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Watch: Civic Type R’s ‘Ring lap record
At the Geneva reveal of the production Civic Type R earlier this week, it was revealed that, way back in May 2014, Honda managed to record a lap time of 7m 50.63s in a not-very-stock, prototype version of the 306bhp hot hatch.
That time of course, makes the original sub-eight minute record holder - the Seat Leon Cupra - feel pedestrian. That car set a time of 7m 58.4s in March last year.
Then came Renault, who in June last year, upped the ante with a time of 7m 54.36s in a Trophy-R. Little did we know that, at the time of this attempt, Honda has already secured the crown, but kept it firmly under wraps for nearly a year.
At the Geneva show, Honda confirmed to TopGear.com that the Civic Type R responsible for the storming lap time was a prototype model, with a roll cage to “maintain safety for our test driver, mounted in a way that wouldn’t affect body rigidity”.
Honda went on to say the extra weight of the roll cage was balanced by removing the rear seats and air con.
Tell us then, do these times really matter, if they’re set in such ways? The Nürburgring is, of course, a fickle mistress, with many variables - not least the weather - capable of making small but very important gains. Or losses. There’s still no agreement on where the lap should start and finish, either.
And yet the fisticuffs will continue. These three hatches - and indeed the upcoming 4WD Focus RS - will forever be trading blows. Koenigsegg - and Lotus - both tell us they want to secure outright lap records, and you have to admit, for a complete, all-weather circuit, the ‘Ring remains king. But how many of you out there actually care?