The Civic Type R has set new front-wheel-drive records in its hometown.
While SUVs of all shapes and sizes are taking over America’s roads, there are a few automakers out there that still provide enthusiasts with cars that are both fun to drive and spacious. Honda’s new Civic Type R is a perfect example of what happens when an automaker listens to enthusiasts. European automakers are well known for making some of the best hot hatches in the world, but the Civic Type R has just set new benchmark times around five iconic European circuits.
Instead of going back to the Nurburgring to reclaim the front-wheel-drive lap record from the Europeans, the Japanese automaker set its sights on something a little closer to home and to really show just how dominant the Civic Type R really is.
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Honda went to work in April at Silverstone with three-time British Touring Car Championship winner Matt Neal behind the wheel of the hot hatch. After setting a time of 2 minutes 44.5 seconds in the wet, Neal returned back to the circuit a month later in the dry and set a blistering time of 2 minutes 31.85 seconds.
With the lap record in hand for Silverstone, Honda went to Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium. Even with the infamous Eau Rouge corner, Honda Racing driver Rob Huff set a lap record of 2 minutes 56.91 seconds. Honda then went to Italy where Norbert Michelisz—another member of Honda’s WTCC team—crossed the line in 2 minutes 15.16 seconds around Monza.
After Former F1 driver Tiago Monteiro was involved in an accident during a WTCC Race, Honda called upon Bruno Correia to pilot the hatch around the Hungaroring. With Correia behind the wheel, the Type R set a time of 2 minutes 4.08 seconds. Lastly, the automaker arrived in Hungary in June. Michelisz was once again called upon and pushed the hatch for two days before setting a time of 2 minutes 10.85 seconds.
Still doubting whether hot hatches are good on a track?