The fastest cars around the Nurburgring in 2019

Nurburgring fastest cars 2019

Germany’s notorious Nurburgring circuit is the most popular arena for performance cars to prove their credentials. From supercars to four-door saloons, hot hatchbacks and even SUVs, there aren’t many ‘hot’ cars that escape a lap of the Green Hell.

Here are the latest 2019 ’Ring kings… followed by a full list of the 30 fastest road cars around the Nurburgring.

Lynk & Co. 03 Cyan concept – 7:15

Nurburgring fastest cars 2019

This record-holder has taken two titles at once, while also being the first Chinese car to set a lap record. The Lynk & Co. 03 Cyan concept is officially the fastest front-wheel-drive car around the Nordschleife.

Strictly speaking, it is a concept, but with a highly respectable time of 7:15.1, it simply can’t be ignored. It’s a full 25 seconds faster than the new Renault Megane Trophy-R, and that’s hardly a slouch. Then again, it does pack a 528hp punch.

Lynk & Co. 03 Cyan concept – 7:15

Nurburgring fastest cars 2019

That time of 07:15.1 puts the Lynk & Co. within spitting distance of many modern supercars. It’s the product of the race team formerly known as Polestar, which runs a World Touring Car campaign.

Renault Sport Megane Trophy-R – 7:40

Nurburgring fastest cars 2019

The front-drive class at the Ring hasn’t let up in these past few years, despite what that Cyan record might lead you to believe. The new Megane Trophy-R has carbon fibre wheels and ceramic brakes – upgrades often the preserve of track-focused supercars.

It’s not cheap, though, at £72,140 for a ’Ring-spec car. This is the fastest front-driver you can actually buy.

Porsche Taycan – 7:42

Nurburgring fastest cars 2019

This is an important record for Porsche. What better way to prove the performance of your new EV than sending it around the Green Hell? A time of 7:42 makes the Taycan the fastest electric four-door at the Nurburgring. We await the finished production car with bated breath.

But what are the times they have to beat? Here are the ultimate Nurburgring lap record holders to date.

Fastest cars around the Nurburgring

  1. Porsche 911 991 GT2 RS MR – 6:40
  2. McLaren P1 LM – 6:43
  3. Lamborghini Aventador SVJ – 6:44
  4. Nio EP9 – 6:45
  5. Porsche 911 GT2 RS – 6:47
  6. Radical SR8 LM – 6:48
  7. Lamborghini Huracan Performante – 6:52
  8. Porsche 911 GT3 RS – 6:56
  9. Porsche 918 Spyder – 6:57
  10. Lamborghini Aventador SVJ – 6:59

Now, let’s celebrate the top 30 fastest road cars round the Nurburgring, from the Ferrari Enzo to the Porsche 911 GT2 MR…

30. Ferrari Enzo – 7:25.7

Nurburgring fastest cars 2019

In the name of the father: the Enzo took to the Nurburgring to fight the corner of the Scuderia alongside the Pagani Zonda, Maserati MC12 and Porsche Carrera GT. It didn’t fare too well alongside its fellow Italians, but gave the interloping German hypercar a bloody nose.

29. Mercedes SLS AMG Black Series – 7:25.6

Nurburgring fastest cars 2019

If big wings, canards and blistered wheelarches aren’t a recipe for Nurburgring success, we don’t know what is. Along with a serious chassis set-up and sticky tyres, they helped AMG blast its hopped-up SLS to an Enzo-beating time in 2013.

28. Mercedes AMG GT 4-Door – 7:25.4

Nurburgring fastest cars 2019

Illustrating how far cars have come, this series production luxury saloon, which weighs more than two tonnes, can challenge yesterday’s hypercars – and even beat some of them. It’s also faster than AMG’s best from five years ago. Still, four-wheel drive, rear-wheel steering and well over 600hp must help towards that.

27. Pagani Zonda F Clubsport – 7:24.4

Nurburgring fastest cars 2019

Ah, the Zonda. Before getting 700hp and some questionable modifications, it was at the forefront of the Nurburgring wars of the mid-2000s. Engineering may have moved on, but that design is timeless.

26. Maserati MC12 – 7:24.3

Nurburgring fastest cars 2019

The MC12 is a bit of a museum piece these days, but it’s still ruinously fast. A single-clutch gearbox and no electric motor assistance mean it’s no longer at the cutting edge. Nonetheless, a carbon fibre chassis and a 600hp-plus V12 mean it laps the Nürburgring rather briskly.

25. Chevrolet Corvette C6 Z06 – 7:22

Nurburgring fastest cars 2019

Like the forthcoming ZR1, the Z06 here is the last-generation C6 Corvette. Given that it’s only three seconds slower than the former car, 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, probably.

