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Honda Engineer: More Extreme Civic Type-R Model is Possible

Motor Trend logo Motor Trend 6/3/2015 Paul Horrell

However extreme you think Honda has made the Civic Type-R hatchback, there's always room for more. Speaking to Motor Trend at the car's press launch in Slovakia, project leader Hisayuki Yagi explained why. "At the start of development we set the target to be the fastest front-drive hatchback around the Nürburgring Nordschleife. And we are. If someone takes our record, we will take it back."

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How would they do that? Modify the car, or simply drive faster? "We didn't leave ourselves any margin of safety in that lap. We would have to modify the car."

Honda Civic Type R© Provided by MotorTrend Honda Civic Type R

We ask how. "Weight, and power output. You've driven it," Yagi-san said. "You can feel there is headroom for more power from the engine. It's all about power to weight ratio." MT suggested about 120 pounds and 20 horsepower. Yagi nodded.

Right now the Type-R has 306 horsepower from its 7,000-rpm turbocharged 2.0-liter engine. Its Nürburgring lap time was 7 minutes, 50.63 seconds. It made that lap time nearly a year ago. That was a prototype, but Yagi says its engine, suspension and tires were exactly the same as today's production car. Air-conditioning was removed to save weight, but that was compensated for by the mass of the roll cage. The cage itself didn't improve the shell's rigidity, because it was fixed to the car via rubber blocks.

Here's hoping someone challenges Honda's front-drive Nürburgring lap record so we can see what an even hotter Type-R can do.

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