Home / Honda / Honda Actually has a Nurburgring-related Feat Worthy of Bragging About

Honda Actually has a Nurburgring-related Feat Worthy of Bragging About

2017 Civic Type R (European Version)

“Tested on the Nürburgring,” is just the latest eye-rolling claim to be adopted by automakers desperate to instill a new product with an air of sportiness.

“Nürburgring?!” being the anticipated reaction. “Well, the Germans aren’t going to let just any minivan on that track … ”

There’s much guilt to go around. Just as a Ram maintenance truck trundling down the runway at Edwards Air Force Base is not a space shuttle or F-35, running some laps on the famed circuit does not a supercar make. Still, the track’s allure persists, especially among marketing types.

Sometimes, an achievement crops up that makes the typing of “Nürburgring” an acceptable practice — specifically, the setting of a record.

Honda is no doubt thrilled that it can now advertise the imminent Civic Type R as the fastest front-wheel-drive production car, having recently lapped the Nordschleife (north loop) three seconds ahead of the previous FWD record holder.

The former front-drive top dog isn’t well known in North America, as the Volkswagen GTI Clubsport S was never sold there. Neither was the Civic Type R, as for years Honda kept its top-tier Civic on the east side of the Atlantic. Now that the UK-built, 306-horsepower, 295 lb-ft five-door hatch is green-lit for U.S. driveways, assembling some bragging rights seems in order.

Still, “most powerful Honda ever sold in the U.S.” sounds more impressive to most ears than “front-wheel-drive Nürburgring record holder.”

The new Type R’s lap time of 7 minutes, 43.80 seconds beat the previous generation’s best by almost seven seconds, Honda claims. While the car sent to the track was a pre-production unit, the automaker claims its specifications mirror of the production vehicle. VW can blame the Honda’s legs.

“The cornering speed achieved in the new Type R is higher because the car features a wider track and tires, a longer wheelbase, a new multi-link suspension in the rear and optimized aerodynamics that improve stability,” said lead chassis engineer Ryuichi Kijima in a statement.

“For example, drivers typically enter the corner after Metzgesfeld at around 150 km/h (93 mph). Even at this medium-speed corner, the speed is around 10 km/h (6 mph) higher due to the new Type R’s excellent stability. So, with improved cornering performance, we can increase the speed throughout the lap, helping the new Type R to achieve a much quicker lap time.”

The Type R’s output and exclusivity alone should prove plenty enticing for American consumers, very few of whom search for “Nürburgring” in ad copy before signing on the dotted line. Still, there’s a reason why “Race on Sunday, sell on Monday” became a thing in the 1950s.

[Image: Honda]

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