Honda Could Develop A Faster Civic Type R
Nurburgring lap times are a pretty big deal to the makers of performance machines, all the more so when they’re record lap times. This is the case with the Honda Civic Type R, the fastest front-wheel-drive production car around the ’Ring. And in a recent interview, Civic Type R chief engineer Hisayuki Yagi got very defensive when the question was posed about what Honda would do if the lap record was broken. Yagi answered very matter-of-factly that Honda would simply have to take the record back, an answer that hinted Honda may be working on something that pushes the performance of the Type R beyond the current and already impressive configuration.
When pressed for more details about how the record could be reclaimed, Yagi erased all doubt about his meaning when he said “we would have to modify the car.” And although there are no official FIA-sanctioned homologation requirements for a car to be considered a production vehicle, it is safe to assume that the public would not be satisfied with a version of the Type R that couldn’t be bought at a dealership and existed only for pissing contest purposes.
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Why it matters
Yagi’s words seem to imply that the car would only be built if someone else were to break the Type R’s record, which would be an odd but not completely unheard of decision on the part of an automaker. This could mean a special “Nurburgring edition” of the Type R, something along the lines of the Lexus LFA’s Nurburgring Package.
It seems that Honda is only looking to meet direct threats, i.e. another mainstream hot-hatch.
But when asked what Honda’s response to a specially tuned front-wheel-drive track machine would be, Yagi admitted that Honda wasn’t looking to build a super special edition. It seems that Honda is only looking to meet direct threats, i.e. another mainstream hot-hatch. So that could mean that Honda is kicking around the idea of making all Type R’s faster or that there could be a faster trim level above the Type R that wouldn’t be impossibly difficult to find or buy.
We wouldn’t exactly count on this happening though. If it is indeed contingent on someone else breaking the record, then there is a very slim chance of it coming to pass.
But even if it isn’t, the hot-hatch market isn’t the most profitable one for carmakers, to the point where we didn’t even have a Type R in the U.S. for many years. It just doesn’t seem to be at the top of Honda’s list of priorities.
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