They cross the finish line at the same time.
The Honda Civic Type R has been setting front-wheel-drive production vehicle lap records around Europe at circuits like the Hungaroring, Estoril, Silverstone, Spa-Francorchamps, and Magny-Cours. Now, the brand is showing off how its new hot hatch handles a circuit when racing against a Civic Sport and Civic Type R British Touring Car Championship machine around the 1.27-mile (2.045-kilometer) Knockhill Circuit in Scotland.
The least potent Civic in this test is the British market's Sport model that has a 1.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder producing 180 horsepower (134 kilowatts) and 177 pound-feet (240 Newton-meters). Three-time BTCC is behind the wheel of the one for this test.
The Type R is the top road-going Civic that is currently available thanks to its 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder pumping out 316 hp (236 kW) and 295 lb-ft (400 Nm) in the British market – or 306 hp (228 kilowatts) in North America. Jess Hawkins, a British stunt driver and pilot of the Honda Mean Mower at Goodwood, gets behind the wheel of the CTR in this test.
Finally, the BTCC Civic Type R turns up the performance dial for competition purposes to over 350 hp (261 kW) and 295 lb-ft (400 Nm). A six-speed sequential gearbox replaces the road car's six-speed manual. Stripping out the machine cuts the fat to 2,822 pounds (1,280 kg), including the driver, versus the production version's curb weight of 3,117 pounds (1,414 kg). Current BTTC driver is behind the wheel, here.
Honda staggers releasing the cars away from the start to make sure that they cross the finish at nearly the same time. The lap times tell the real story, though. The Civic Sport requires 1:05.45 seconds to cover the Scottish course; the Type R needs 1:01.34 to complete the track. The BTCC race car wins its 0:55.65 time making the race-prepped machine just over 10 seconds quicker than the Sport and slightly more than 5 seconds better than the Type R.
Spy shots suggest that Honda has an upgraded or refreshed Type R under development that could cut the deficit between the race car. The only obvious exterior changes are tweaks to the front and rear bumper. It's possible the company might be able to extract a few more horsepower from the 2.0-liter four-cylinder, too.
Source: HondaVideo via YouTube