Turns out, there is some fine print about the new Honda Civic Type R Nürburgring record lap that has just come to our attention. Apparently, the record was set using an unreleased version of the Type R that is to be called the Honda Civic Type R S grade.
Honda’s press release both in the U.S. and Europe includes this detail in the footnotes, first noticed by CarScoops, and it also says the S grade will only be sold in left-hand drive European markets. Sorry, everybody else. What’s unique about the S grade model? Honda doesn’t list any specifics in its release, but it does say that the S grade is a lighter version of the regular Type R. We presume this means that Honda has de-contented it to save weight, which would ultimately result in a better lap time.
What does this mean for the record lap? Well, we don’t actually know what time the U.S.-spec Type R would set at the Nürburgring. The record was set fair and square using this special “S grade” version of the car that will be a Euro-exclusive model. It’s understandable that Honda would want to use its most potent version of the car to set the record, but we’re curious what our version of the Type R could do, too.
As for this S grade model, we’ve asked Honda what all is included (or more than likely, dropped) to create it. A report from CarScoops cites a Honda source in Europe as saying the S grade deletes the air conditioning, parking sensors, rear cargo cover, cargo net hooks, auto-dimming mirror and navigation hardware. It also reportedly swaps the electrically-adjustable mirrors to manual adjustment and deletes the heating capability.
This tracks along the same lines as the Limited Edition from the previous generation. That model deleted a bunch of sound deadening, the rear wiper, cargo cover and rear heater ducts. In Europe, Honda even removed the air conditioning and infotainment system from the Limited Edition. Plenty of other changes were made to enhance performance, too.
In short, it sounds like the S grade removes many of the niceties that make the Type R an enjoyable daily driver. If Honda even considered selling it here, we’re sure some folks would take them up on the offer, but it wouldn’t be a popular version whatsoever.