Watch the Honda Civic Type R claim a new lap record

By topgear, 13 July 2020

Lap times. You either love them or hate them, and when a carmaker is claiming a front-wheel-drive benchmark at a course few production cars have attempted to break records at, we’d forgive those in the latter camp a rather disgruntled sigh.

But if you’re in the former camp, then revel in the video above, delightfully rev-matched downshifts an’ all. It’s a Honda Civic Type R setting the quickest FWD time at Suzuka in Japan with a 2:23.993.

Now, lap times are nowt without context, but this is where the Type R really shines. A mere six seconds quicker around Suzuka? The Koenigsegg One:1, which has over four times the horsepower of the wee Honda. Over a second slower, meanwhile, is the Ferrari F40, followed on the leader board by the Ferrari F50 and then Renault helmsman extraordinaire Laurent Hurgon in the old Megane 275 Trophy R, with a 2:28.00 lap time. Itself apparently quicker than a Carrera GT.

We can hear some muttering at the back. Yep, just like production car fast laps at a circuit closer to home – somewhere in the Eifel Mountains – they need to be taken with a fistful of salt when drivers, weather conditions and temperatures aren’t matched and exact specs aren’t policed.

But then this record came about not via Honda’s Japanese HQ just dispatching a spare Type R Limited Edition for the evening, but at the behest of Honda Australia, whose record obsession has also seen it bag benchmark FWD laps at Bathurst, Spa, Silverstone and Estoril, among others. If you hate lap times, you won’t have read this far. If you love them, you likely love Honda’s team Down Under now, too.