Honda are either bold or foolhardy, but more than two years ahead of its launch they’ve already boasted that the new Civic Type-R will secure a front wheel drive lap record of Germany’s infamous Nürburgring-Nordschleife.
The current record is held by the Renault Mégane Renaultsport 265 Trophy, which back in June 2011 scorched around 12.8-mile circuit in 8 minutes 7.97 seconds, but Honda believe they can do better. Much better.
On their side is a 280bhp direct injection turbocharged 2-litre engine, compared to the Mégane’s 261bhp and recent experience developing one of the quickest cars in this year’s World Touring Car Championship (WTCC). They’ve also got a certain Gabriele Tarquini, one-time BTCC champion and a man who knows both car and circuit better than most.
In case we were in any doubt, Honda have put together a short film showing the development car being put through its paces, which still has a further two years of development to complete before going on sale in 2015.
According to Manabu Nishimae, President of Honda Motor Europe, “We have recently spent a week at the Nürburgring, carrying out extensive testing and have already set a time approaching the lap record.”
Sounds ominous with another 24 months remaining to improve it further, but of course Renault won’t be sitting on their laurels and while there are faster hot hatches (VW’s 296bhp Golf R and Merc’s 356bhp A45 AMG) these have all resorted to all-wheel drive in a bid to harness their performance.
It’s going to be fascinating to see them try and break the 8-minute barrier, and then of course there are others who might steal their thunder.
How about Citroen producing a detuned version of its 380bhp C-Elysée WTCC car?
Either of its drivers including World Touring Car champion, Yvan Muller and WRC superstar Sébastien Loeb would be capable, especially Loeb, who smashed the Pikes Peak hillclimb record earlier this year. Sounds like we’ve got a race..
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