The Honda Civic Type R isn’t the world’s quickest vehicle. Heck, it can only power two wheels and they aren’t even the optimal ones for maximum acceleration.
Even so, the guys and gals at the big H have a serious performance machine on their hands. By now, you’re almost certainly familiar with the new Honda Civic Type R. It’s got a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-banger that produces 305 hp, all of which is routed to the front wheels. Of course engineers employed a long list of advanced technologies designed to minimize the disadvantages associated with this drivetrain layout.
But how good will it actually be? Rather than reading about adaptive suspensions and sticky tires, get a load of the cars this hardest-core Civic beat around the Nürburgring by clocking a 7:50 lap time. Keep scrolling, you might be surprised …
It’s worth noting that the car that set the time isn’t technically a production car. Honda used a development car that was virtually the same as the production car, besides the lack of a front seat, air conditioning and audio equipment. Additionally, Honda added a roll cage that was there for safety reasons and not to add rigidity.
(Dis)Honorable Mention: E46 BMW M3 CSL, 997 Porsche Carrera S
After all, the new Civic Type R equals the performance of some serious machines. How serious? Well, it clocked a trip around the Green Hell in the same time as BMW’s legendary E46 M3 CSL, a car that many viewed in its heyday as the pinnacle of BMW performance. And if that isn’t enough meat with your potatoes, get this: 7:50 is also quick enough to tie the 997 generation Porsche Carrera S. That’s right boys and girls, the new Civic is good enough to hang with some of Stuttgart’s best as you’ll soon see.
10. Porsche Panamera Turbo
But the truth is that tie-games are awful; nobody likes them. That’s why we have overtime, shootouts and deflated footballs.
Second place is just the first loser and in this case it’s the Porsche Panamera Turbo, or as I like to think of it, the vehicular “mom jeans” for people who live in Miami Beach.
9. 996 Generation Porsche 911 Turbo
Astoundingly that’s not the only Porsche product on this list. In fact, there are three, of which two are from the 911 family. The next one to fall before Honda’s new tuned-up special is the 996 generation 911 Turbo. Here’s the funny thing about this car relative to the Civic Type R: you can probably find one of these in decent shape for less money.
8. C5 Chevrolet Corvette Z06
And if you can’t find the aforementioned Porsche at a discount to the world’s Earth Dreamiest Honda hatchback, there are certainly no fewer than 247 middle-aged men on AutoTrader who are willing to sell you their C5 Z06 from roughly $42,000 (which is still probably less than a new Type R) down to one guy named Earl who is willing to part with his for just 20 grand, though he has offered to lower that price even further if you have a Harley to throw into the mix. Apparently he has gambling debts and is behind on child support. We also suspect he has an intravenous drug addiction but we cannot confirm this.
7. Ferrari F430 F1 gearbox
The next vehicle on this list is significantly less plentiful and considerably more expensive. That’s right, a front-wheel-drive Honda economy car just bettered the Nürburgring performance of a Ferrari F430. My how times have changed.
6. Caterham R500 Superlight
It’s impossible to dislike Caterham products. Go ahead, try. What’s that? Stop lying.
Anyway, the Caterham R500 Superlight clocked a 7:55 lap time, a figure that does not include how long it took to pick all the bugs out of the driver’s teeth following this blistering performance. The R500 is less of a car and more of an incredible toy. It uses a Ford-sourced 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that only makes 263 HP but here’s the thing, it doesn’t need more than that. The R500 Superlight only weighs 1,100 lbs, which means from a power-to-weight standpoint this thing is absolutely ludicrous.
5. Renault Mégane RS 275 Trophy-R
Basically the story behind this car is that Renault (France) doesn’t think very much of Seat (Spain) so it did not sit well with them that the Leon Cupra 280 was lapping the ‘Ring in 7:58.
Several dozen hand-rolled cigarettes later, Renault announced that it had a new high-performance front-driver. It weighed less than the Megane Trophy, had stickier tires, a pricier suspension and one more thing, a faster lap than posted by those dastardly Spaniards. The only trouble is this beast was A LOT of work to build so they only made 250, then probably went on strike or something. Maybe it was lunchtime. Certainly there was some wine involved …
4. 997 Porsche 911 Turbo
Well, we haven’t discussed Porsche in a few hundred words so why not take another crack at ‘em? The 997 911 Turbo conveniently clocked a 7:54 lap time. That’s pretty darn good, but hardly enough to best Honda’s latest Civic-on-steroids, a car that’s essentially wearing suction cups for tires, a key reason for its blistering performance.
Editor’s note: Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires don’t actually have suction cups. Yes they are awesome, but please don’t try driving upside-down with them. It won’t end well.
3. Nissan GT-R
Speaking of turbocharged six-cylinder, all-wheel-drive performance cars that cost an arm and a leg to own, the Nissan GT-R is, according to most people who comment on automotive Websites, the greatest vehicle of all time. It can beat anything around the Nürburgring in reverse.
Of course, it is capable of achieving this by using turbochargers, four-corner grip and 30 pounds of fairy dust that generates 1 billion newton meters of awesome power-torque.
Actually, the original R35 GT-R lapped the Nordschleife in 7 minutes 54 seconds. Of course, subsequent versions of this car boast significantly better times than the original, but the point is that a damn Civic is capable of outshining a car you and I have both spent many lustful hours — *ahem* — thinking about.
2. Mercedes-Benz CLK DTM AMG
Then there’s the Mercedes-Benz CLK DTM AMG. Only 180 of these cars saw the light of day over the course of a single production year.
Inspired by the DTM race cars of the day it made 582 hp from a 5.4L supercharged V8, enabling a 0-60 time of 3.8 seconds and a top speed of 200 mph!
1. Lamborghini Gallardo LP 560-4
Believe it or not (you don’t have to listen to what we’re saying) there’s a stock Honda Civic that’s quicker than the Lamborghini Gallardo LP 560-4. Yes, you read that correctly. With fewer than half the cylinders and engine displacement, not to mention only 50 percent of the driven wheels, Honda’s new boy-racer has enough gumption to give the Gallardo an old-fashioned shellacking. Who knew? Master carpenter Norm Abram would be proud of this finish.
|7:50||2016 Honda Civic Type R||Benchmark|
|7:50||BMW M3 CSL||Tied|
|7:50||2009 Porsche 911 Carerra S||Tied|
|7:52||Lamborghini Gallardo LP 560-4||Beat!|
|7:54||Mercedes CLK DTM AMG||Beat!|
|7:54||997 Porsche 911 Turbo||Beat!|
|7:54 (.36)||Renault Megane RS 275 Trophy-R||Beat!|
|7:55||Caterham R500 Superlight||Beat!|
|7:55||Ferrari F430 F1||Beat!|
|7:56||C5 Corvette Z06||Beat!|
|7:56||996 generation Porsche 911 Turbo||Beat!|
|7:56||Porsche Panamera Turbo||Beat!|