24. Jaguar XE SV Project 8 – 7:21

Nurburgring fastest cars 2019

Jaguar’s no-expense-spared skunkworks special has performance to back up its aesthetic bravado. Not only is it the second fastest four-door saloon around the Nurburgring, and the fastest production saloon, it’s also in the top 30 fastest cars ever at the Nordschleife.

23. Chevrolet Corvette C6 ZR1 – 7:19

Nurburgring fastest cars 2019

Here’s that aforementioned tyre-shredder. The Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 uses a monster 640hp supercharged 6.2-litre V8. Ripping around the ’Ring in a time of seven minutes 19.63 seconds, we’d hate to think how much that would cost in fuel.

22. Porsche 911 GT2 RS (997) – 7:18

Nurburgring fastest cars 2019

It’s a braver man than any of us who points the low-slung snout of a 911 GT2 RS out onto the Nürburgring for a maximum attack lap. This 997 version packs two turbos delivering a whopping 620hp and 516lb ft of torque, plus semi-slick tyres and no traction control.

21. Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE – 7:16

Nurburgring fastest cars 2019

Nurburgring times have come a long way in the past few years. Witness the fact that a Camaro has lapped the Nordschleife quicker than a top-level 911 from eight years ago. The Camaro ZL1 1LE is a 650hp be-winged track weapon – and an incredible culture clash.

20. Lynk & Co. 03 Cyan concept – 07:15

Nurburgring fastest cars 2019

Yes, the Cyan is officially well within the top 30 fastest cars around the Nurburgring. And it’s front-wheel drive.

19. Donkervoort D8 RS – 7:14.8

Nurburgring fastest cars 2019

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 bona fide supercar like the Lexus LFA.

18. Lexus LFA Nurburgring Package – 7:14.6

Nurburgring fastest cars 2019

The clue to this Lexus LFA’s stellar Nurburgring performance lies in its name. Special mods gave the standard LFA 10hp more, so its 4.8-litre V10 now shrieked out 571hp. A 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 achieve the time. The orange paint is just cool.

17. Chevrolet Corvette Z06 (C7) – 7:13

Nurburgring fastest cars 2019

Another hero of the mid- to late-2000s American attack on the ’Ring. The old Z06, Viper ACR and subsequent Corvettes proved their performance. Expectations were high, therefore, for the new Z06. This blue-collar supercharged hero bested the all-carbon V10-powered LFA Nurburgring of a few years earlier.

16. Porsche 911 991.2 GT3 – 7:12

Nurburgring fastest cars 2019

The 991 911 is perhaps the best Nurburgring bang for your buck. This, the updated GT3, put in a majorly impressive effort. Still nearly 20 seconds slower than the RS, mind…

15. Gumpert Apollo Sport – 7:11

Nurburgring fastest cars 2019

Gumpert might not have the most exotic name, but the Apollo Sport is certainly quick. With 700hp from its twin-turbo Audi V8 (there’s an 800hp version, too), the Apollo Sport embarrassed non-hybrid Porsches, Ferraris, McLarens and Lamborghinis. We wonder how quick the new Apollo IE would be.

14. Mercedes-AMG GT R – 7:10

Nurburgring fastest cars 2019

This was a private effort, but it’d be wrong to not include a car with a paint colour called ‘Green Hell’ on the options list. Germany’s Sport Auto magazine conducted the lap on Michelin Pilot Sport Cup tyres, to an impressive but not record-breaking seven minute 10 second time.

13. Nissan GT-R Nismo – 7:08

Nurburgring fastest cars 2019

Nissan has been embroiled in a battle with Porsche for Nurburgring supremacy since the GT-R first emerged back in 2007. In the hands of driver Michael Krumm, its hardcore Nismo variant scorched to a lap time of seven minutes 8.69 seconds. We reckon the latest version, which has turbos from the racer and new wheelarch vents, could go even quicker.

12. Mercedes-AMG GT R Pro – 7:04

Nurburgring fastest cars 2019

Merc’s ‘Beast of the Green Hell’ got a selection of aero and chassis upgrades with this Pro package. That saved it a decent chunk of time, and got it ahead of the other GT-R from Japan.

11. Dodge Viper ACR (2017) – 7:01

Nurburgring fastest cars 2019

The 2008 Viper ACR was one of the original ’Ring heroes. This brutal lump of American iron cemented itself as a serious contender by dominating the Green Hell. No pressure on the 2017 car, then, which was rumoured to be a contender for the record. Sadly, it never happened, with the Viper ACR failing to break seven minutes. All that said, it remains the fastest car around the circuit with a manual gearbox.

10. Lamborghini Aventador SV – 6:59

Nurburgring fastest cars 2019

Before the SVJ came the SV, with revised damping, lower weight and some serious aero. All that, some extra power and stickier tyres helped the SV become the second car (after the Porsche 918 Spyder), to break the seven-minute barrier. Impressive at the time, but plenty have topped it now.

9. Porsche 918 Spyder – 6:57

Nurburgring fastest cars 2019

Porsche works racing driver Marc Lieb was tasked with extracting the maximum from the firm’s 887hp hybrid hypercar. He did so brilliantly, setting a lap time of six minutes and 57 seconds. With Ferrari and McLaren not publishing times for the LaFerrari and P1, the Porsche is officially the quickest of the ‘big three’.

8. Porsche 911 GT3 RS (991.2) – 6:56

Nurburgring fastest cars 2019

Not five years after Porsche’s hypercar owned the Nurburgring, its flagship 911 goes and beats it. Who needs nearly 1,000hp, all-wheel drive and instant electric power? Equipped with the lightweight Weissach package, Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 R tyres and a 500hp free-breathing flat-six, the new RS did the business a second quicker.

7. Lamborghini Huracan Performante – 6:52

Nurburgring fastest cars 2019

A year before the GT2 fought back, the Huracan Performante put its active aerodynamics to the test for a scarcely believable 6:52 lap. In 2016, the thought of this relatively conventional supercar beating out the ultra-sophisticated Porsche 918 Spyder for ’Ring supremacy didn’t fly so well. We think weight is the key factor.

6. Radical SR8 LM – 6:48

Nurburgring fastest cars 2019

When people say “it’s a racing car with number plates”, generally that’s not strictly accurate. This actually is. Radicals genuinely race in this spec, minus headlights and those all-important number plates. Michael Vergers drove the SR8 LM around the Nurburgring on street-legal tyres for a time of six minutes and 48 seconds. That’s pretty epic, particularly as it was achieved way back in 2009

5. Porsche 911 GT2 RS (991) – 6:47

Nurburgring fastest cars 2019

The current GT2 RS is a fitting run-out model for the 991. Its incredible performance at the Nürburgring cements it as one of Porsche’s greats. Given the GT2 name’s reputation for spikiness in the past, it’s quite an achievement to create such a well-rounded 700hp-plus 911.

4. NIO EP9 – 6:45

Nurburgring fastest cars 2019

Every so often there’s a paradigm shift in car performance and, even more rarely, the industry as a whole. Electric cars are proliferating exponentially and the king of them made a big splash at the ’Ring. The NIO EP9 is an upstart electric hypercar that obliterated the Nordschleife with a 6:45 lap time. That’s just five seconds off the new MR GT2 RS record. Expect more electric hypercars to silently dominate the circuit in the coming years.

3. Lamborghini Aventador SVJ – 6:44

Nurburgring fastest cars 2019

The biggest and baddest of the current raging bulls didn’t have a lot of time atop the Nurburgring throne. Nevertheless, as a proof of how far the Aventador SVJ has come, its 6:44 time is undeniably incredible. Compare that to the original LP700’s time of 7:25 set by Sport Auto. Yes, that’s 40 seconds slower.

2. McLaren P1 LM – 6:43

Nurburgring fastest cars 2019

Lanzante’s ultimate road-legal P1 GTR is a homage to the five-off special McLaren F1 LM of the mid-1990s, intended to celebrate the five finishers at the 1995 Le Mans 24-hour race. The P1 LM features power and aero upgrades, but removes racing features like the air jack. It’s fully road-legal and all five were sold, so we think its 6:43 ’Ring time stands. Incredible stuff from an incredible car, but not quite up to a suitably tweaked GT2 RS…

1. Porsche 991 GT2 RS MR – 6:40

Nurburgring fastest cars 2019

Perhaps a tuned version of a car doesn’t count. Technically speaking, though, the Manthey Racing-fettled GT2 RS is road-legal. Not to mention that Porsche has a 51 percent stake in the Nürburgring-based company.

Jaguar XE SV Project 8 at the Nurburgring

Jaguar breaks own Nürburgring record with XE SV Project 8

Jaguar sets another new Nurburgring recordJaguar has cemented the position of the XE SV Project 8 as the fastest production saloon car to lap the German Nürburgring Nordschleife circuit.

The 600 horsepower four-door managed to improve on the existing record, previously set by Jaguar in 2017, by some 2.9 seconds. 

With a time of seven minutes 18.361 seconds to complete the 20.6 km (12.8 mile) circuit, the supercharged V8 XE SV is now rubbing shoulders with serious hardcore machinery.

Maximum track attack

Jaguar sets another new Nurburgring recordHelping the XE SV go even quicker than before was the use of a car fitted with the special ‘Track Pack’ two-seater configuration. Choosing this removes 12.2 kg (27 pounds) from the weight of the Project 8, and installs a purposeful pair of bucket seats up front. 

Jaguar also set the height-adjustable coilover suspension to ‘track’ mode, and – sensibly – ensured the front splitter and giant rear wing were set for maximum downforce. 

