The Oban Times - - MOTORS -

FOL­LOW­ING the pro­duc­tion model’s de­but at the 2017 Geneva Mo­tor Show, the all- new Honda Civic Type R has set a new bench­mark lap time for front- wheel- drive cars at the Nürburgring Nord­schleife. On April 3, 2017, a de­vel­op­ment car lapped the world-fa­mous cir­cuit in seven min­utes and 43.8 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 the best tyre and pow­er­train per­for­mance. The new time rep­re­sents an im­prove­ment of nearly seven sec­onds com­pared to the model’s pre­de­ces­sor.

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

Sev­eral fac­tors con­trib­uted to the new Civic Type R’s new bench­mark time at the Nord­schleife. At its heart is the op­ti­mised and re­fined 2.0- litre VTEC TURBO en­gine, pro­duc­ing 320 PS and 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 the 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 and re­duces the to­tal roll move­ment of the car, en­abling later brak­ing into cor­ners and help­ing to achieve higher cor­ner­ing speeds dur­ing the lap.

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

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

The de­vel­op­ment car that achieved the lap time was tech­ni­cally rep­re­sen­ta­tive of pro­duc­tion spec­i­fi­ca­tion.

A full float­ing roll cage was in­stalled for safety rea­sons, but its pres­ence did not pro­vide any ad­di­tional rigid­ity to the body frame.

The ex­tra weight of the cage was com­pen­sated for by the tem­po­rary re­moval of the in­fo­tain­ment sys­tem and rear seats. The car was us­ing road le­gal track-fo­cused tyres. Pro­duc­tion of the new Civic Type R will be­gin in summer 2017 at Honda of the UK Man­u­fac­tur­ing (HUM) in Swin­don – the global man­u­fac­tur­ing hub for the tenth gen­er­a­tion Civic hatch­back.

The Type R will be ex­ported across Europe and to other mar­kets around the world, in­clud­ing Japan and the US. Its ar­rival in North Amer­ica will mark the first time that any Honda- badged Type R has been of­fi­cially sold there.

• Time- at­tack at­tempt at Nürburgring sets time of 7min 43.8sec • Ad­vanced aero­dy­nam­ics de­liver best-in- class bal­ance be­tween lift and drag • Lap time achieved in de­vel­op­ment car with tech­ni­cal spec­i­fi­ca­tions rep­re­sen­ta­tive of the fi­nal pro­duc­tion car • All-new Civic Type R’s en­gine pro­duces 320 PS and 400Nm of torque • New Civic Type R to be built in Swin­don, UK; Euro­pean sales start in summer 2017

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