Honda Civic Type R Limited Edition sets new lap record at Suzuka

The lighter and more track-focused Honda Civic Type R Limited Edition, just broke the FWD record at Suzuka Circuit with a 2′ 23 ” 993 lap time. This is approximately a whole 1.5″ faster than the previews record (2’25’’454) held by the Renault Megane IV RS Trophy-R since November 2019.

The 5.8 km Suzuka Circuit is renowned for its high-speed chicanes and challenging corners, with a distinctive ‘figure eight’ layout that includes a long 1.2 km back straight, which passes over an earlier section of the circuit just after Turn 9. Widely regarded as a highlight of the Formula 1 calendar, Suzuka has been an important test bed for developing performance Honda vehicles and engines since 1962. It was built on the instruction of company founder and president, Soichiro Honda, who famously said: “Automobiles cannot be improved if they are not put through their paces on the racing circuit”.

As a reminder, the 2020 Civic Type R Limited Edition is 47 kg lighter than the regular car, with special tuning for the Adaptive Damper System, recalibrated Electric Power Steering (EPS), custom BBS 20″ forged aluminium wheels for lower unsprung mass and Michelin Cup 2 tyres. The development car featured the same technical specifications representative of the production version, with no modifications or performance enhancements.

Just 20 examples of the Civic Type R Limited Edition will be built for Australia and are scheduled to arrive in the second quarter of 2021. The Limited Edition model will be available in striking ‘Sunlight Yellow’ paintwork, with the addition of contrasting gloss black paint on the roof, wing mirrors and bonnet intake vent.

According to Hideki Kakinuma, Civic Type R Project Leader: “Throughout testing, the introduction of a new two-piece floating brake system demonstrated braking feel and deceleration power exactly as intended by the driver,”

“Combined with the improvement of load control performance, the result was a reduction in overall braking time and exceptional high-speed cornering performance, specifically enabling vital speed to be carried through the challenging ‘S’ Curves and the second phase of the Spoon Curve at Suzuka.”

“In addition to the increased braking performance, exceptional grip from the adoption of Michelin Cup 2 tyres, along with upgrades to the suspension and damper system control, also provided the vehicle with highly-efficient dynamics and control, to easily manage the high-speed switches of direction through the flowing Esses.”

“Reduction of the unsprung weight from the lightweight forged wheels further improved road holding and increased traction during acceleration from the tight Degner Curve and the famous 130R corner,”

“An increase in engine cooling performance also enabled the vehicle to fully utilise its power output to reach top speed on the back straight towards the end of the lap. All these advancements achieved by this Type R Limited Edition were proven by the time recorded at Suzuka Circuit.”

Continuing the tradition of the Type R Challenge 2018 (Magny-Cours GP, Spa-FrancorchampsSilverstone GPEstorilHungaroring GP and Mount Panorama Bathurst), Honda is planning to take the hot hatch back to the Nürburgring Nordschleife in order to regain the FWD record previously held by the Honda Civic Type R (FK8) (2017-2019), with a lap time of 7’43″8. The new goal is to beat the 7’40″10 lap time of the current record-holder, the Renault Megane IV RS Trophy-R.

Message to all Civic Type R fans around the world from Hideki Kakinuma, Civic Type R Project Leader:

The moment we introduced the FK8 Civic Type R to the market in 2017, we began our challenge toward the next ultimate vehicle.

While drawing inspiration from the voices of people all around the world who were surprised and pleased by the Civic Type R, we never stopped moving forward and striving for advancement beyond the expectations of our customers.  This enabled us to further refine the essence and driving pleasure of Type R as a sports car.

In the world of motorsport, to stop moving forward is an immediate admission of defeat. Therefore, we must never stop moving forward. This “racing spirit” has been passed down for generations at Honda, which is what drove us forward.

For this model change, speed was further pursued in collaboration with Honda Racing Development (HRD) Sakura, which plays a key role in Honda’s motorsports development. This partnership enabled Civic Type R^ to set a new front-wheel drive lap record at Suzuka Circuit, often described as “one of the greatest circuits in the world”.

The “advanced” Type R I envisioned at the beginning of this development is now a reality and I am overwhelmed by the result and how our efforts have been rewarded. We believe this model change has enabled the Civic Type R to come one step closer to the ideal sports car Honda envisions. Please enjoy!