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Is the 2023 Honda Civic Type R America’s Fastest FWD Sports Sedan?

A new track record has us wondering if there is a faster front-wheel drive track-day car on sale in America today than the 2023 Honda Civic Type R.

A new track record has us wondering if there is a faster front-wheel drive track-day car on sale in America today than the 2023 Honda Civic Type R.

If you have a special affinity for front-wheel drive track-day cars, Honda is your brand. The new 2023 Civic Type R has just set a new course record for vehicles of its type on the famed Nürburgring Nordschleife in Germany. Honda says its Civic Type R ran the 20.8-kilometer course at a time of just under 7 minutes and 45 seconds.

We should qualify a couple of things about Honda’s claimed record. First, the record-setting time was completed while the Civic Type R was wearing Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 Connect tires. The standard tires on a Civic Type R are Michelin Pilot Sport 4 S. If you want the racetrack tires, they are available through Honda dealers. Honda says that the Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 Connect tires further enhance the circuit performance of the vehicle, improving dry grip and Type R’s well-balanced handling.

Honda’s Civic Type R development leader, Hideki Kakinuma, offered up this message to fans of the car following the record-setting lap:
“To our Civic Type R fans all over the world:

Under the concept of 'Ultimate SPORT 2.0,' we developed the all-new Civic Type R with the spirit of 'going beyond our past achievements' and strived for the ultimate FWD sports car by refining the 'essential value' and 'emotional appeal' unique only to our Type R models.

Since the start of sales in Japan in September 2022, we have received numerous customer feedback from all around the world filled with amazement and joy, far exceeding our expectations. However, we still had one more mission to fulfill, which was to claim the title as the world's fastest FWD car with a record Nürburgring lap time.

Six years after the lap record was set by the previous-generation Civic Type R (FK8), we reached this new dimension as a result of all of the passions we poured in and all the advancements we made for this Type R model. Finally, our wish to share this title with all Type R fans all around the world came true.

We sincerely hope that all current and prospective owners of the Type R will enjoy and love their vehicle with the pride we share with you."

Watch Torque News for more 2023 Honda Civic Type R news and reviews this coming summer.

John Goreham is an experienced New England Motor Press Association member and expert vehicle tester. John completed an engineering program with a focus on electric vehicles, followed by two decades of work in high-tech, biopharma, and the automotive supply chain before becoming a news contributor. In addition to his ten years of work at Torque News, John has published thousands of articles and reviews at American news outlets. He is known for offering unfiltered opinions on vehicle topics. You can follow John on Twitter, and TikTok @ToknCars, and view his credentials at Linkedin

Image of 2023 Honda Civic Type R on track courtesy of Honda.