Honda is aiming to reinforce the class leading status of the award-winning Civic Type R by using a squad of racing stars to set new lap time benchmarks at iconic European racetracks.
Although the complete driver line-up is still to be finalised, Honda has confirmed that former Formula 1 World Champion and current NSX Super GT driver Jenson Button (UK) will take part in the challenge. WTCR drivers Tiago Monteiro (Portugal), Esteban Guerrieri (Argentina) and NSX Super GT star Bertrand Baguette (Belgium) will join Jenson for the challenge.
A similar challenge in 2016 saw benchmark lap times set at Silverstone, Spa-Francorchamps, Monza, Estoril and Hungaroring using the previous generation Civic Type R. The drivers included racers from the British Touring Car Championship and World Touring Car Championship.
For the 2018 edition, Honda will aim to exceed the times set at Silverstone (UK), Spa-Francorchamps (Belgium) and Estoril (Portugal) in 2016, with further tracks set to be announced.
The new Honda Civic Type R retains the heritage of Honda’s high-performance hatchback bloodline and is the fastest accelerating and quickest car in its class. The latest car to sport the famous ‘red H’ was part of the all-new tenth-generation Civic’s development programme – the largest in Honda’s history – and was engineered to deliver the most rewarding drive in the hot hatch segment, both on road and on the race track. It features a lightweight, highly rigid bodyshell, low centre of gravity, and sophisticated dual-axis strut front suspension system, which reduces torque steer and enhances on-the-limit cornering.
Powered by a 2.0-litre VTEC TURBO engine, the new Honda Civic Type R offers a peak power output of 320 PS at 6,500 rpm, and peak torque of 400 Nm from 2,500 rpm to 4,500 rpm. The car has a top speed of 272 km/h (169 mph) and 0-62 mph is achieved in just 5.7 seconds. In April 2017, a production development car became the fastest front-wheel drive production car ever around the Nürburgring Nordschleife, with a lap time of 7min 43.8sec.
Honda will show the 2018 Civic Type R challenge car at the Geneva Motor Show from 8 - 18 March.