The Honda Civic Type R has broken yet another track record for front-wheel drive production cars, this time at the Mount Panorama, Bathurst circuit, in Australia. In the hands of the 2009 Formula 1 world champion and Honda ambassador, Jenson Button, the hot hatch posted a lap of 2:35.207.
Button put the vehicle through its paces on Easter Monday, on the 6.2 km (3.9 miles) long track, attacking its 23 corners and coping with the 174-meter (571 feet) vertical difference between the lowest and highest points. The time was achieved in one of his 14 laps that spread over a one-hour session in the morning and another short ten-minute session in the afternoon.
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“Anything you drive around Mount Panorama is pretty amazing. Up across the top of the mountain, the Type R is so fast through there, so once I got into a rhythm and got used to the speed you carry, it was really good fun”, said Button. “I definitely put the car through its paces and it was quick time, 2 minutes and 35 seconds is a really good time in a front-wheel drive car, and it was hot as well, so I think if it was cooler, you could go a bit quicker, but I do feel like a got everything out of the car.”
The British driver also holds the unofficial lap record at Mount Panorama in an F1 car. Button ran the course in 1:48.8 back in 2011, as part of a special event to promote the Australian Grand Prix. He’s also esponsible for breaking the lap record for FWD production cars at the Hungaroring last year, once again in the Civic Type R.
So far, Honda’s hot hatch is the quickest front-wheel drive production vehicle at various circuits such as the Nurburgring, Spa-Francorchamps, Silverstone, Estoril and Magny-Cours, although this is the first record set outside Europe.
In Australia, it is available in a single grade, with a starting price of AUD $51,990 (USD $36,450). It gets a standard electronically controlled suspension with three driving modes, Brembo brakes, 20-inch wheels with Continental SportContact 6 tires, a suite of safety features and others.