The Honda Civic Type R has regained the Nürburgring FWD lap record, setting a new benchmark of 7 min 44:881.

There’s a new king of FWD sports cars in town, and it’s the Honda Civic Type R FL5.

For the past four years, the title of ‘Nürburgring’s fastest front-wheel drive car’ has sat firmly with the Renault Megane RS Trophy. However, that’s all changed. Truth be told, it’s only fitting that the FL5 (driven by touring car racer, Nestor ‘Bebu’ Girolami) was the car to eventually topple the Renault. Its FK8 and FK2 predecessors both held the record in their day, so this is merely a continuation of the Civic family tradition.

Speaking of the FK8, lap time afficionados out there might be calling foul play already. “Hold on a minute,” you say. “That time’s slower than what the FK8 managed!”. And yes, you’d be right. The FK8 generation of Civic Type R lapped the Green Hell about a second quicker than this new benchmark time put down by the FL5, however there is a reasonable explanation behind all of this. Put simply, the folks that run the Nürburgring shifted the goalposts back in 2019 (two years after the FK8 set its time). Essentially, due to a change in timing checkpoints, the track is now 20.8km long, whereas back in the FK8’s era it was ‘only’ 20.6km.

The Renault also set its time under the new rules though, so whereas it’s not entirely fair to compare the FL5’s time with its predecessors, the playing field was indeed level between it and the Megane.

FL5 Civic on the Karussel

Words from Honda

Speaking after Honda reclaimed the crown, project leader Hideki Kakinuma said, “We developed the Civic Type R under the concept of ‘Ultimate Sport 2.0’, aiming to be the ultimate FWD sports model, instilling confidence and excitement with drivers that resonates in the heart.

“Since the launch of the Civic Type R in 2022, we have received numerous positive response globally, far exceeding our expectations, but there was one more mission that we had to challenge – to be the fastest FWD model on the Nürburgring.

“Six years after the previous generation, we have reached a new dimension in the evolution of the Type R and the passion we put into it. To those who are already an owner of our latest Civic Type R and to those who are expected owners, we truly hope that you will love and enjoy the Civic Type R.”

FL5 Civic Type R on the Nurburgring.

There’s a catch…

However, there is one last twist in the tail of this story that’s important to mention. By Honda’s own admission, they set the new Nürburgring FWD lap record with a Type R that is a lighter version of the regular FL5 Type R currently on sale.

But, before you start booing, don’t worry, this fettled version will eventually become a production car, known as the Type R S Grade. This future model will only arrive in the European LHD market though.

On top of that, Honda used Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 Connect tires, which aren’t standard, but you can for your FL5 directly from Michelin. Always read the small print, folks…

To watch Girolami’s lap in full, check out the on-board video below: