By Micah Wright
It’s official folks, Honda has announced that the all-new Civic Type R is now the world’s fastest front-wheel-drive (FWD) production car. On April 3rd, 2017 the new Type R lapped the 12.9-mile loop in a record 7 minutes, 43.80 seconds, in the process setting the fastest FWD lap time in history, crushing the old record by over 3 seconds.
Although a roll cage had been installed for safety purposes, it reportedly did not provide any additional rigidity, with its weight only being offset by the removal of the Display Audio system and the rear seats. While the 2.0-liter turbo four-banger’s 306 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque certainly had something to do with this historic feat, lower gear ratios and purpose-built aerodynamics certainly played important roles as well. The chassis now features a 38% bump in torsional rigidity over the old Euro Type R too, and according to Ryuichi Kijima, lead chassis engineer for the vehicle, the car’s specialized suspension is what really made this record lap time a reality.
“The cornering speed achieved in the new Type R is higher because the car features a wider track and tires, a longer wheelbase, a new multi-link suspension in the rear, and optimized aerodynamics that improve stability,” Kijima explains. “Drivers typically enter the corner after Metzgesfeld at around 150 km/h (93 mph). Even at this medium-speed corner, the speed is around 10 km/h (6 mph) 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.”
What’s perhaps most amazing, is that outside of the aforementioned minor changes, this record was achieved in a pint-sized production car! Save for some super-sticky street legal rubber and a badass behind the wheel, the most powerful Honda ever made available to American buyers was completely devoid of upgrades, and we cannot wait to get our hands on one for review.
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Source:: 95 Octane