Topping off the adjustments was the fitment of ultra-high performance Michelin rubber. The brand-new Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 Rs are street legal, but feature competition-grade construction and compounds. 

Back once again for the ‘Ring master

Jaguar sets another new Nurburgring recordIn charge of tackling the demanding 154 corners of the Nürburgring Nordschleife was Jaguar development driver, and former BTCC racer, Vincent Radermecker. 

Responsible for setting the XE SV’s original record-breaking ‘Ring time in 2017, Radermecker has also recorded a lap record at the French Circuit Clermont-Ferrand with Jaguar. 

The Belgian driver has been instrumental in helping develop the performance of the Project 8, meaning he should certainly have been comfortable with the saloon’s potential 200 mph top speed.

Racing against the clock

Jaguar sets another new Nurburgring recordImproving on the Nürburgring Nordschleife time is just the latest in a series of on-track achievements for the XE SV Project 8. Lap records have also been broken at Laguna Seca in California, along with at the Dubai Autodrome.

Production of the limited-edition Project 8 is planned to finish later this year, with Jaguar recently launching a slightly subtler Touring version. 

Jamal Hameedi, Engineering Director, Jaguar Special Vehicle Operations, was clearly happy with the improved record set by the powerful production saloon. 

Speaking about the new lap time, Hameedi commented: “The original Nürburgring time set by Jaguar XE SV Project 8 demonstrated the extreme performance envelope of the world’s fastest production sedan, but the SV team is driven by a motorsport mentality and we knew Project 8 could go even faster.

“This new official record time is a fitting reward for everyone who has played a part in pushing the boundaries for our customers with Project 8.”

Sabine Schmitz Skoda Kodiaq vRS

Top Gear’s Sabine drives the Nürburgring… in a Skoda SUV

Sabine Schmitz Skoda Kodiaq vRSNobody knows the Nürburgring quite like Sabine Schmitz, but a Skoda SUV is an unlikely choice of wheels for a record-breaking lap of the ‘Green Hell’.

The flagship Skoda Kodiaq vRS will make its public debut at the 2018 Paris Motor Show, but no new performance car is complete without a lap of the Nürburgring to its name. We’ll have to wait a couple of days before the full video is revealed, but – spoiler alert – Skoda claims that it’s a “sensational record-breaking lap”.

We suspect Skoda is chasing the lap record for a seven-seat SUV, rather than the 7 minute 51.7 second set by the Alfa Romeo Stelvio last year. Alfa’s reign at the top of the fastest SUV lap board might be short-lived, as Lamborghini is likely to send the Urus on a tour of the 12.9-mile circuit this summer.

Alternatively, maybe the Czech company is gunning for the fastest lap… by a Skoda.

Lap time to be revealed on 14 June

This teaser video reveals the preparations that went into the camouflaged Kodiaq vRS’ record attempt at the Nordschleife, with the full video revealed on 14 June.

The Skoda Kodiaq vRS is expected to be a powered by a 2.0-litre twin-turbocharged diesel engine developing around 240hp and 369lb ft of torque. To cope with all that power, the vRS is likely to be offered in four-wheel drive form, with five- and seven-seat versions available.

Speaking of seats, we rather like the look of the high-backed bucket-style chairs Sabine’s showing off in Skoda’s teaser image. 

The performance Kodiaq will be sold alongside the Octavia vRS, with the UK expected to be a lucrative market for the hot SUV. Around 1 in 5 of all Octavias sold in the UK leave the factory with a vRS badge, with diesel versions accounting for the majority of sales.

Prices are likely to be revealed in Paris, but with a seven-seat Kodiaq Sportline costing upwards of £33,135. we wouldn’t expect much change from £35,000. More news, including the full lap of the Nürburgring, when we get it.

Racing in the blood: the story of the Ford GT40

Racing in the blood: the story of the Ford GT40

Racing in the blood: the story of the Ford GT40The Ford GT40 is perhaps the best-known American supercar – awesome on the road and unstoppable on the racetrack. It’s also the inspiration for the present-day Ford GT. Here’s where it all began…

Henry Ford II

Racing in the blood: the story of the Ford GT40

The genesis of the original GT40 came from a dispute between Henry Ford II and Enzo Ferrari. Ford had wanted to buy the Italian manufacturer in 1963, yet found Ferrari unwilling to step away from the Indianapolis 500, which would have placed the two marques in direct competition. The deal failed, and Henry Ford II directed his company to find a way to enact revenge on-track at Le Mans.

1964 Ford GT prototype

Racing in the blood: the story of the Ford GT40

Ford initially courted Lola Cars, Lotus and Cooper for a partner to build its new Le Mans racer. Lola was eventually chosen, in part due to the fact the Lola Mk6 race car already made use of a Ford V8 engine. Lola donated two Mk6 chassis from its factory in Slough, while Ford set about creating a team to develop and build its new race machine.

