Honda’s next Civic Type R aims for Renault’s Megane RS Nürburgring lap record

Honda has some lofty ambitions for its next Civic Type R. Having remained a mostly sub-200bhp hatchback since it arrived on these shores back in 2001, the Type R is ready to rise above its humble origins and shoot for class honours.

In a tweet this morning, Honda UK announced a new Type R was on its way and “’s going to be fast!”

Just ‘how’ fast is ably demonstrated by the statement later on this morning; “the all-new Type R will aim to become the fastest front-wheel-drive vehicle on the Nürburgring race course.”

The record is currently held by Renault’s Megane RS Trophy, which clocked a lap of 8 mins 7.97 seconds back in June 2011.

To mount a successful challenge to Renault’s 261bhp Megane, Honda will need horsepower – lots of it – and a diet of lightweight materials to reduce the regular Civic’s 1378kg kerb weight.

Thankfully, Honda will not be starting from scratch. Developed specifically for the European market, the new Type R will make use of technologies developed through Honda’s participation in the World Touring Car Championship (WTCC), which it plans to compete in full-time from 2013.

The team developing Honda’s WTCC entry are aiming to have a race car ready by the Suzuka rounds of this year’s championship on 20th October – which coincides with the 50th anniversary of the circuit (Designed as a Honda test track in 1962).

Honda took the opportunity of this morning’s announcement to remind us that a new NSX is on its way, and this together with the Type R will put Honda back on the performance road-car map, as the company aims to set new standards in performance and handling.

Best not get too excited for the time being, the Civic Type R is scheduled for production in 2015, but it’s nice to dream.

Now, I wonder if front-wheel drive lap record around the Nürburgring will remain intact until 2015?

So that probably means Honda should aim for sub-8 minutes, just to be on the safe side. Oh my, that does sound fun..