Honda has a hot hit on its hands with the Civic Type R. This is one fast front driver, and it’s fully capable of putting all 306 of its horsepower to good use. Case in point: Honda just set a new front-wheel-drive production car record at Belgium’s Spa-Francorchamps Circuit. With Super GT driver Bertrand Baguette at the wheel, the Type R lapped the 4.352-mile track in just 2:53.72. Honda posted a video of the record-setting run to YouTube on Monday.
The Japanese automaker is no stranger to setting fast times with its Civic Type R. In the spring of 2017, Honda took a Civic Type R to Germany’s Nürburgring with the goal of topping a time set by Volkswagen’s Golf GTI Clubsport S. The 7:49.21 set by the VW had no chance against the Type R as it set a new front-wheel-drive production car lap record with a time of 7:43.80.
Now Honda has two major track lap records to call its own for the Civic Type R. We can only hope the automaker sets a few more road courses in its sights. We’re not sure what the current FWD record is for Laguna Seca, but Motor Trend‘s Randy Pobst whipped around the California circuit in just 1:49.30 behind the wheel of a Ford Focus ST. The Type R should easily be able to best that figure by a few seconds.
After that, head off to VIR where the Type R could angle for the North Course, South Course, and Full Course records. All of these track times are there for the taking.
There’s not much out there at the moment that can do battle with the Civic Type R in the front-wheel-drive space. And frankly, we’re still amazed at what Honda has been able to do with this car, so much so that we named it the Motor Authority Best Car To Buy 2018.
When any car pairs 300-plus horsepower with front-wheel drive, the immediate thought is that the steering wheel will be eager to wrench itself from the driver’s hands in massive fits of torque steer. Torque steer, however, is smartly mitigated through a properly tuned electric steering box and track-ready spring and damper rates.
The Honda Civic Type R is a riotous machine that’s a joy even in our ham-fisted mitts. It’s quite clear, however, that when a pro is behind the wheel, track records around the world should begin to fall.