UPDATE: Honda replied with the following statements:
"There is a few items that will not be available on S grade to reduce weight. For example - air conditioning, electric mirrors for folding, parking sensors and navigation.
"The S grade will be available to order in Europe through dealers, but lead time may vary depending on the market.
"The S grade is a Europe-only product. Regarding it coming to the U.S. we can’t speculate on future product."
The 2023 Honda Civic Type R just set a lap record for front-wheel-drive vehicles around the Nurburgring Nordschleife by achieving a time of 7 minutes and 44.881 seconds. A footnote at the bottom of the automaker's announcement for the European market reveals that this isn't any CTR. It's actually a Type S grade that weighs less than the standard one. However, this variant might be exclusive to Europe. Specifically, the note says:
The lap time was set using a Type R that is a lighter version of the latest model. This model will be available to order in European LHD markets only, and will be referred to as a Type R S grade.
Gallery: 2023 Honda Civic Type R Laps The Nurburgring In 7:44.881
Motor1.com reached out to Honda for more details, like the S Grade's weight and confirmation that it's not coming to North America. We will update this story when we hear back from the automaker.
A story from CarScoops citing a Honda Europe contact claims the S Grade removes lots of equipment from the Type R. Allegedly, the side mirrors are now manually adjustable, and there's no air conditioning. Smaller tweaks reportedly include losing the infotainment system's navigation function, the rear tonneau cover, cargo net hooks, the auto-dimming ability from the rearview mirror, and illumination for the sun visors. The parking sensors are gone, too.
There's no info yet about how much less the S Grade weighs versus the regular Type R. It's also not clear when the package becomes available or what Honda plans to charge for stripping out this equipment.
A separate note on the press release says:
The lap time was set using Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 Connect tyres that will be available to order through Michelin directly.
This sentence suggests that if a European Civic Type R buyer wants to have the same tires as on the Nürburgring record-setter, then Honda doesn't plan on offering them directly. In North America, the automaker intends to offer the Pilot Sport Cup 2 Connect tires through its dealers.
The latest Civic Type R uses the K20C1 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder that makes 315 horsepower and 310 pound-feet of torque. The only gearbox choice is a six-speed manual with a rev-matching function.
The 2023 Honda Civic Type R starts at $44,390 after the $1,095 destination fee. For $5,350, buyers can add a carbon-fiber rear wing and 19-inch forged allow wheels.
Watch the Civic Type R lap the 'Ring: