Honda to Attempt Reclaim of FWD Record at Nurburgring
Back in 2014, Honda took over the throne at the Nurburgring claiming the production car FWD lap record, with a time of 7:50.63. The previous record of 7:54.36 was held by the Renault Mégane RS 275 Trophy-R. I think we all had a feeling the Civic Type R was going to be fast at the Green Hell, however, that record was swiftly taken down by another challenger. Sadly, the FK2’s record was short-lived when Volkswagen brought out their GTI Clubsport S last May, putting down a time of 7:49.21. A few months later, VW went back to the Nurburgring and beat their previous lap record with the Clubsport S managing a staggering 7:47.19 hot lap.
Current FWD King of the Nurburgring
The GTI Clubsport S is the GT3 RS version of the GTI Clubsport. To start things off, the S packs 45 more horsepower than the standard Clubsport. A 6-speed manual gearbox has been chosen to put the 306 ponies down to the ground. No DSG here. Along with the added power, a new ECU and high capacity fuel pump have been installed. The exhaust system has also been modified sporting larger 2.6 inch diameter piping as opposed to the 2.2 inch pipes on the base Clubsport.
When trying to be the fastest around a track, power isn’t everything and Volkswagen knew this. To make the Clubsport S even more lethal, the interior was stripped out to lose as much weight as possible. Gone are the center console, rear seats, rear trunk floor, floor mats – even the sound deadening was tossed out (because racecar). The diet didn’t end there. An aluminum front subframe along with aluminum hats mated to steel brake rotors were chosen over steel units. All the weight shedding led to a 66-pound drop in weight compared to the Clubsport. That may not seem like much, but every ounce counts out on the track.
Honda to attempt to break their previous record
According to Carbuzz, Honda claims it will pay another visit to the Nurburgring sometime this year with the new Civic Type R, in an attempt to beat their current record. “I think it’s fair to assume that we’ll pursue our own personal best record, and if it beats out other cars that have run the ‘Ring, even better,” as said from a Honda PR rep. Let’s be real here, we all know Honda have their eyes set on taking down the GTI Clubsport S and we can’t be any more excited to see what the new CTR can do.
The question is how they plan on doing it. The “new” Civic Type-R uses the same K20C turbocharged, 2.0L four cylinder engine, so the power figures should be similar. We are guessing that a lot of the improvement will come from the rear axle. For reasons unknown, the FK2 Type R was fitted with a torsion beam rear axle. No independent rear suspension, not even a rear sway bar. A conventional multi-link rear suspension that other Civics have used for years will allow for massive improvements in ride quality and grip. Useful for the bumpy and wild pavement on the Nurburgring. Beyond that, we’re guessing tires will be the largest change. That GTI Clubsport S used Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires, which are a 180 treadwear, street legal competition tire. Honda did not disclose what tires the Type R that lapped the Nordschleife was wearing.
Here is the 2015 Type R doing the 7:50 lap. Can the new 2018 Type R knock off a few more seconds?
What do you guys think? Will Honda take back the FWD throne at the Nurburgring this year? Let us know!