Kurt Verlin
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2021 Honda Civic Type R Sets Suzuka Track Record

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Honda Civic Type R Limited Edition sets a Suzuka track record
Photo: Honda

The Suzuka Circuit in Japan ranks among the most iconic race tracks in the world, and is regularly rated by drivers as one of the most fun to lap. And now, it has a new front-wheel-drive track record, set by none other than the new 2021 Honda Civic Type R Limited Edition.

The car set a lap time of 2 minutes and 23.993 seconds, faster than a Ferrari F40 and less than six seconds slower than a Nissan GT-R and Koenigsegg One:1. It’s also much faster than the Honda NSX that Ayrton Senna famously lapped around the circuit while wearing loafers.

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Suzuka is, of course, a circuit with which Honda is intimately familiar, having originally built it as a test facility. It’s the only one to boast a figure-8 configuration on the Formula 1 calendar, its 3.6 miles offering exciting challenges to drivers at every turn.

Though the Civic Type R is already blisteringly fast, the Type R Limited Edition goes even further in its pursuit of speed. It sheds 18 pounds alone thanks to lightweight, forged aluminum BBS wheels, and benefits from extra traction thanks to Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires. Its dampers are adjusted to accommodate those changes, and its steering is recalibrated to offer better feedback and finer control. And Honda even managed to shed another 28.2 pounds off the Type R by removing sound-deadening materials. That’s the kind of stuff that leads to a Suzuka track record.

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When it launches in the United States later this year, only 600 will be available (but they’re probably all sold out already). Typically, enthusiasts turn to RWD cars for sheer track performance. However, the 2021 Honda Civic Type R Limited Edition, with its dual-axis strut front suspension system, shows that FWD cars can also put up impressive numbers. At least, as long as they’ve been designed, developed, and manufactured by Honda.