Unlikely-sounding but true times around Germany’s 13-mile ‘country road’ circuit
The Nurburgring in Germany’s Eifel region is a legendary location for private motorists seeking to test their cars’ – and their own – mettle. You can drive around it at whatever speed you like, once you’ve paid for a ticket that is, so you could just amble around admiring the scenery. But most tend to try and get their money’s worth by going as fast as humanly and mechanically possible, otherwise what’s the point (they say).
The ‘Ring’ is also used by just about every performance car manufacturer these days to develop the handling of their latest creations. If they manage to get round in under seven and a half minutes, they’re doing pretty well. Anything under 7min 12sec will get your vehicle into the top ten times set by road-legal cars.
That’s seriously quick, but you’ll need to knock another full minute off that to get near the absolute record, which somewhat incredibly has been standing for the last 34 years. Phew.
Anyway, we’ll get onto that in a minute. First though, here are the quickest lap times in the major categories, starting with…
The ten fastest road-legal cars
1 Porsche 911 GT2 RS (6:47.30)
If there is still someone around who reckons that a rear-engined 911 can’t go quickly around a track, the 690bhp 911 GT2 RS is here to put them straight.
2 Radical SR8LM (6:48.00)
Radical’s street-approved racer powered by a 2.8-litre, 450bhp V8 made up of two Suzuki motorbike engines held the road-legal Ring record since 2009.
Read more: Experiencing the Nurburgring 24-hour
3 Lamborghini Huracan Performante (6:52.01)
A pretty impressive effort by Lamborghini’s 631bhp Huracán Performante, which delivers 631bhp at a screaming 8000rpm from its 5.2-litre V10.
4 Radical SR8 (6:56.08)
The SR8LM’s predecessor produced 360bhp from its 2.6-litre V8 engine and set a new Nürburgring record in 2005 that’s still impressive today.
5 Porsche 911 GT3 RS (6:56.4)
The last hurrah for this generation of 911 is going out on a high, knocking its hypercar hybrid cousin down the list
6 Porsche 918 Spyder (6:57.00)
Featuring a hybrid 4.6-litre V8/electric powertrain in a lightweight carbonfibre body, the 918 Spyder’s combined output of 887bhp gives it a top speed of 214mph.
7 Lamborghini Aventador SV (6:59.73)
With a single-clutch automated gearbox and a 50kg weight reduction over the standard Aventador, the SV does the 0-62mph in just 2.8 seconds.
Read more: The world’s fastest-accelerating cars
8 Dodge Viper ACR (7:01.3)
The fastest manual-transmission car to lap the ‘Ring. The Viper takes the good old-fashioned American approach to going fast with an 8.4-litre V10 putting out 645bhp.
9 Nissan GT-R Nismo (7:08.68)
Running the bigger, high-flow turbochargers from Nissan’s GT3 racer, the Nismo GT-R charges from 0-60mph in 2.7 seconds and uses complex chassis electronics to keep it nailed to the ground.
10 Mercedes-AMG GT R (7:10:92)
There have been more power AMGs but few provide such a sharply focused and nakedly aggressive driving experience as the Mercedes-AMG GT R.
Other Nürburgring lap records
2017 Honda Civic Type R (7:43.80)
Porsche 911 GT2 RS (6:47.30)
Nio EP9 (6:45.90). It would be the all-time production record holder but the time was set on bespoke tyres.
Nio EP9 (6:45.90)
Fastest ever Ring time
Porsche 956 (6:11.13), set in 1983 by Stefan Bellof.