Following the debut of the Honda Civic ‘Type R Challenge 2018’ car at the Geneva Motor Show, the high-performance hatchback has set a new 2mins 1.51secs lap record for a front- wheel drive production car at the Magny-Cours GP circuit in France. The Swindon-built Type R was piloted by WTCR driver Esteban Guerrieri, who is contesting the 2018 FIA World Touring Car Cup in a Honda Civic TCR with Münnich Motorsport.

The Magny-Cours GP circuit is a 4.4km track with a mix of slow hairpins, high-speed chicane sections and long straights. The Civic Type R’s optimised 2.0-litre VTEC TURBO engine produces 320 PS and 400Nm of torque, and its muscular performance helped Guerrieri to exploit the character of the track. The car’s comprehensive aerodynamic package, with a best-in-class balance between lift and drag, was perfectly suited to the French circuit. In the Civic Type R’s +R mode, the Adaptive Damper System produces a firmer, flatter ride and greater agility for high-performance handling.

Speaking about the lap record, Esteban Guerrieri said: “The best thing about the Type R is that it gives you confidence. It’s very responsive and gives you good feedback. People call the Type R the ultimate performance hot hatch and we proved today that it really is; the car continues to push the boundaries of what’s possible from front wheel drive.”

Commenting on the flexibility of the Type R as a road and track car, Guerrieri added, “The beauty is we could use ‘+R mode on track but then switch to Comfort mode and drive home.”

The benchmark time represents the first success in the Type R Challenge 2018, which will see a team of Honda racing stars attempt to break front-wheel drive production car records at a range of legendary European racetracks in a production specification Honda Civic Type R.

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