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

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
honda actually has a nurburgring related feat worthy of bragging about

“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]

Join the conversation
2 of 23 comments
  • Pete Zaitcev Pete Zaitcev on Apr 25, 2017

    Just another reason why cars have to grow all the time.

  • Ermel Ermel on Apr 25, 2017

    “Well, the Germans aren’t going to let just any minivan on that track … ” -- Not true. They let anything on as long as the entrance fee is paid. Ref. Top Gear with Sabine Schmitz in the white Transit Diesel van.

  • Akear The Prius outsells all GM EVs combined, which is really not saying much.
  • Akear The sad truth is the only vehicle FCA sold that broke the 200,000 sales barrier was the 200. I rented one and found it impressive. It is certainly better than the Renegade. At this point I would buy a used 200 over a Renegade. Who in their right mind would buy a Renegade?
  • Akear I just realized 80% of these EV vehicles producers are going to be liquidated within the next five years. It is not possible to survive by selling only 3000 vehicles a year. This reminds me of the bust of the late 90s and early 2000s. Those who don't learn from history repeat it.
  • 3SpeedAutomatic I drove a rental Renegade a few years back. Felt the engine (TIgerShark) was ready was ready to pop out from under the hood. Very crude!! Sole purpose was CAFE offsets. Also drove a V6 Cherokee which was very nice and currently out of production. Should be able to scoop up one at a fair deal.🚗🚗🚗
  • Inside Looking Out This is actually the answer to the question I asked not that long ago.