2023 Honda Civic Type R Takes Nürburgring Lap Record

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky

When it comes to performance vehicles sporting front-wheel drive, the Honda Civic Type R is usually the model everyone looks to as the benchmark, and the eleventh generation seems to be no different. The manufacturer has announced that the 2023 Honda Civic Type R is now the fastest front-drive production car to ever lap Nürburgring Nordschleife.


While the Nürburgring has become notorious for "spoiling" road cars by encouraging the manufacturer to make them overly specialized, the track also allows the kind of durability testing you won’t find anywhere else. Furthermore, having built the performance vehicle that holds the lap record is the kind of marketing money just can’t buy. Love or hate the track, there’s a sense of prestige that comes along with having dominated it and Honda knows this better than most.


From Honda:


Under the concept of 'Ultimate SPORT 2.0,' we developed the all-new Civic Type R with the spirit of 'going beyond our past achievements' and strived for the ultimate FWD sports car by refining the 'essential value' and 'emotional appeal' unique only to our Type R models.
Since the start of sales in Japan in September 2022, we have received numerous customer feedback from all around the world filled with amazement and joy, far exceeding our expectations. However, we still had one more mission to fulfill, which was to claim the title as the world's fastest FWD car with a record Nürburgring lap time.
Six years after the lap record was set by the previous-generation Civic Type R (FK8), we reached this new dimension as a result of all of the passions we poured in and all the advancements we made for this Type R model. Finally, our wish to share this title with all Type R fans all around the world came true.


Honda reported that the Type R ran the thirteen-mile course in 7:44.881. It was enough to best the previous record holder (the 2019 Renault Mégane R.S. Trophy-R) time by over half a second.


The car was aided by a set of Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires, which are about as aggressive as you can get for a warm-weather tire intended for road use. Honda will allow you to add them to the Type R for just under $2,000 and they’re basically mandatory if you’re thinking about trying to set a lap record at the Nürburgring.


With that in mind, perhaps we should be offering praise to Michelin, too — as the former front-drive record holder was wearing the Bridgestone S007s originally designed for the Ferrari F12berlinetta.


Honda’s hottest Civic certainly seems to live up to its deserved hype. But we can’t say whether it would have been able to best the course wearing different rubber. Your author has never believed the old axiom that ‘shoes make the man.’ But it’s undeniable that tires sometimes help to make the car.


For those interested, Honda has provided footage of the complete lap. We imagine it'll stand for a year or two unless someone surprises us with a better tire or a front-drive vehicle more monstrous than the Civic Type R.

[Images: Honda]

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Matt Posky
Matt Posky

A staunch consumer advocate tracking industry trends and regulation. Before joining TTAC, Matt spent a decade working for marketing and research firms based in NYC. Clients included several of the world’s largest automakers, global tire brands, and aftermarket part suppliers. Dissatisfied with the corporate world and resentful of having to wear suits everyday, he pivoted to writing about cars. Since then, that man has become an ardent supporter of the right-to-repair movement, been interviewed on the auto industry by national radio broadcasts, driven more rental cars than anyone ever should, participated in amateur rallying events, and received the requisite minimum training as sanctioned by the SCCA. Handy with a wrench, Matt grew up surrounded by Detroit auto workers and managed to get a pizza delivery job before he was legally eligible. He later found himself driving box trucks through Manhattan, guaranteeing future sympathy for actual truckers. He continues to conduct research pertaining to the automotive sector as an independent contractor and has since moved back to his native Michigan, closer to where the cars are born. A contrarian, Matt claims to prefer understeer — stating that front and all-wheel drive vehicles cater best to his driving style.

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2 of 17 comments
  • Sobro Sobro on Apr 22, 2023

    I'm sure Honda did more than just add high performance rubber to their publicity stunt car.

  • RHD RHD on Apr 23, 2023

    The Nürburgring is a beautiful place with lots of interesting vehicles and people. What's the point of trying to get it all over with as fast as you can? Slow down and enjoy the day, for goodness sake! /s


    Seriously, it's good that the car manufacturers compete to improve the characteristics of their vehicles. Now if only we could design a Nürburgring-type competition for quality interiors, outward visibility and the durability of drivetrains and electronics.

  • Daniel J I love my mazda 6. It's getting harder and harder to drive it around where I live as municipalities fail to repair roads. SUVs are just easier to drive with all of the potholes.
  • 1995 SC On the plus side, I found a sedan I want to buy
  • Teddyc73 As I asked earlier under another article, when did "segment" or "class" become "space"? Does using that term make one feel more sophisticated? If GM's products in other segments...I mean "space" is more profitable then sedans then why shouldn't they discontinue it.
  • Robert Absolutely!!! I hate SUV's , I like the better gas milage and better ride and better handling!! Can't take a SUV 55mph into a highway exit ramp! I can in my Malibu and there's more than enough room for 5 and trunk is plenty big enough for me!
  • Teddyc73 Since when did automakers or car companies become "OEM". Probably about the same time "segment" or "class" became "space". I wish there were more sedans. I would like an American sedan. However, as others have stated, if they don't sell in large enough quantities to be profitable the automakers...I mean, "OEMs" aren't going to build them. It's simple business.
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