2023 Honda Civic Type R Conquers the Nürburgring, Setting the New FWD Lap Record

The record run took place on a slightly longer version of the circuit than the old Type R ran

  • Honda announced this week that it’s new Civic Type R recaptured the Nürburgring lap record for front-wheel drive vehicles.
  • It set a time of 7:44.881, though it’s not quite apples-to-apples with older records since the official distance for record attempts increased in 2019.
    • The 2023 Honda Civic Type R set a record over 12.94 miles (20.832 km), while the old record-holders ran over a slightly shorter 12.8 miles.
    • Nürburgring officially adjusted the distance by including the short track section T13, potentially adding a few seconds to any record-chasing lap time.
  • The new FL5 Civic Type R also holds the lap record at the Suzuka Circuit in Japan.

The new Honda Civic Type R once again holds the Nürburgring FWD lap record.

After roughly six years since the old FK8 model set the record at the ‘Ring, the 2023 Honda Civic Type R once again holds the crown for the FL5 generation. Apart from a switchover to Type R-specific Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 Connect tires, the car was completely stock in setting its lap times.

Correction: The “completely stock” part is technically true, but the whole story requires digging into the fine print. A footnote in Honda’s press release notes this car is a “Type R that is a lighter version of the latest model.” Apparently, Honda is going to release a lightweight version of the Type R in left-hand-drive markets throughout Europe as the “Type R S” grade. This model will not be available in either the UK or the U.S.

Before diving into the official time, though, there’s a technicality worth mentioning. Back in 2019, record-runners on the Nürburgring Nordschleife had to run a slightly longer version of the track than in the past. The latest runs include the short T13 straight, which means the overall lap distance is 20.832 kilometers (or 12.94 miles), up from 12.8 miles. You can check out more official information on record drives here.

That change naturally adds a little bit to each lap time, so comparing the old car’s 7:43.8 time to the new Type R’s 7:44.881 time is a bit apples-to-oranges. Nevertheless, based on the new track distance, the FL5 Civic Type R once again holds the crown, technically speaking. Honda also set the lap record at the Suzuka Circuit, where it laid down a time 0.873 seconds faster than the old car.

Owning any sort of performance vehicle, be it a purpose-built sports coupe or a hot hatch, is more fun when there’s some racing cred behind it. Now the latest Honda Civic Type R has some more clout, adding prestige to what’s already a great hot hatchback.

Here’s a look at the record run Honda posted on its channel: