Kings of Speed: Most Impressive Nurburgring Records

by AutoExpert   |  23 August, 2023

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Setting a jaw-dropping time of 7 minutes and 5 seconds, the Rimac Nevera tore through the 12.8-mile Nürburgring circuit to break the previous record for a production electric vehicle, once held by the Tesla Model S Track Pack. What makes this achievement truly spectacular is the symbol of expertise and engineering prowess it stands for.

Not only did the Nevera, piloted by Croatian racer Martin Kodrik, manage to slash the existing record by 20 seconds, but it also proved that manufacturers can masterfully engineer electric vehicles to withstand the notorious demands of 'The Green Hell' or any situation.

You can watch the video of the Nevera's incredible lap.

A Nürburgring lap record is more than just a trophy; it's a testament to a manufacturer's commitment to excellence. Multiple automakers spend years refining their vehicles around the Nordschleife, chasing the dream of being crowned the fastest. These record laps highlight strengths and weaknesses, offering invaluable insights to automakers.

The 'official' lap length was adjusted in 2019, which adds an extra layer of complexity to the records. However, the passion and emphasis on setting fast times remain undeterred.

Here's a look at the fastest road-legal laps around the Nürburgring:

  1. Mercedes-AMG One - 6:35:18
  2. Porsche 911 GT2 RS (with Manthey Performance Kit) - 6:43:30
  3. Mercedes-AMG GT Black Series - 6:43:62
  4. Lamborghini Aventador SVJ - 6:44:97
  5. Porsche 911 GT2 RS – 6:47:25
  6. Radical SR8LM – 6:48:28
  7. Lamborghini Huracán Performante - 6:52:01
  8. Radical SR8 - 6:55:00
  9. Porsche 911 GT3 RS (991.2) - 6:56:04
  10. Porsche 918 Spyder - 6:57:00
  11. Ferrari 296 GTB - 6:59:42
  12. Porsche 911 GT3 (992) - 6:59:927
  13. Ferrari 488 Pista - 7:00:03

At the top of the EV list, the 1887bhp Nevera now wears the crown. This remarkable achievement was made possible through an aerodynamically optimized body and Martin Kodrik's expert driving. In celebration, Rimac launched a special edition Nevera called the Time Attack at Pebble Beach.

Front-Wheel-Drive Titans at Nürburgring: The Battle for the Record

  1. 2023 Honda Civic Type R - 7:39.691: Dominating Nürburgring is a tradition for Honda, especially with their Civic Type R series. The FL5-gen car, equipped with Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 Connect tyres, managed to beat the Renault Mégane RS Trophy-R, continuing Honda's legacy at the Ring. 

     

  2. 2019 Renault Mégane RS Trophy-R - 7:40:10: The limited-edition Mégane RS Trophy-R dazzled with a 1.8-litre turbocharged engine, boasting a 130kg weight reduction and aerodynamic improvements. This sleek hot hatch claimed the record before it was even officially unveiled!

  3. 2017-2021 Honda Civic Type R - 7:43:80: Triumphantly reclaiming the record from Volkswagen Golf GTI Clubsport S, this Civic Type R came with a robust 316bhp, outpowering both its German rival and its predecessor.

  4. Volkswagen Golf GTI Clubsport S - 7:47:19: Volkswagen’s iconic Golf GTI Clubsport S made waves by breaking the record twice in 2016. Both times, VW's own test driver, Benny Leuchter, was behind the wheel.

  5. 2015-2016 Honda Civic Type R - 7:50:63: With its first turbocharged engine, the FK2 Honda Civic Type R briefly held the record, adding to Honda's impressive history at Nürburgring.

  6. Renault Mégane RS 275 Trophy-R - 7:54:36: Renault reclaimed glory in 2014 with a specialized Mégane RS 275 Trophy-R, outpacing even the Caterham R500 Superlight, thanks to weight-saving tactics. 

     

The Four-Wheel-Drive Masters of the 'Ring

  1. Lamborghini Aventador SVJ - 6:44:97: The Aventador SVJ showed that raw power and clever aerodynamics could triumph, clocking a staggering time without any electric assistance.

  2. Nio EP9 - 6:45:90: This electric marvel, the Nio EP9, briefly held the all-wheel-drive title with its 1360bhp motor, losing only to the Aventador SVJ.

  3. Lamborghini Huracán Performante - 6:52:01: The nimble Huracán Performante held its own among giants, claiming a respectable third place.

  4. Porsche 918 Spyder - 6:57:00: Once the champion, the 918 Spyder's incredible reign ended after five years, a testament to Porsche's engineering.

  5. Lamborghini Aventador SV - 6:59:73: Despite its high-speed performance, agility led the Huracán to beat its larger sibling.