1964 Ford GT prototype engine

Racing in the blood: the story of the Ford GT40

The newly created Ford Advanced Vehicles team set about development of the GT40. Early prototypes made use of a mid-mounted 255 cubic inch (4.2-litre) Ford V8, while later cars would use a 289 cubic inch (4.7-litre) unit. Famously, the GT40 name came from the overall height of the car: just 40 inches.

1964 Ford GT40 Mk1 – Nürburgring 1,000km

Racing in the blood: the story of the Ford GT40

Making their debut at the gruelling Nürburgring 1,000km in 1964, the driver pairing of Phil Hill and Bruce McLaren qualified second on the grid. However, a suspension failure meant the GT40 failed to finish the race. The 1964 Le Mans event would also prove disastrous, as all three cars entered failed to finish. And to rub salt in the wound, Ferrari won both races…

1965 Ford GT40 Mk1 – Daytona 2,000km

Racing in the blood: the story of the Ford GT40

For 1965, Ford switched management of the GT40 to Carroll Shelby, following his successes with the Ford-powered Shelby Daytona Coupe. Victory came immediately, with a win for Ken Miles and Lloyd Ruby at the Daytona 2,000km race, with Bob Bondurant and Richie Ginther taking third in a sister GT40. Yet the remainder of 1965 would prove fruitless, with no more wins for Ford.

1966 Ford GT40 Mk1 road car

Racing in the blood: the story of the Ford GT40

Road versions of the GT40 soon rolled out of the factory, with the first example delivered to the US in early 1966. Although the Mk1 road cars had softer suspension, quieter exhausts and options such as air-conditioning and leather seats, they still featured a 335hp V8 engine. The car above was owned by the same family for nearly 40 years. Values today can top £4million.

1966 Ford GT40 Mk2Racing in the blood: the story of the Ford GT40

The Mk2 may have looked similar to its predecessor, but there were numerous changes beneath the bodywork. In came a 427 cubic inch (7.0-litre) Ford FE engine, with an exhaust system nicknamed ‘a bundle of snakes’ for its elaborate design. A strengthened gearbox was also used, featuring just four speeds instead of the five found in the Mk1. Finishing 1-2-3-5 in the ’66 Daytona 24 Hours proved the changes were a good move, and set Ford on the path to glory.

1966 Ford GT40 Mk2 ‘X-1’ roadster

Racing in the blood: the story of the Ford GT40

Initially created for Bruce McLaren Racing in 1965 with a low-drag windscreen, on return to Ford the one-off roadster was updated to Mk2 specification for Shelby American. Its only race event came at the 1966 12 Hours of Sebring where, after experimenting with automatic gearboxes during practice, a manual transmission was fitted for the race. When the engine of the lead GT40 Mk2 seized, the X-1 Roadster of Miles and Ruby slipped through to victory.

1966 24 Hours of Le Mans

Racing in the blood: the story of the Ford GT40

After years of frustration, 1966 would finally deliver the success Henry Ford II had been seeking. While Ferrari floundered as reliability issues struck the 330 P3, Ford took a dominant 1-2-3 finish. The result was not without controversy, though, thanks to Ford’s decision to stage a photo finish. Ken Miles, upset at a lack of recognition for his dedication to the GT40 project, deliberately slowed down to let the car of Bruce McLaren and Chris Amon take the win.

1967 Ford GT40 MkIII road car

Racing in the blood: the story of the Ford GT40

As the GT40 race car was cleaning up on track, a bespoke road-going version was being readied. Unlike previous street-legal GT40s, the MkIII had specific features to make it suited to the highway. An elongated rear gave access to a luggage compartment, while the bumpers gained small chrome overriders. Unlike the race cars, there was no bigger engine, with power still coming from the 289 cubic inch (4.2-litre) V8. Only seven examples of the MkIII were built, with just three in right-hand drive.

1967 Ford GT40 J-car

Racing in the blood: the story of the Ford GT40

Despite the success of the MkII GT40, Ford didn’t rest on its laurels and set about developing the car even further. With power now sufficient, experimental aerodynamic changes to maximise the muscle were made throughout 1966 and 1967, along with a lightened chassis. Tragedy struck during a test session, when famed driver Ken Miles was killed in a high-speed accident at Riverside International Raceway, with blame laid at the lack of downforce from the aero modifications.

1967 Ford GT40 MkIV

Racing in the blood: the story of the Ford GT40

The experimental flat-topped roof of the J-car was dropped, but the resulting MkIV still managed to look distinctive. Lengthened and streamlined to achieve a higher top speed, the MkIV also had a lightened chassis. The death of Ken Miles was not in vain, with a high-strength roll cage also being fitted. Although the MkIV only entered two races, it claimed a 100% success rate, with victories in the 1967 12 Hours of Sebring and 24 Hours of Le Mans.

