We knew the hotly anticipated 2018 Honda Civic Type R was going to be fast, but just how fast is beginning to become much clearer.
According to Honda, the Type R lapped the famed Nürburgring in 7 minutes 43.80 seconds, setting a new record for a front-wheel drive production car. That time around the 12.9-mile (20.8-kilometer) track is some seven seconds faster than the previous version of the Civic Type R sold in Europe, and more than three seconds faster than the previous record holder, the Volkswagen Golf GTI Clubsport S.
It’s important to note that the record-setting lap around the ‘Ring was completed in a pre-production car, but Honda insists the example used was “technically representative” of the 2018 Honda Civic Type R that’s set to go on sale here this summer. The automaker says a roll cage was installed for safety reasons, but it didn’t improve the car’s rigidity compared to the production version. Likewise, the unspecified gain in curb weight as a result of the roll cage was compensated for by removing the infotainment system and rear seats. Otherwise, Honda says the record-setting car is pretty close to the production version.
The Ford Focus RS-fighting Type R, the first of its kind sold in North America, gets its power from an American-made 2.0-liter turbocharged engine that’s good for 306 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque. The engine comes mated to a six-speed manual transmission that features lower gear ratios compared to the last version of the car, which help improve acceleration.
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Other differences compared to the Type R that was previously offered in Europe include a curb weight that’s nearly 35 lb (16 kg) less — the last version weighed about 3,000 lb (1,361 kg) — and a 38 percent improvement in torsional rigidity.
The team here at AutoGuide.com is about as hyped about this new Civic Type R as you are, and we can’t wait to get behind the wheel to check it out for ourselves. Look for a full review to hit the site in late June, and until then check out the video above to whet your appetites.