Honda Civic Type R Limited Edition sets new lap record at Suzuka

The hottest Civic Type R is officially the fastest front-wheel-drive car to lap the infamous Japanese track.

Steven Ewing Former managing editor
Steven Ewing spent his childhood reading car magazines, making his career as an automotive journalist an absolute dream job. After getting his foot in the door at Automobile while he was still a teenager, Ewing found homes on the mastheads at Winding Road magazine, Autoblog and Motor1.com before joining the CNET team in 2018. He has also served on the World Car Awards jury. Ewing grew up ingrained in the car culture of Detroit -- the Motor City -- before eventually moving to Los Angeles. In his free time, Ewing loves to cook, binge trash TV and play the drums.
Steven Ewing
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Honda Civic Type R Limited Edition

Suzuka's 3.6-mile track was originally built as a test facility for Honda.


Last month, Honda released a short video showing a Civic Type R Limited Edition lapping Japan's Suzuka Circuit, but didn't give us any context. We assumed the new Type R was there to lay down a hot lap time, and as it turns out, we were right.

The Honda Civic Type R Limited Edition is officially the fastest front-wheel-drive car around Suzuka, the company confirmed Tuesday. The 2 minute, 23.993 second lap time was completed by Super GT Series driver Takuya Izawa during the Type R's final performance tests in February, using a European-spec production car. You can watch his record run in the video below.

This 2:23.993 time is roughly a second and a half better than the previous record holder, the Renault Megane RS Trophy-R. This bodes well for the Civic Type R's future lap record attempts, too. Honda unofficially said the Limited Edition was meant to be a time attack car, with the ultimate goal of winning back the Type R's title as the fastest front-wheel-drive car around Germany's Nürburgring Nordschleife. The Megane RS Trophy-R is the current Nordschleife FWD champ, so we'll be curious to see if the Type R can perform a similar feat once the world opens back up for fun again.

Honda will build 1,000 Limited Edition Type Rs, all painted Phoenix Yellow, with 600 earmarked for the US. The 306-horsepower, 2.0-liter turbo I4 engine carries over unchanged, but this gets specially tuned dampers, recalibrated steering and higher-performance tires. The US-spec Limited Edition is some 46 pounds lighter than a standard Type R, thanks to lightweight, 20-inch BBS wheels, fewer sound-deadening materials and the removal of the hatch wiper, rear heater ducts and tonneau cover. European versions will have their audio and air conditioning systems removed, resulting in an additional 30-pound weight loss.

The 2021 Honda Civic Type R Limited Edition will go on sale in the coming months, with pricing expected to come in somewhere around $40,000.

2021 Civic Type R Limited Edition is Honda's new halo car

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