It’s a battle between Japanese sports cars as the Honda Civic Type-R takes on the Lexus LC500.
For decades, the Honda Civic has been the epitome of Japanese efficiency, with the Civic Type-R being what happens when Honda finally lets their hair down. It’s always been good, but the current version kicks the concept of a hot family hatchback into overdrive with a 2.0-L turbocharged engine that produces an astounding 316 hp (306 in North America) and 295 lb-ft of torque.
Unlike most sports cars these days, power remains at the front wheels thanks to a 6-speed manual transmission. Zero to sixty is done in just 4.9 seconds with a top speed officially stated at 169 mph, but has been seen to go as high as 176 mph in real-world testing.
On the other side of the line is the Lexus LC500. The only performance Toyota before the 2020 Supra arrived, the LC500 has a 5.0-L naturally aspirated V8 engine with 471 hp and 398 lb-ft of torque. Zero to sixty is done in 4.7 seconds with a top speed electronically limited to 168 mph.
With so much more horsepower, you might be wondering why the LC500 seems to only be just as fast as the Civic. That’s all due to weight: the LC500 clocks in at an astounding 4,471 lbs, while the Type-R weighs just over 3,100 lbs thanks to a much lighter engine and chassis materials.
In this latest video from Top Gear, we get to see first hand just how the Civic Type-R compares to its Toyota competition.
The Lexus gets a faster start off the line, but then the race becomes a duel where the Civic excels in the corners thanks to it’s lighter weight and better brakes, whereas the Lexus’s superior power lets it pull ahead on the straights.
After several swaps in position between Chris Harris and The Stig’s ninja cousin, the Civic Type-R pulls ahead to take the checkered flag by a car length.
It might look a little too flashy for some people's taste, but our money is always going to be on the Civic Type-R.