Honda has smashed the front-wheel-drive lap record at the Nurburgring Nordschleife, setting a scarcely believable time of 7 minutes 50.63 seconds with the new Honda Civic Type R.

The latest, fastest-ever version of Honda’s legendary hot hatch has been revealed in finalised production form at the Geneva Motor Show.

Power comes from a 2.0-litre, four-cylinder turbo VTEC engine producing 306bhp and 295lb/ft of torque, more than any other front-drive hot hatch. That results in a 0-62mph time of just 5.7 seconds and a top speed of 167mph.

Despite the turbo, the engine redlines at a sky-high 7,000rpm. A six-speed manual gearbox sends the power to the front wheels via a limited-slip differential.

The Type R rolls on 19-inch wheels wrapped in 235/35R19 tyres. At the front, 350mm brake discs gripped by four-piston calipers haul the car to a stop.

You can see from the images that a lot of work has gone into the aero. The front splitter and sideskirts manage airflow and reduce lift; the front bumper reduces turbulence around the front wheels; there’s a flat underside directing airflow to a huge diffuser and let’s not forget the mahoosive¬†rear wing.

The suspension is suitably sophisticated, with adapative damping, torque steer reducing Dual Axis Strut suspension at the front and a new type of ultra-stiff torsion beam at the rear. Honda says the electric power steering delivers “rapid yet linear steering response and abundant feel.”

If you’re thinking about buying a Type R, you’re probably the sort of person who goes on track days. In which case, you’ll be making use of the ‘+R’ mode, which increases the engine’s response, reduces the steering’s power assistance and firms up the dampers. The result is “an even more intense driving experience, sure to be appreciated by the genuine sports-driving enthusiast.” Indeed.

Most buyers will no doubt tick the GT Pack option box. It adds dual-zone climate control, Garmin satnav, rear parking sensors, 320w stereo and safety systems including lane departure and blind spot warning.

The Honda Civic Type R is expected to cost around £30,000 when it goes on sale later this year.

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