The new 2018 Honda Civic Type R, which launches in Australia later this year, has become the fastest front-wheel drive car around the famed Nurburgring race track this week.
Lapping the famous circuit in 7 minutes, 43.8 seconds, the Civic Type R steals the title from the Volkswagen Golf GTI Clubsport S - known here as the GTI 40 Years Edition - which managed a time of 7 minutes 49.21 seconds in May last year.
The record-setting lap was completed by a development car with technical specifications representative of the final production car.
Helping the Civic Type R to achieve its time are aerodynamic and performance enhancements such as a wider track, wider tyres, a longer wheelbase, higher torsional stiffness, bodykit and large rear wing, and a new multi-link rear suspension set up.
Under the bonnet of the hot Honda is a 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine, developing 235kW of power and 400Nm of torque, sent to the front wheels exclusively via a six-speed manual transmission.
Revealed at the Geneva motor show earlier this year, the Civic Type R will take on a range of small performance hatchbacks and sedans, including the Ford Focus RS, Subaru WRX STI and Volkswagen Golf R - though all of those are all-wheel drive.
The hot hatch will be produced at Honda's Swindon plant in the UK, and is scheduled for a fourth quarter launch in Australia - though exact timing is still unknown.
Final pricing and specifications are also to be confirmed, though the company's local arm has hinted at a starting price of around $50,000, similar to the Ford Focus RS.
Stay tuned to CarAdvice for more Honda Civic Type R updates in the lead-up to its fourth quarter launch.
Click the Photos tab above for more shots of the Type R from the Nurburgring.