The Nürburgring has been sold to a new billionaire owner, with Russian Viktor Kharitonin purchasing a controlling stake in the world’s toughest race track – nicknamed ‘The Green Hell’.
Kharitonin is reportedly a big petrolhead, so the ’ring’s position as a manufacturer test track looks assured, meaning it might not be long before a new hypercar beats these fastest vehicles ever around the Nurburgring.
Radical SR8 LM – 6:48
When people say “it’s a racing car with number plates” generally that’s not strictly accurate. This is. These cars actually race in this spec, minus headlights and licence plates. Radical test driver Michael Vergers drove the SR8 LM around the ’ring on street legal tyres in a scarcely believable 6 minutes and 48 seconds. The quickest production car ever around the track. Full. Stop.
Porsche 918 Spyder – 6:57
Porsche works racing driver Marc Lieb was tasked with extracting the maximum from the firm’s 887hp hybrid 918 Spyder hypercar. He did so brilliantly, setting a lap time of 6 minutes and 57 seconds. With Ferrari and McLaren not publishing times for the LaFerrari and P1 respectively, the Porsche is officially the quickest one of ‘the big three’.
Nissan GT-R Nismo – 7:08.69
The .69 makes all the difference you know… Nissan has long been embroiled in a battle with Porsche for Nürburgring lap time supremacy since the GT-R emerged back in 2007. In the hands of Nissan GT-R racer Michael Krumm its hardcore Nismo variant scorched to a lap time of 7 minutes 8.69 seconds.
Gumpert Apollo Sport – 7:11.57
The brand might not have the most exotic name, but its Apollo Sport is certainly quick. With 700hp from its twin-turbo Audi V8 (there’s an 800hp version, too), the Apollo Sport embarrassed the non-hybrid Porsches, Ferraris, McLarens and Lamborghinis.
Dodge Viper ACR – 7:12.13
There ain’t no replacement for displacement, goes the old adage – a mantra the Dodge Viper ACR subscribes to with its 600hp 8.4-litre V10. Couple to that an 18kg weight saving – by deleting the air-con, radio, speakers, amplifier and even the boot carpet – extra downforce from those big wings and its rapid Nürburgring ring lap time is the result.
Lexus LFA Nürburgring Package – 7:14.64
The clue to this Lexus LFA’s stellar Nürburgring performance is in its name. The special mods gave the standard LFA 10hp more, so its 4.8-litre V10 now shrieked out 571hp. A faster recalibrated gearbox, aero improvements (thanks to a new front splitter, flicks on the front bumper and gigantic rear wing), and stiffer, more adjustable suspension helped to achieve the time. The orange paint is just cool.
Donkervoort D8 RS – 7:14.89
Think of the Donkervoort D8 RS as a futuristic Caterham with a ballistic Audi engine. Lots of power and very little weight mean it can lap the ’ring in a time just shy of a bonafide supercar like the LFA.
Chevrolet Corvette C6 ZR1 – 7:19.63
The Chevy Corvette ZR1 (that’s zee-ah-one) uses a monster 640hp supercharged 6.2-litre V8. Ripping around the ’ring in a time of 7 minutes and 19.63 seconds, we’d hate to think how much that would cost in fuel.
Chevrolet Corvette C6 Z06 – 7:22.68
Just like the ZR1, the Z06 (again, that’s zee-oh-six) here is the last generation C6 Corvette. Given that it’s only three seconds slower than the ZR1 with a 7.0-litre non-supercharged V8 making ‘only’ 505hp, we want to know what the extra power is doing in the other ‘vette? Shredding tyres, most probably.
Porsche 911 GT2 RS – 7:24
It’s a braver man than any of us that points the low-slung snout of a 911 GT2 RS out onto the Nuburgring for a maximum attack lap – this with 620hp, two turbos delivering a whopping 516lb ft of torque, semi-slcik tyres and no traction control…
Maserati MC12 – 7:24.3
You could arguably call the Maserati MC12 a previous generation hypercar now. A single-clutch gearbox and no electric motor assistance means it’s no longer at the bleeding edge – but a carbonfibre chassis and a 600hp-plus V12 means it can still lap the Nürburgring rather briskly.
Pagani Zonda F Clubsport – 7:24.44
The same goes for any variant of the Pagani Zonda. The F Clubsport comes in just .14 seconds shy of the Maser’s time. Engineering may have moved on, but those looks are still so visually arresting.
Ferrari Enzo – 7:25.7
Ferrari being beaten by its Italian cousin Maserati – heads will roll. The Enzo uses the same engine and chassis as the MC12, and despite being a touch more powerful, is actually slower than the Maserati around the Nurburgring. Maybe the Maserati’s curvier shape helps on the long straights.
Porsche Carrera GT – 7:28
Ex-World Rally champion and Porsche test driver Walter Rohrl (that’s him in the car) took his brain out and strapped himself in to see just how quickly the Carrera GT could go around the Nordschleife – if he can’t go any quicker, nobody can.
Ferrari 458 Italia – 7:32.92
Not only is Ferrari’s 458 Italia stunning to look at, but beating cars with much more performance than it – we’re talking Koenigsegg CCX and McLaren-Mercedes SLR – it’s stunningly quick around the ’ring, too.