The Honda Civic Type R and Renault Megane RS have been at each other's throats for years, battling over the fastest lap records at various tracks around the world. Japan's new FL5 generation of the hot hatch was recently crowned the front-wheel-drive Lord of the Nürburgring. Its title isn't in any danger since its French adversary is being discontinued, without any direct replacement planned.
A new video recorded some 100+ miles from the Green Hell focuses on another legendary venue – Hockenheim. Sport Auto pushed the CTR to the maximum around the Grand Prix layout of the circuit, with Uwe Sener behind the wheel. The final pure ICE model from Honda sold in Europe crossed the finish line in 2 minutes and 1.4 seconds, thus making it nearly a second faster than the 2023 Mercedes-AMG C43 tested by the same German magazine at the beginning of the month.
2023 Honda Civic Type R Review
How did the Civic Type R fair against the Megane RS? The latter completed a lap in 1 minute and 59.2 seconds in a previous test, which featured the hardcore Trophy-R version. Knowing Honda, it's probably going to take the CTR to many major tracks around the globe to set new records in the same vein as its FK8 predecessor. With a factory driver behind the wheel, the lap time at Hockenheim-GP could be improved.
With increasingly stricter emissions, the age of ICE hot hatches that avoid electrification is nearly over. It's hard to imagine any other front-wheel-drive car going faster around a track than these two unless Volkswagen will want to send off the gasoline-only Golf GTI with a stripped-down Clubsport or something to that effect.
While one era is about to end, another one is seeing the light of day considering electric hot hatches are already here. The Abarth 500e will be followed next year by an Alpine version of the new Renault 5.