1968 Ford GT40 Mk1 Le Mans

Racing in the blood: the story of the Ford GT40

Concerned by the high speeds seen during the 1967 24 Hours of Le Mans, the FIA capped engine sizes at 5.0-litres for cars in the Sports class in 1968. This ruled out the MkII and MkIV versions of the GT40, but meant the earlier, smaller-engined Mk1 was still eligible. Now with reliability on its side, the Mk1 took overall victory in 1968, driven by Pedro Rodriguez and Lucien Bianchi. It would repeat the same feat in 1969 with Jackie Ickx and Jackie Oliver driving, taking the total number of outright Le Mans wins for the GT40 to four in a row.

Koenigsegg Nürburgring One:1 incident – the aftermath

Koenigsegg: ABS fault caused high-speed Nürburgring crash

Koenigsegg Nürburgring One:1 incident – the aftermathKoenigsegg has revealed a fault with a front ABS wheel sensor was the cause of its severe high-speed smash at the Nürburgring on Monday 18 July – but the Swedish supercar company has said it WILL return to the Nordschleife to go lap record-chasing.

More car news on Motoring Research

Because the ABS system was faulty, the Koenigsegg One:1 hypercar locked its front brakes at 170km/h (105mph) going into the tricky Fuchsrohre section, revealed Koenigsegg: its data shows the car hit a fence at 110km/h and was launched into the air for 22 metres.

The car turned 180 degrees, landed on its left rear wheel and pivoted to finally land parallel to the fence.

A small fire followed in the rear section, but this was traced to the carbonfibre bodywork making contact with the hot exhausts: the fuel shut-off system worked as it should, as did the airbags and other safety systems.

ABS alert

So why wasn’t the unnamed driver aware of the fault? Koenigsegg says that a warning light was glowing to say there was a fault with the ABS system – but as it’s a small light located in the centre of the dash, the helmet-clad driver didn’t spot it.

To be honest, they were probably concentrated on other things.

They also wouldn’t have noticed any difference in brake pedal feel – until they activated the ABS. The Fuchsrohre section is one of the first sections on the Nordschleife where ABS is activated…

Koenigsegg engineers took time out at the Swedish factory on Wednesday 20 July trying to replicate the fault: they disconnected the front left wheel ABS sensor and braked hard from high speed. The behaviour of the car exactly matched that of the Nürburgring crash.

Koenigsegg now has the crashed One:1 back in the workshop at its HQ, and today has released an image of the disassembled car. As you can see, it’s stood up to the high-speed crash well, and even both doors could be opened and closed cleanly.

‘We will be back’

The crash hasn’t put Koenigsegg off chasing a new record Nürburgring time either, but the company says it will take some time out to rebuild the car and roll out technical updates that will be fitted to customer cars too.

“Will we be back this year? That is… hard to say at this point, but we won’t say a definite ‘no’.”

Oh, and how is the driver? Fine. He went to hospital for precautionary tests, but was released later the same afternoon. Koenigsegg even thanked him for putting out the fire straight after the incident.

Fastest hot hatches

The 10 fastest hot hatches around the Nurburgring

Fastest hot hatcheshe Nurburgring is the world’s most notorious racetrack. Its 13 miles of tortuously twisty tarmac serve as a proving ground for new cars – with manufacturers competing to set the lowest lap times.

As Volkswagen launches its new track-oriented new Golf Clubsport S, we’re celebrating the 10 fastest hot hatchbacks ever to lap the Nurburgring. Let the countdown commence…

Fastest hot hatches10. Volkswagen Golf R32 

Lap time: 8min 53.0sec

Golf GTI not fast enough? In 2003, Volkswagen launched the 240hp Golf R32, with the 250hp Mk5 version seen here following in 2005. It boasted a 3.2-litre VR6 engine and four-wheel drive.

Lapping the Nurburgring in less than nine minutes is no mean feat for a car as comfortable and family-focused as the Golf R32. Interestingly, the car was actually faster to 62mph (6.2sec) when fitted with Volkswagen’s DSG semi-automatic gearbox.

Fastest hot hatches9. Vauxhall Astra VXR Nurburgring

Lap time: 8min 35.0sec

A dedicated Nurburgring special edition? Yep, and Vauxhall built 835 of them to celebrate the car’s 8min 35sec lap time. A Corsa VXR Nurburgring followed in 2011.

For £1,500 more than the standard VXR, you got an extra 15hp, a Remus exhaust, white alloy wheels and lots of stickers. Alternatively, replicate the look yourself with one of those two-quid Nurburgring stickers off eBay…

Fastest hot hatches8. Ford Focus ST (2005)

Lap time: 8min 35.0sec

Fast and (usually) orange, the original Focus ST matched the 8min 35sec time of its arch-rival Astra. Its 225hp five-cylinder engine came from Volvo and is famously thirsty when driven hard.

