Reportedly, Honda is preparing to defend its crown as the front-wheel drive production car lap record-holder at the Nurbirgring. “If someone takes our fastest lap, we’ll take it back,” said chief engineer Hisayuki Yagi. “We didn’t leave ourselves any margin of safety in that lap. We would have to modify the car.”
That’s about as clear a message as they come. Since Yagi claimed the Civic Type R that was tested on the ‘Ring went all out, it would require modification to best its own lap time. Of course, since the lap record can only be held by a production car, if the Japanese automaker wanted to put down a faster lap, it would have to build (and produce) a faster car.
There is “headroom for more power from the engine,” Yagi told Top Gear. Those are words every enthusiast loves to hear, because it means two things: The aftermarket will have something to do to find that extra power, and the automaker can takes things a stage further in-house.
The 2015 Civic Type R is powered by a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that develops 305 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque. The curb weight is rated at 3,037 lbs.
Don’t expect a faster version of the Civic Type R for a good while, though. It may take some time for a front-wheel drive car to best the Type R, and even if development has begun on a Type R “Plus,” Honda wouldn’t introduce the car until the normal Type R had been distributed to all planned markets.
So here’s a message for all front-wheel drive manufacturers: build something special to beat the Type R, so that we may all enjoy the fruits of Honda’s labor a bit more.