Nurburgring Records

Rear-Wheel-Drive Record Breakers

  1. Porsche 911 GT2 RS - 6:43:30: The Porsche 911 GT2 RS reigns supreme among rear-wheel-drive cars, with upgrades to chassis, aerodynamics, and brakes. Porsche has set a new 'Ring lap record in a 911 GT2 RS | Top Gear

  2. Mercedes-AMG GT Black Series - 6:43:62: This optimized version of Mercedes' flagship model nearly claimed the title, facing challenges due to weather conditions.

  3. Porsche 911 GT2 RS - 6:47:30: The special 911 GT2 RS, with its twin-turbocharged flat six and 697bhp, clinched the record before its enhanced version.

  4. Radical SR8LM - 6:48:28: Radical's street-legal beast impresses, particularly as it sends power only to the rear wheels. Radical RXC500 on course to smash Nurburgring record | Autocar

  5. Radical SR8 - 6:55:00: This predecessor to the SR8LM made a mark by winning the Pikes Peak Hill Climb in 2015 and setting a then-street-legal lap record.

  6. Porsche 911 GT3 RS (991.2) - 6:56:04: Porsche's 911 GT3 RS continued the brand's record-setting heritage, minimal tweaks required.

  7. Mercedes-AMG GT R Pro - 7:04:06: With a focus on suspension and aerodynamics rather than raw power, the GT R Pro showcased the importance of handling on the treacherous track.

Electric Marvels: A Chronology of Nürburgring Lap Records

Electric Legends

1 - Volkswagen ID R - 6:05:336

In a triumph of engineering, the Volkswagen ID R raced into the annals of automotive history by conquering the Nürburgring's Green Hell with an unprecedented time. With Romain Dumas at the wheel, the ID R shaved an astonishing 40 seconds off the previous record, eclipsing even Porsche's age-old feat by Stefan Bellof. 

2 - Nio EP9 - 6:45:90

The Nio EP9's record-setting performance at the 'Ring, an improvement of 20 seconds from its earlier attempt, left no doubt about its electric prowess. Besides flaunting their supercar, Nio has also teased the market with an SUV concept. However, its Nürburgring time remains unmatched.

3 - Tesla Model S Plaid Track Pack - 7:25.231

The Model S Plaid made a splash with the Track Pack upgrade, reducing its lap time by a neat 10 seconds. Specialized components like carbon-silicon brakes and lightweight alloy wheels helped it to secure the crown for the fastest electric production car at the 'Ring. 

4 - Porsche Taycan Turbo S - 7:33:00

Not to be outdone, the Porsche Taycan Turbo S dethroned the Model S Plaid in August 2022, recording a blistering 7-minute 33-second lap. Sporting a specialized performance kit, the Taycan's chassis system was synchronized in real-time to achieve this impressive feat.

5 - Tesla Model S Plaid - 7:35:91

Elon Musk was quick to champion the Model S Plaid's success on the Nürburgring, boasting a time of 7 minutes and 35.909 seconds on Twitter. The run was faster than Porsche's previous record and maintained an average speed of 103 mph.

6 - Toyota TMG EV P001 - 7:47:79

Toyota's TMG EV P001 held its own with a record that stood unbroken for quite some time. Achieved with road-legal tyres, the 800lb ft of torque certainly played a role in this remarkable accomplishment. Toyota TMG EV P001 smashes electric vehicle Nurburgring lap record - Drive

7 - Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Electric Drive - 7:56:23

With its electric blue hue and an unmissable record in 2013, the Mercedes SLS AMG Electric Drive dominated the Audi R8 E-tron by over 12 seconds. The robust 740bhp and 737lb ft surely propelled it to success.

8 - Audi R8 E-tron - 8:09:09

Before the Mercedes invasion, Audi's R8 E-tron proudly held the electric 'Ring record for nearly a year with an 8:09:09 lap time. Despite a significant power difference compared to its competitors, the R8's torque kept it in contention. 

Record-Breaking Titans

1 - Porsche 919 Hybrid Evo - 5:19:546

Porsche made history with the unrestricted 919 Hybrid, setting a time that still echoes across the automotive world. A radically redesigned aero package and a finely-tuned powertrain allowed Timo Bernhard to demolish the all-time record.

2 - Volkswagen ID R - 6:05:336

Volkswagen's ID R not only reigned supreme among electric cars but also earned its place among the fastest-ever recorded laps. Its record-setting technology continues to shape the future of Volkswagen's electric vehicles.

3 - Porsche 956 - 6:11:13

The Porsche 956, driven by the talented Stefan Bellof, previously held the Nürburgring lap record for more than 30 years. Bellof's thrilling run remains the fastest ever by a combustion-powered car on the track.

4 - Porsche 956 - 6:16:85

Another 956 model, this time piloted by Jacky Ickx, secured the fourth-fastest overall time during the same race in 1983. Why a Nurburgring Record Set in 1983 Will Never Be Beaten

5 - Porsche 956 - 6:25:91

To further solidify its legacy, the 956 achieved the fifth-fastest time as well, again with Bellof behind the wheel, in the 1983 1000km Nürburgring race.

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