Last May, Honda lost the Nürburgring lap record to Volkswagen. VW didn't get to wear the crown for very long, though.
Honda announced that itshas claimed the fastest front-wheel-drive lap around the Nürburgring Nordschleife circuit. On April 3, Honda's forthcoming hot hatch demolished the current record with a run of 7 minutes, 43.8 seconds -- a full 5.41 seconds faster than the previous record holder, the VW GTI Clubsport.
Prior to the Clubsport's blast around the 'Ring, Honda held the record with its previous generation Civic Type R. But it needed more to best the 305-horsepower GTI. In European trim, the Civic Type R puts out about 315 horsepower from its 2.0-liter, turbocharged I4.
The motor alone doesn't make the record. The 2017 Civic Type R is lighter than its forebear, and a new multi-link rear suspension works with fatter tires and a longer wheelbase to handle corners better.
The Type R that ran the record wasn't 100 percent stock. Honda installed a full roll cage for safety reasons, and it canceled out that weight gain by removing the infotainment system and rear seats. It also used a "road legal, track-focused" tire, which sounds a bit stickier than your average rubber.
Either way, there's a new champ in town, and its name is the 2017 Honda Civic Type R. Production of Honda's latest performance car begins this summer.