As Honda’s new Civic Type R goes through its final stages of development, the hot hatch has clocked the front-wheel drive lap record at Suzuka, the home of the Japanese Grand Prix.
A pre-production prototype beat the previous record-holder – the outgoing FK8-generation Civic Type R Limited Edition – by nearly nine-tenths of a second. It went around Suzuka’s famed 5.8km figure-8 layout in 2 minutes 23.120 seconds.
For a standard Type R to convincingly beat the track-focused Limited Edition – which achieved its lap time with the benefit of Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tyres, lightweight forged wheels and stripped-back nature – bodes well for the car’s performance.
However, we don’t know what kind of rubber this prototype was wearing – it’s worth noting when Honda claimed the front-wheel drive Nurburgring record with the FK8 Type R, it did so with the factory-fitted Continental Sport Contact 6 tyres switched for Cup 2s.
We’ve asked Honda if it can confirm how the 2022 car was configured for the Suzuka run and are awaiting a response, but whatever the footwear, the lap time should be considered impressive.
The latest Civic Type R hot hatch is based on the Mk11 Civic hatchback, which was revealed back in June. It features the same five-door fastback body style as its predecessor, although Honda’s designers have elected to tone down the previous car’s styling slightly.
However, there’s still an aggressive aero kit present. Up front the hot hatchback features the same slim LED headlights as the standard Civic, but they flank a sportier mesh radiator grille.