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Type R flyer heads Honda NZ’s new line-up of Civic hatchbacks

on April 26 2017 | in Highlights, Industry news, Latest news | by | with Comments Off

The new Honda Civic Type R will land in New Zealand with an early go-fast notch in its belt, that of being the fastest front-drive production car around the Nurburgring race track in Germany.

The hatchback has lapped the famous circuit in 7 minutes, 43.8 seconds, beating by almost six seconds the previous best of 7min:49.21sec by the Volkswagen GTi Clubsport S, known in NZ as the GTi 40 Years Edition.

The three-door Civic Type R has made Nurburgring its own. In 2015, the outgoing Civic Type R lapped the 22km track in 7min:50sec, around four seconds quicker than the previous record-holder, the Renault Megane RS 275 Trophy-R.

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Honda NZ will launch the Type R to its dealers and motoring writers at the Hampton Downs track in July, about a month after the standard five-door Civic goes on sale. The Civic sedan arrived here last year.

The Type R occasion will be a first for Honda NZ – never before has the hot hatchback been officially available here through its dealer network. It is being built at Honda’s Swindon plant in the UK.

The record-setting Civic Type R was a development car fitted with a roll cage and with no rear seats to compensate for the added weight of the cage.

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Company engineers said the cage added no structural rigidity and that the lap was representative of what the production car could achieve.

It gets aerodynamic and performance enhancements such as a wider track, wider tyres, a longer wheelbase, higher torsional stiffness, bodykit and large rear wing, and a new multi-link rear suspension set up.

Honda has also fitted the new model with adaptive dampers and a range of driving modes for the first time. ‘Comfort’, ‘Sport’ and track-focused ‘R+’ modes alter the steering, throttle, damper, and gearshift responses.

The new five-door Civic hatchback

The new five-door Civic hatchback on sale in NZ in June

Another new feature is a rev-matching function, which automatically blips the throttle on downshifts to help smooth gear changes and maintain momentum.

Under the bonnet is a 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine, developing 235kW of power and 400Nm of torque, sent to the front wheels exclusively via a six-speed manual transmission.

Meantime, the standard five-door Civic goes on sale in NZ on June 17. Like the sedan it comes with either a turbocharged four-cylinder 1.5-litre engine (Civic RS, Civic NT, Civic Turbo) or a naturally aspirated 1.8-litre four (Civic S). Both engines are mated to a continuously variable transmission.

The top-10 fastest laps around the Nurburgring.

10. Porsche 997 911 GT2 RS – 7:18s

9. Donkervoort D8 RS – 7:14.89 

8. Lexus LFA Nurburgring Package – 7:14.64

7. Dodge Viper ACR – 7:12.13s

6. Gumpert Apollo Sport – 7:11.57

5. Mercedes-AMG GT R – 7:10.92s

4. Nissan GT-R Nismo – 7:08.69s

3. Lamborghini Aventador SV – 6.59.73s

2. Porsche 918 Spyder (Weissach Package) – 6:57s

1. Lamborghini Huracan Performante – 6:52.01s

 

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