Drag racing records have been dropping like flies in the last couple of weeks, but this is perhaps the most astonishing of all: a 20-odd year-old Honda Civic has become the quickest front-wheel-drive, stock-chassis machine with a quarter-mile time of 7.61 seconds at 199.45 miles per hour (320.95 kilometers). It set a new speed trap record of a scarcely believable 201 mph (323 km/h), as well.
The car was put together by Tacoma, Washington-based SpeedFactory Racing with a 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engine breathing through a turbo the size of a dog. Quite a large dog, at that. Somehow - witchcraft, probably - the crew has managed to squeeze 1,850 horsepower (1,380 kilowatts) out of the motor at the crankshaft. That’s five times the output of the most powerful 2.0-liter turbo production car.
Incredibly, that power goes to the ground through an H-pattern gearbox. And the car has around 350,000 miles (563,000 km) under its belt.
The ImportVsDomestic.com World Cup Finals at Maryland International Raceway provided the venue for the record-breaking run. And it seems like the crowd knew exactly what was stake, letting out an enormous cheer after each of the Civic’s runs. In which it beat a V8-engined Pontiac Firebird and a Nissan 240SX for good measure.
Just last week, Gidi Chambi ran a 7.14 second pass in his AMS Performance-built, stock-chassis Nissan GT-R, a record for the type, barely a week after Ekanoo Racing had set the marker at 7.16 seconds. Drag racing is hyper-competitive, clearly. After all, there are as many records to claim as there are types of car competing. Someone somewhere in the world can claim to have the fastest Mark 5 VW Golf GTi running a stock chassis, modified aero, standard engine block, nitrous, and a DSG gearbox. Probably.
The trouble with there being some many records to claim is that it is difficult to ascertain what the outright front-wheel-drive quarter-mile record is. Can anyone enlighten us?