Nordschliefe lap times are something of a badge of honour for carmakers these days, and the 22km-long track in Germany’s Eifel mountains is considered the ultimate proving ground for a performance car.
In March, Honda took a mostly-standard (a roll cage was fitted) Civic Type R around the circuit in just 7m50s, beating the previous record established by Renault’s Megane RS 265 Trophy-R by just under four seconds.
For a front wheel drive hatchback, that’s a scorching lap time.
To eliminate any potential rigidity advantage, the Civic Type R’s roll cage was mounted on rubber blocks and some equipment (like the air conditioner and infotainment system) was removed to bring weight back within spec.
However Honda chief engineer Hisayuki Yagi has told Top Gear that there’s still some meat on the bone when it comes to the Civic Type R’s Nurburgring lap, and that an even faster version would be built if a competitor successfully snatched the “fastest FWD” crown.
“If a rival makes a car of comparable spec and features as the Type R, we would have to go back and beat it,” he said.
How? Yagi indicated that weight reduction would be the best approach, though a slight increase in power output from the Type R’s 2.0 litre turbo four-pot would likely accompany that.
All that’s left now is to see who dares step up to the challenge.