FL5 Civic Type R reclaims FWD ‘Ring record
Honda has reclaimed the production car lap record it lost to Renault four years ago. See the onboard video here…
By John Howell / Thursday, 20 April 2023 / Loading comments
It’s out, the news we’ve all been waiting for. Well, those of us interested in how much quicker the current Honda Civic Type R (FL5) can lap the benchmark Nürburgring than its predecessor. And we’re expecting it to be a lot quicker, aren’t we, bearing in mind the new car is sooo much more expensive than the last one, the FK8. So how much lap time does an extra £15,000 gain you? Exactly one second…more. So it’s slower?
Yes, Honda announced last night that its £47,000 FL5 lapped the ‘Ring in 7:44.8, while the FK8 achieved a time of 7:43.8 back in 2017. However, before all the Type R naysayers grab their vuvuzelas and start hooting in disgust, the current track layout is longer than it was. Until 2019, the stopwatch began ticking at the end of the start-finish straight, and stopped at the start of it. So effectively, you set a time without travelling the length of the start-finish straight. Now, as with most circuits, the start and finish points are in the same place, which is at the end of the straight.
What this means is the FK8’s 2017 time was set over a distance of 20.6km, while the FL5 covered 20.8km. Honda says that the new car is faster, and the big win for the Japanese giant is it’s reclaimed the Nordschleife lap record for a front-wheel-drive production car. Of course, that’s been nabbed from the Renault Mégane R.S. Trophy-R, which in 2019 officially lapped in the same 20.8km-distance in 7:45.3. As a reference for how much the altered timing system adds, the R.S. Trophy would’ve done a 7:40.1 under the older rules.
If we assume that the FL5 would also be capable of knocking around five seconds of its time over the shorter distance, then a comparable lap to the FK8 would’ve been a 7:39. The other factor to consider is the FL5 used was a European-spec Type R S, which is lighter than our RHD cars, and it was on Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 Connect tyres. These aren’t standard fit and are available only through Michelin directly, so there’s a bit of smoke and mirrors here, as always.
I hope all that makes sense? If not, just watch and enjoy the video instead.
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