Rally / 11 March 2008


JAS Motorsport, Honda's long-term motorsport partner, is launching a new endurance racer based on the exciting Civic Type R, which will be eligible for tin-top endurance racing.

The all-new design draws heavily upon the lessons learned from the company's Civic Type R R3 rally car, which has performed some giant-killing acts on the world's rally stages.

The "muscular" new endurance racing car has been built to the Nurburgring 24 Hours regulations, and it is specifically designed to be competitive in long-distance events as well as shorter races. Endurance racing is growing in popularity all over the world, as an affordable form of motorsport that allows drivers plenty of seat time in their cars. Built with both performance and reliability in mind, the new Honda Civic Type R Endurance fits the bill perfectly.

The Civic produces 260 horsepower from its 2.0 litre normally-aspirated Mugen developed K20A engine and weighs just 1000 kilograms, giving it an excellent power to weight ratio. A six-speed sequential gearbox ensures speed and strength, while the car runs 9x17 inch wheels (the same size as Super 2000 machinery) on wide-track to guarantee stability.

A massive redesign of the bodywork has been carried out to further enhance the original sporty look of the road car in combination with the need to improve the aerodynamic properties of the race car. "The Nordschleife, while being one of the most challenging circuits all over the world" says Stefano Fini, Chief Designer at JAS Motorsport "requires specific attention to the aero characteristics of the race car. High down-force properties are necessary along the 24 km twisty race track, while low-drag performance is a key issue on the 2 km of the Dottinger Hohe straight."

The bonnet and tailgate are made out of carbon composite material to keep the weight down, and the car also benefits from the purpose-built Mugen engine, based on the successful version used on the R3 rally car but further developed for this specific application. Much of the transmission and chassis is also a tried-and-tested package carried over from its rallying counterpart.

Like the rally car, the Honda Civic Type R Endurance has been exclusively developed by JAS Motorsport. The cars are currently being produced and will be available by April at a cost-effective price of between 130,000 and 145,000 Euros.

The first outing is scheduled to be at the legendary Nurburgring 24 Hours in June, run by the private outfit Team Honda Challenge. If required, the new Civic is also available in narrow-track basic Group R configuration, without the wide bodywork.

Alessandro Mariani, team principal of JAS Motorsport, commented: "We are very excited about this dynamic project, which uses a number of the lessons we have learned from our experience of the Civic Type R R3 rally car along with the rest of our racing heritage. Group R has already proved itself to be an affordable but competitive way to go motor racing. Together with Mugen we are proud to offer a new exciting package to the Honda Racing Customers to live their passion !