Today, you can buy estate and diesel versions of the ST, but the 2005 original remains our favourite. Like many fast Fords, it’s a bit rough around the edges, but it’s more characterful than a contemporary Golf GTI.

Fastest hot hatches7. Ford Focus RS

Lap time: 8min 26.0sec

Brightly-coloured fast Fords, you say? Meet the daddy. The Mk2 Focus RS is a modern classic, with in-yer-face styling and a mighty 305hp turbocharged four-pot.

Ford hasn’t attempted the ’Ring in the latest (Mk3) Focus RS yet. However, with 350hp, it’s likely to be even quicker. We reckon the Ultimate Green paint seen here is worth a least 10 seconds off the lap time….

Fastest hot hatches6. Renault Megane RS R26.R

Lap time: 8min 16.90sec

Meet the first in a string of ever-faster Renault Meganes competing for top honours at the Nurburgring. The R26.R was the most extreme version of the ‘shaking that ass’ Mk2 Megane. Only 450 were made.

This isn’t your typical hot hatchback. The stripped-out R26.R has no rear seats, passenger airbags or radio. Crucially, it came shod with super-sticky Michelin or Toyo tyres, which were biased for track (and dry weather) use.

Fastest hot hatches5. Renault Megane RS Trophy

Lap time: 8min 7.97sec

Another Megane, this time the – even faster – third-generation car. The limited-edition RS Trophy boasted 265hp and a top speed of nearly 160mph. Heady stuff for a hot hatch.

More impressive, though, was the Trophy’s ability to go around corners. It lapped the Nurburgring in 8min 7.97sec – without resorting to the extreme weight-loss measures of its R26.R predecessor.

Fastest hot hatches4. SEAT Leon Cupra

Lap time: 7min 58.4sec

Spanish carmaker SEAT is known for breaking ’Ring records – its Leon ST Cupra 280 is currently the fastest estate to lap the track. The hatchback Cupra can’t make that claim, but it still edges under eight minutes.

The record-breaking (at the time) Leon was fitted with beefed-up Brembo brakes and Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tyres – both available as part of SEAT’s Performance Pack option. The Cupra has since gained an extra 10hp, potentially making it even quicker.

Fastest hot hatches3. Renault Megane RS 275 Trophy-R

Lap time: 7min 54.36sec

Our third Megane – and the fastest to date – is the RS 275 Trophy-R. The car was developed in response to SEAT breaking the front-wheel-drive record with the Leon Cupra 280, and it succeeded in taking the title back.

The 2014 Trophy-R was a serious performance machine with race-style Ohlins dampers, bigger front brakes and polycarbonate Recaro seats. With no air conditioning or radio, it’s more suited to track days than trips to Tesco.

Fastest hot hatches2. Honda Civic Type R

Lap time: 7min 50.63sec

As a statement of intent, launching a new hot hatch by setting a 7min 50.63sec Nurburgring lap time takes some beating. The bodykitted Civic really is as fast as its furious styling suggests.

Honda set its lap time with a car ‘in a standard state of tune’. However, it did admit removing ‘equipment such as air conditioning, the front passenger seat and audio equipment’ in order to ‘offset the additional weight of a full roll cage (installed specifically for safety reasons and not to add rigidity)’.

Fastest hot hatches1. Volkswagen Golf GTI Clubsport S

Lap time: 7min 49.21sec

That brings us to the current Nurburgring record-holder: the VW Golf GTI Clubsport S. Built to mark 40 years of the Golf GTI, the 310hp hatchback has been dubbed ‘the GT3 of GTIs’.

The Clubsport S is even quicker than the four-wheel-drive Golf R and only 400 will be made. Thank a strict weight-saving diet, including a smaller battery, less sound deadening and no rear seats. Hey, nobody said giant-killing hot hatches had to practical.

Honda Civic Type R Nurburgring record

Speed limits LIFTED on Nürburgring Nordschleife

Honda Civic Type R Nurburgring recordSafety speed limits on the famous Nürburgring Nordschleife will be lifted this weekend for the opening race of the VLN Endurance Championship, circuit bosses have revealed.

Following the implementation of seven safety measures throughout the circuit, installed after a fatal race accident in 2015, the FIA and German motorsport association DMSB have issued new restriction-free track licences for the 22km Nordschleife section.

This FIA Grade 3 licence will be valid for three years.

Upgrades to the Nürburgring course include extra FIA-standard fences and protection, an area in the Schwedenkreuz that’s now closed to spectators, plus the renewal of 500 metres of track in the Flugplatz and Quiddelbacher Höhe sections to smooth out the course and remove the bumps and undulations that could unsettle high-speed racing cars.

