Is Honda gearing up to take back the front-wheel drive Nurburgring lap record with the next Civic Type R?
The winged, widened Civic Type R has been snapped a few times this week, but it’s been on the roads around the Green Hell. Now, our spy photographers have caught Honda’s engineers flogging the Type R out on track.
In 2017, the previous-generation Civic Type R toppled the Volkswagen Golf GTI Clubsport S for the front-drive lap record with a 7:43.8 lap of the Nordschleife in its “final phase of testing”.
It was usurped by the Renault Megane R.S. Trophy-R with a 7:40.1 in 2019. Although the Trophy-R is a stripped-out hot hatch with no rear seats and a roll cage, it’s still technically a production model.
Honda made a big deal of the previous-generation Civic Type R’s prowess on track at launch, embarking on a quest to beat the lap records at five well-known circuits around Europe.
We’ve got a good idea about how the new Civic will look.
Up front, it looks like the fussy, low-set air intakes of the current model will be replaced with a cleaner central intake and simpler bumper inserts.
There’s an ankle-breaking splitter and swollen guards, complete with a vent on the back of the front arches to lessen pressure at high speeds. Honda made a big deal of the fact the last Civic created real downforce, expect this one to be no different.
The swollen guards are matched with unique side skirts, which are no doubt similar to those on the current car.
Down back, the biggest news is the new rear wing. Unlike the current unit, it’s mounted on slim, motorsports-inspired struts and sits higher on the boot lid. It’s not quite the swan-neck spoiler of the new Porsche 911 GT3, but it’s the hot-hatch equivalent.
As before, there are three exhaust pipes down back. They’re surrounded by a diffuser that looks like it could actually contribute to the overall downforce of the car, rather than just sitting there and looking pretty.
When it arrives, it’ll sit alongside the all-new Civic hatch and HR-V SUV in a revitalised Honda range.
Like before, it’ll be petrol-powered and have a six-speed manual transmission.
Honda is expected to slot an evolution of the current turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine under the bonnet. At the moment it makes 228kW of power and 400Nm of torque.
Honda isn’t likely to rest on its laurels with the 2022 Type R, let alone go backwards, so a power and torque bump is likely.
MORE: Everything Honda Civic