­sis en­gi­neer for Honda Civic Type R. He ex­plains where all-new model shows the most sig­nif­i­cant improvements around Nür­bur­gring com­pared to the pre­vi­ous gen­er­a­tion car.

“The cor­ner­ing speed achieved in the new Type R is higher be­cause car fea­tures a wider track and tyres, a longer wheel­base, multi-link sus­pen­sion rear op­ti­mised aero­dy­nam­ics that im­proves sta­bil­ity, ” said Ki­jima-san. “For ex­am­ple, driv­ers typ­i­cally en­ter the cor­ner af­ter Met­zges­feld at around 150 km/h. Even this medium-speed cor­ner, the speed is 10 km/h higher due to the new Type R’s ex­cel­lent sta­bil­ity. So, with im­proved cor­ner­ing per­for­mance, we can in­crease

through­out the lap, help­ing R to achieve a much quicker time.”

The de­vel­op­ment car that achieved lap time was tech­ni­cally rep­re­sen­ta­tive of pro­duc­tion spec­i­fi­ca­tion. A full float­ing roll cage in­stalled for safety rea­sons, but its pres­ence did not pro­vide any ad­di­tional rigid­ity to the body frame. The ex­tra weight of cage was com­pen­sated for by the tem­po­rary re­moval in­fo­tain­ment sys­tem and rear seats. car us­ing road le­gal track-fo­cused tyres.

Pro­duc­tion of the new Civic Type R will be­gin in sum­mer 2017 at Honda UK Man­u­fac­tur­ing (HUM) Swin­don – global man­u­fac­tur­ing hub for tenth gen­er­a­tion Civic hatch­back. The Type R will be ex­ported across Europe and to other mar­kets around the world, in­clud­ing Ja­pan US. Its ar­rival in North Amer­ica will mark first time that any Honda-badged Type R has been of­fi­cially sold there.

The Honda Civic TypeR in ac­tion at the Nur­bur­gring Time At­tack ear­lier this month. Pic­ture: Pa­trick Gosling /Chris Brown

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