The future of VTEC in an electrified world lies in this carbon neutral Honda Civic Type R race car
CY Foong · Apr 18, 2023 09:55 AM
The Super Taikyu Series is an endurance racing series in Japan that sees mostly pro-am racers compete in mildly souped-up versions of Japanese production cars. Unlike the more famous Super GT series, Super Taikyu is a lot more affordable to enter and as such, some teams take part in these races to showcase the future of motorsport.
Honda Racing Co. Ltd (HRC), the racing arm of Honda announced that it will be competing in Round 2 of the 2023 Super Taikyu Series - the Fuji Super Tec 24 Hours endurance race in a Honda Civic Type R FL5. However, this is no ordinary FL5 as the race car is dubbed the Civic Type R CNF-R and it uses carbon-neutral fuel.
Carbon neutral fuel is also known by other names like synthetic fuel or e-fuel. Basically, it is a man-made fuel that is produced by combining hydrogen extracted from water/bio-waste with captured CO2 to create high-energy content liquid fuel.
The #271 Civic Type R CNF-R has just undergone testing at the Motegi Circuit. Come 27-May when the first round is held at Fuji Speedway, it will enter the ST-Q Class which was introduced in 2021 for manufacturer-developed, non-homologated special racing vehicles. This was also the class in which Toyota’s ex-CEO Akio Toyoda competed in 2022 with the hydrogen-powered GR Corolla.
The participation of the carbon-neutral fuel-powered FL5 is in line with Honda CEO, Toshihiro Mibe’s remarks on the future of internal combustion engines (ICEs) for the company as it ramps up on electrification.
According to HRC, the main purpose of this race car is to contribute to the realisation of carbon neutrality as well as to conduct research and development of race-based vehicles and parts for other motorsport activities.