Going balls to the wall in Portugal

Even if you’re a diehard domestic lover with a heart made of American iron and spare V-8’s, ‘ya gotta give it up for the Honda Civic Type R. Over the year, the H Badge has worked hard to refine and polish this FWD hero to a gleaming finish, and the latest fifth-generation FK8 that dropped in 2017 at the Geneva Motor Show brings all the tricks and innovation together into a single high-speed package. To prove its worth, the new R’d-out Civic has been on a worldwide tour, smashing lap records as it goes, with the latest fast results coming out of a trip to Portugal.

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The Full Story

Honda Civic Type R Sets New Lap Record
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The Honda Civic Type R’s latest record run went down at the Estoril circuit in Portugal, where the be-winged compact managed to reset the FWD production vehicle leader board with a time of 2 minutes, 1.84 seconds.

The Honda Civic Type R’s latest record run went down at the Estoril circuit in Portugal, where the be-winged compact managed to reset the FWD production vehicle leaderboard with a time of 2 minutes, 1.84 seconds. Check out the onboard footage and telemetry in the video above, where we see the Civic slingshot its way around the track thanks to a solid dose of expert driving. One thing about the video, though - the onboard audio is a little quiet, so you’ll have to fill in the gaps with your own engine noises.

The track in question is 4.2 km (2.6 miles) in length, and includes a variety of different corners, including a few hairpins, a tight chicane, and a front straight that’s nearly 1,000 feet long, all of which provide a diverse group of challenges to test every aspect of the Civic’s performance.

The talent behind the wheel is Portuguese driver Tiago Monteiro, a hot shoe currently employed by the Honda factory team competing in the World Touring Car Championship.

“We came here with a goal to beat the existing lap record set by the previous car but you can never take anything for granted - I mean it’s a lap record so it’s no easy feat,” Monteiro explains in the attached press release. “You have to have supreme confidence in the car to attack around Estoril, and the new Type R is just so powerful, smooth, and confidence-inspiring. We beat the lap record, smashed the record actually.”

Honda Civic Type R Sets New Lap Record
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And, of course, we can’t forget the Type R’s lap record at the Nürburgring last April, where the high-strung hatchback managed a time of 7 minutes, 43.8 seconds.

This is Honda’s fourth FWD lap record set in 2018, with previous records set at Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium, Silverstone in Britain, and the Magny-Cours GP circuit in France. And, of course, we can’t forget the Type R’s lap record at the Nürburgring last April, where the high-strung hatchback managed a time of 7 minutes, 43.8 seconds.

As a reminder, the Civic Type R produces as much as 306 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque thanks to its front-mounted, turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine. That’s no small amount power, which can be especially difficult to handle in a FWD vehicle, creating nasty things like torque steer and understeer, but Honda addressed the issue by blessing the FK8 with a trick dual-axis front suspension, which essentially moves the steering knuckles further from the front MacPherson struts, creating a parallel line between the strut and the upper and lower ball joints. To complement the sporty suspension, the Type R also gets large brakes from Brembo, plus an advanced aero package to help it stick at speed.

Honda Civic Type R Performance Specifications

Engine Type Turbocharged In-Line 4-Cylinder
Turbocharger Single-Scroll MHI TD04 with Internal Wastegate
Boost Pressure 22.8 psi
Displacement (cc) 1,996
Horsepower (SAE net) 306 HP @ 6,500 RPM
Torque (SAE net) 295 LB-FT @ 2,500-4,500 RPM
Fuel economy (City/Highway/Combined) (mpg) 22 / 28 / 25
Curb Weight (lbs.) 3,117
0 to 60 mph 4.9 seconds
Quarter-mile 13.5 seconds at 108 mph
Top Speed 169 mph

Further reading

2017 Honda Civic Type R High Resolution Exterior
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Read our full review on the 2017 Honda Civic Type R.

2016 Honda Civic High Resolution Exterior
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Read our full review on the 2018 Honda Civic.

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Read more Honda news.

Press release

Honda has set a new 2min 01.84sec record for a front-wheel drive production car in the Civic Type R at the Estoril circuit in Portugal. The high-performance hatchback was driven by Honda WTCR driver, Tiago Monteiro.

The iconic Estoril track is 4.2km long with two hairpins, a difficult chicane and a very long main straight, which means drivers experience an unusually broad range of speeds over one lap. It therefore rewards cars with a great breadth of ability, that combine fast acceleration with exceptional handling. The Civic Type R proved to be superbly matched to the circuit, with its 320 PS VTEC TURBO engine providing outstanding pace, and its sophisticated suspension and steering systems delivering fast, stable handling, as Monteiro powered his way to a new front-wheel drive lap record.

Speaking about the benchmark time, Tiago Monteiro said: “We came here with a goal to beat the existing lap record set by the previous car but you can never take anything for granted – I mean it’s a lap record so it’s no easy feat. You have to have supreme confidence in the car to attack around Estoril, and the new Type R is just so powerful, smooth and confidence-inspiring. We beat the lap record, smashed the record actually.”

Commenting on the Type R itself, he added: “The Type R is very stable and has very good braking efficiency and an amazing engine so it just feels like you are driving a race car – on the track it’s easy to forget that it’s a proper road car, but then you can drive it home.

“The new Type R is a big evolution. I mean we’re talking about a totally different car in terms of design, aero, suspension, geometries, engine, but more than anything the feeling of driving the car.”

The new benchmark time at Estoril is the fourth front-wheel drive lap record set by Honda in 2018. The Civic Type R has also claimed record lap times at Silverstone,Spa-Francorchamps and Estoril. So far in 2018, Honda has exceeded the times it set at all of these circuits.

The endeavour mirrored a similar effort by Honda in 2016 with the previous-generation Type R, which set front-wheel drive benchmark times at Estoril, Hungaroring, Silverstone and Spa-Francorchamps. The 2018 Type R Challenge followed on from the front-wheel drive production car lap record set by the Civic Type R at the Nürburgring Nordschleife, where it clocked a lap time of 7min 43.8sec in April 2017.

The latest car to sport the famous ‘red H’ is part of the all-new tenth-generation Civic’s development programme – the largest in Honda’s history – and was newly engineered to deliver the most rewarding drive in the hot hatch segment, both on road and on the race track. It features a lightweight, highly rigid bodyshell, low centre of gravity, and sophisticated dual-axis strut front suspension system, which reduces torque steer and enhances on-the-limit cornering.

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