Video: 2023 Honda Civic Type R confirmed for late 2022 reveal, breaks Suzuka front-drive lap record

We’re still a number of months away from seeing the new Civic Type R without disguise – though it’s already set a new lap record for front-wheel-drive cars around the Japanese Formula One circuit, Suzuka.

The 2023 Honda Civic Type R has set a new lap record for front-wheel-drive cars around Japan’s Suzuka Circuit, ahead of its global reveal confirmed for late this year.

With a time of two minutes and 23.120 seconds, Honda says a prototype of the new Civic Type R lapped the 5.807-kilometre track about eight tenths faster than the previous record holder… an outgoing Civic Type R, in stripped-out, track-focused Limited Edition trim.

Before the outgoing Type R, the front-wheel-drive record was held by the 2019 Renault Megane RS Trophy-R, with a time of two minutes and 25.454 seconds. To provide some context on the other end of the automotive spectrum, a modern Formula One car laps the track in under 1min 30sec.

Suzuka has been used by Honda to test new vehicles since 1962 (including with some iconic drivers behind the wheel) and has been the home of the Formula One Japanese Grand Prix since 1967.

The Japanese track represents the latest stage in the development of the new Honda Civic Type R – following testing on Germany’s Nurburgring race track – which will be revealed in full “in late 2022”, Honda has confirmed.

That makes an Australian launch before the end of this year unlikely, with a launch in 2023 more probable. Honda Australia is yet to lock in exact timing, however.

As reported, the new Honda Civic Type R is expected to be powered by a development of the outgoing model’s 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine, which currently develops 228kW and 400Nm in Australia, or 235kW overseas (where fuel is of higher quality).

It’s expected to send drive to the front wheels (per Type R tradition) through a six-speed manual transmission, as before – though unsubstantiated rumours suggest it may gain the option of an automatic gearbox.

Teaser images reveal the new Type R’s styling will be more restrained than that of its predecessor – with smaller 19-inch wheels, down from 20s – while inside the current Type R’s red suede seats, Alcantara steering wheel and metallic shifter will mix with the new Civic family’s dual screens.

The 2023 Honda Civic Type R will be revealed in late 2022 – stay tuned to Drive for all the latest updates.

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