It’s been a few years, but Honda has recaptured the Nürburgring lap record for front-wheel-drive production cars. The 2023 Civic Type R is the new record holder, and it was done with a stock vehicle. The only slight change from the base factory specification was the addition of dealer add-on tires: a set of Honda-specific Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 Connect tires, so still something you can have on your example. In fact, Honda was fully prepared to break them out for the on-track press drive but California’s winter weather had other ideas.
Now we haven’t given the exact time yet because there’s a bit of technical weirdness going on. The first thing to know is that, at some point in 2019, the Nürburgring adjusted the official distance for a record attempt, adding back a short stretch near the T13 corner. For years prior, the lap measured was 12.80 miles. The new length includes the full straight and measures 12.94 miles.
There are a couple implications that are critical because of this. First, previous times aren’t directly comparable to new times. Second, the extra length means times can be a bit slower. All of this is at play with the Type R time.
The new record time set by the Type R is 7:44.881. Exactly how much faster that is than the previous-generation Type R and the Renault Megane R.S. Trophy-R is unclear. The Renault managed a 7:40.1 on the old track layout, and the 2017 Type R had a 7:43.8.
Regardless, the Civic Type R once again wears the front-drive ‘Ring crown. And it adds that to its Suzuka lap record, where it went 0.873 second faster than the old car.
But we’re sure Renault is eying taking the ‘Ring record back. And with how much faster then Megane R.S. Trophy-R was than the old Type R, Honda should be worried. Maybe it should start working on another lightweight special edition right now.
Record times or not, though, the Type R is a spectacular hot hatchback that we adore; one that’s capable of besting newcomers with more driven wheels.