Lightweight Honda Civic Type R Limited Edition sets Suzuka lap record

Honda Civic Type R at Suzuka

The lightweight Honda Civic Type R Limited Edition has set a new front-wheel drive lap record at Suzuka in Japan, lapping the track in 2 minutes 23.993 seconds.

Just 20 examples of the lightweight Honda Civic Type R Limited Edition will arrive in Australia towards the middle of next year (2021). And it’ll arrive with a scalp. Earlier this year, the Type R set a new lap record for a front-wheel drive production car at the Suzuka International Racing Course (Suzuka Circuit), lapping the track in 2 minutes 23.993 seconds.

If you’ve raced in Gran Turismo or watched Formula One you’ll be familiar with the 5.8km-long Suzuka and its high speed chicanes and challenging corners, with a distinctive ‘figure eight’ layout that includes a long 1.2 km back straight which passes over an earlier section of the circuit just after Turn 9.

So, what is the Type R Limited Edition? Start with a full fat Type R and then bin as much weight as you can. It features lightweight 20-inch forged BBS alloy wheels wrapped in Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tyres (giving a 10kg weight saving compared to the standard wheels and tyres). Modified dampers have been fitted, together with recalibrated steering for more driver feedback, according to Honda. The control software of the Adaptive Damper System now evaluates road conditions faster, resulting in improved damper reactions for better handling response and ride quality, Honda said.

“Throughout testing, the introduction of a new two-piece floating brake system demonstrated braking feel and deceleration power exactly as intended by the driver,” said Hideki Kakinuma, Civic Type R Project Leader.

“Combined with the improvement of load control performance, the result was a reduction in overall braking time and exceptional high-speed cornering performance, specifically enabling vital speed to be carried through the challenging ‘S’ Curves and the second phase of the Spoon Curve at Suzuka.

“In addition to the increased braking performance, exceptional grip from the adoption of Michelin Cup 2 tyres, along with upgrades to the suspension and damper system control, also provided the vehicle with highly-efficient dynamics and control, to easily manage the high speed switches of direction through the flowing Esses.”

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Isaac Bober has been writing about cars and 4x4s for more than 20 years, has worked on some of the country's biggest motoring magazines (remember what they were?), and launched Practical Motoring. Now he's back, back again... to share dad jokes and much more.