The Honda Civic Type R Limited Edition has set a new lap record for a front-wheel drive production car at the Suzuka International Racing Course, lapping the famous track in 2m23.993sec.
Building on the performance capabilities of the standard Civic Type R with new lightweight components, the record-breaking lap was achieved as the Type R Limited Edition underwent its final performance evaluation. Honda says the development car featured technical specifications representative of the production version, with no modifications or performance enhancements.
“Throughout testing, the introduction of a new two-piece floating brake system demonstrated braking feel and deceleration power exactly as intended by the driver,” said Hideki Kakinuma, Civic Type R Project Leader.
“Combined with the improvement of load control performance, the result was a reduction in overall braking time and exceptional high-speed cornering performance, specifically enabling vital speed to be carried through the challenging ‘S’ Curves and the second phase of the Spoon Curve at Suzuka.
“In addition to the increased braking performance, exceptional grip from the adoption of Michelin Cup 2 tyres, along with upgrades to the suspension and damper system control, also provided the vehicle with highly-efficient dynamics and control, to easily manage the high speed switches of direction through the flowing Esses.
“Reduction of the unsprung weight from the lightweight forged wheels further improved road holding and increased traction during acceleration from the tight Degner Curve and the famous 130R corner,” Kakinuma added.
“An increase in engine cooling performance also enabled the vehicle to fully utilise its power output to reach top speed on the back straight towards the end of the lap. All these advancements achieved by this Type R Limited Edition were proven by the time recorded at Suzuka Circuit.”
Honda’s current FK8 generation Civic Type R broke the front-wheel drive lap record at the Nürburgring Nordschleife in 2017 with a lap time of 7 minutes 43.8 seconds.
Following this success, a production specification Civic Type R went on to break front-wheel drive lap records at five iconic European racetracks as part of the ‘Type R Challenge’ program in 2018.
In 2019, Honda Australia made history at the Mount Panorama, Bathurst race circuit by setting a benchmark lap time for a front-wheel drive production car around the legendary 6.213km road course, in a completely standard Civic Type R driven by Formula 1 World Champion Jenson Button.
Just 20 examples of the Civic Type R Limited Edition will be built for Australia and are scheduled to arrive in the second quarter of 2021. The model will be available in ‘Sunlight Yellow’ paintwork, with the addition of contrasting gloss black paint on the roof, wing mirrors and bonnet intake vent.
The ultra-exclusive model will feature lightweight 20-inch forged BBS alloy wheels with high-grip Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tyres, which have been designed for outstanding circuit performance, whilst providing a 10kg weight saving overall.
Modified dampers optimise this new wheel and tyre combination and, together with recalibrated steering, offer maximum control and feedback. The control software of the Adaptive Damper System now evaluates road conditions faster, resulting in improved damper reactions for better handling response and ride quality.
“The moment we introduced the FK8 Civic Type R to the market in 2017, we began our challenge toward the next ultimate vehicle,” said Kakinuma.
“While drawing inspiration from the voices of people all around the world who were surprised and pleased by the Civic Type R, we never stopped moving forward and striving for advancement beyond the expectations of our customers. This enabled us to further refine the essence and driving pleasure of Type R as a sports car.
“In the world of motorsport, to stop moving forward is an immediate admission of defeat. Therefore, we must never stop moving forward. This ‘racing spirit’ has been passed down for generations at Honda, which is what drove us forward.
“For this model change, speed was further pursued in collaboration with Honda Racing Development (HRD) Sakura, which plays a key role in Honda’s motorsports development. This partnership enabled Civic Type R to set a new front-wheel drive lap record at Suzuka Circuit, often described as ‘one of the greatest circuits in the world.’
“The “advanced” Type R I envisioned at the beginning of this development is now a reality and I am overwhelmed by the result and how our efforts have been rewarded. We believe this model change has enabled the Civic Type R to come one step closer to the ideal sports car Honda envisions.”