The Suzuka Circuit is a 5.8 km track famous for its high-speed chicanes and challenging corners, incorporated in a 'figure eight' layout that includes a long 1.2 km back straight that passes over an earlier part of the circuit.
With its lightweight components, suspension and steering upgrades, and a stripped-back, driver-focused interior, the Civic Type R Limited Edition is on sale across Europe now.
Widely regarded as a highlight in the Formula 1 calendar, Suzuka has been an important test bed for developing performance Honda vehicles and engines since 1962.
It was built on the instruction of company founder and president, Soichiro Honda, who famously said: "Automobiles cannot be improved if they are not put through their paces on the racing circuit."
The record-breaking lap was achieved by a Type R Limited Edition development car as it underwent its final performance evaluation in February 2020.
The development car featured the same technical specifications representative of the production version, with no modifications or performance enhancements.
Just 100 of the Type R Limited Edition will be built for Europe. The new Limited Edition features lightweight 20-inch forged BBS alloy wheels with high grip Michelin Pilot Sport Cup2 tyres. These provide a 10kg weight saving.
The new Limited Edition also has modified dampers and a recalibrated steering, and an Adaptive Damper System’s control software that evaluates road conditions faster, resulting in improved damper reactions for both better handling response.
"Throughout testing, the introduction of a new two-piece floating brake system demonstrated braking feel and deceleration power exactly as intended by the driver” added Hideki Kakinuma, Civic Type R Project Leader.
“Reduction of the unsprung weight from the lightweight forged wheels further improved road holding and increased traction during acceleration from the two tight Degner Curves and the famous 130R corner. An increase in engine cooling performance also enabled the vehicle to fully utilise its 320PS output to reach top speed on the back straight towards the end of the lap."
The new Limited Edition model retains the Type R’s powerful 2.0-litre VTEC Turbo engine.
Peak power output is 320PS at 6,500 rpm and peak torque is 400 Nm from 2,500 rpm to 4,500 rpm. 0-100 km/h (0-62 mph) is achieved in 5.7 seconds.
The striking Type R Limited Edition will be available in an exclusive new colour, 'Sunlight Yellow', and will feature an exclusive dark chrome Civic badge on the rear hatch and a contrasting gloss black roof.
Gloss black wing mirrors and an intake vent on the bonnet complete its aggressive styling.
The interior has red bucket seats, a plaque marking the build number of the car, and an Alcantara-wrapped steering wheel and a newly designed teardrop style gear knob.
Infotainment and air conditioning systems are omitted to save weight, but the rear seats remain for everyday usability.
The new tyres and wheels, together with new lightweight components and a stripped-back interior all contribute to a 47kg weight reduction compared to the Type R GT variant.
Honda's 10th-generation Civic Type R GT broke the front-wheel drive lap record at the Nurburgring Nordschliefe in 2017 with a lap time of 7 minutes 43.8 seconds.
Following this success, a production specification Civic Type R GT went on to break front wheel drive production car records at five legendary European racetracks with Honda racing stars behind the wheel.