“With these safety measures and the two new licences we have created the prerequisites for an exciting racing season that will hopefully see no accidents,” said Nürburgring event management boss Manfred Strack.

“We are glad that the speed limits are finally a thing of the past.”

So too will car manufacturers be pleased: now the circuit is once again fully licenced and free from speed restrictions, the war of the Nürburgring lap time will be able to resume once again…


Nürburgring speed limits to be lifted for 2016

NordschleifeNürburgring circuit bosses have announced speed limits are “to become a thing of the past as of 2016” thanks to circuit upgrade work set to commence in November 2015.

The ‘safety on the Nordschleife’ round table has already presented the planned changes to the German motorsport association DMSB, ADAC, the car industry, racing teams, race drivers and other interested bodies – “finding wide approval”.

The circuit will now thus include the planned changes as part of its application to renew its circuit approval with the FIA, which expires at the end of 2015.

Circuit owners capricorn Nürburgring GmbH say the changes will bring to an end the controversial speed limits that have been imposed at the Nordschelife circuit since a spectator was killed in an accident at the VLN Endurance Championship race in March.

Crucially, promise circuit bosses, “the unique character of the Nordschleife will be preserved”.

Nürburgring 2016 upgrades: in detail

“Safety on the Nordschleife during races, but also during test drives of the industry and during tourist ride sessions, is our highest priority,” said Carsten Schumacher, managing director of Nürburgring operator CNG.

His team have thus proposed 16 upgrades for the circuit, seven of which will be in place by the start of the 2016 season.

Upgrades include extra safety fences in several areas, plus a restricted zone in the Schwedenkreuz area (5km into a full lap of the Nordschleife).

FIA-grade safety fences will be installed in the Döttinger Höhe section, which runs parallel to a public road.

500 metres of track through the Flugplatz section will be renewed as well – “smoothing out five bumps which are the result of years of high utilisation and heavy use” said Schumacher.

The proposed changes will now be submitted by the German motorsport association to the FIA’s Circuit Commission for formal approval.

Honda Civic Type R Nurburgring record

Nürburgring lap time runs to return?

Honda Civic Type R Nurburgring recordNürburgring lap time record runs could be set to return if rumours that the 2015 safety-related speed limits could be lifted are true.

U.S. title Road and Track has been told by a “senior auto industry source” that Nürburgring owner Capricorn Nürburgring GmbH may soon announce the speed limit restrictions in several areas of the track are no more.

The fastest road cars at the Nürburgring – in pictures

Currently, car makers cannot run flat-out laps of the Nürburgring because of speed limits in several areas of the track:

  • 200km/h: Tiergarten, Fluglatz, Schwedenkreuz, Antoniusbuche
  • 250km/h: Doettinger Hoehe straight

The speed limits were imposed after a spectator was killed when the factor Nissan GT-R of Jann Mardenborough flipped at Flugplatz in March; they remained in place for the 2015 Nürburgring 24 Hour race.

We’ve reached out to Nürburgring officials for more news; we’ll keep you updated.

Porsche 918 Spyder Nurburgring

Nürburgring lap times BANNED by circuit bosses [UPDATED]

Porsche 918 Spyder NurburgringThe battle of the Nürburgring lap time may be over as news emerges that circuit chiefs have banned car manufacturers from undertaking timed lap record runs.

The news, first revealed by website Apex, is due to the imposition of safety-related speed limits in certain areas of the track.

The fastest road cars at theNürburgring – in pictures

These were set up following the death of a spectator after a crash earlier this year.

The Apex crew revealed they were contacted by circuit bosses this week informing them of the restrictions – just days before they were due to spend a week at the circuit filming a lap record attempt by the Koenigsegg One:1 hypercar.

“Official word from Nürburgring management is that these restrictions will be reviewed at the end of the year,”say Apex, “but for the time being, manufacturers like Koenigsegg are banned from attempting lap-time runs — even if they’ve rented out the entire track for themselves.”

We contacted the Nürburgring team for comment.Carsten Schumacher, CEO of capricorn NÜRBURGRING GmbH, said: “Following the tragic accident on 28 March 2015, the German motorsport association (DMSB) introduced speed limits for races at the Nürburgring.”

These were imposed, successfully, during the 2015 Nürburgring 24-hour race.

“capricorn NÜRBURGRING GmbH has decided to extend these speed limits to other activities on the Nordschleife, which is why record drives are currently not permitted on the Nürburgring Nordschleife”.

So there we are: it seems our list of Nürburgring fastest lap times is set in stone until at least the end of the year.

But will the Radical SR8 LM now be the fastest road car around the Nürburgring for ever more? And will the Honda Civic Type R be the fastest hot hatch? Speaking of which, let’s enjoy the Civic’s record-run video one more time…