By on July 19, 2017

scg-003s

There are probably more absolutely ludicrous racing spec cars on the consumer market now than ever before, but regulatory red tape frequently keeps some of the more extreme examples out of the United States. At $2 million a pop, the Scuderia Cameron Glickenhaus (SCG) 003 couldn’t afford to relegate itself to Europe’s filthy rich. Otherwise, SCG might never reach its ambitious 2018 sales goal of four to six vehicles.

Fortunately, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration certified Glickenhaus as a “low volume manufacturer” on Tuesday. That means the SCG 003 doesn’t have to adhere to the same level of safety and emission regulations as other manufacturers, which is probably the only way to get this goblin shark onto U.S. roadways. Of course, prospective owners will still have to make room for it next to their fleet of vintage Ferraris — possibly by relocating the servant’s quarters to another part of the manor.  (Read More…)

By on July 14, 2017

Hyundai i30N Nurburgring 24h - Image: HyundaiIn Hyundai’s mind, consumers now know the brand builds reliable cars. Quality cars. Attractive cars. “But now we have the knowledge to add sportiness to that image,” says Klaus Köster, Hyundai’s European director for high performance vehicle development.

The Hyundai i30 N, essentially a high-performance version of the Hyundai Elantra GT that Americans will soon be able to purchase in less powerful iterations, is instantly becoming the foundation for a Hyundai brand that wants to be taken more seriously for its athleticism.

Just as the i30 N spent much of its development time at Hyundai’s six-year-old technical center beside Germany’s iconic Nürburgring circuit, now every Hyundai will be assessed at the Nürburgring.

The Santa Fe’s ‘Ring time probably won’t be published. (Read More…)

By on June 23, 2017

2018 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE, Image: GM

Another month, another fresh batch of Burgerkingring-related stupidity. This time it’s the General Motors PR machine and its ever-reliable Southern California appendix stirring the hype for the new Camaro ZL1 1LE, which obtained a seven-minutes-and-change time when driven by an engineer around the course.

Nine times out of 10 I ignore this stuff entirely, but insofar as I was at the Ring just two weeks before the Camaro crew got there I thought this would be a good time to remind everybody out there why these times are completely and utterly meaningless.

(Read More…)

By on June 22, 2017

2017-camaro-zl1-1le-610x407

Team Camaro just went ballistic.

With ride and handling engineer Bill Wise at the wheel, the 2018 Camaro ZL1 1LE ate the 12.9-mile Nürburgring Nordschleife for breakfast, devouring the Teutonic track in an absurd 7:16.04, making it the fastest production Camaro, ever.

It might even be the fastest piece of metal GM has ever made for public consumption.

To put the Camaro’s time in context, the Corvette ZR1 officially looped the Green Hell 3.6 seconds slower than the 1LE; a brand new Ferrari 488 GTB is 5.6 seconds behind; meanwhile, the Formula 1–derived Enzo looks like a hot mess showing up 9.1 seconds after the land rocket from Lansing.

Rumor has it that Wise actually turned in a hand-timed 7:13.xx, but it will remain unofficial.

That’s like, super, stupid fast. (Read More…)

By on June 1, 2017

Subaru WRX STI TYPE RA NBR, Image: Subaru

As Subaru continues work on a performance-spec BRZ, there has been a cautious level of optimism surrounding its development. So when Subaru USA tweeted out a massive rear spoiler and urged us to “stay tuned” for June 8th, everyone naturally assumed this was the vehicle to be on the lookout for.

Another image was released today — this time of a carbon fiber roof — referencing the same date and stirring up some controversy. That’s because, just out of focus, you can make out the blurry front end of what is assuredly a WRX. Instead of treating the world to a tweaked version of its rear-wheel-drive coupe next week, Subaru is reviving the hardcore WRX Type RA for the company’s 50th anniversary. The only way this could be any better is if it came with a hatchback option.  (Read More…)

By on May 14, 2017

ep9 Nurburgring

Engineering a vehicle with the Nürburgring in mind doesn’t always produce the most enjoyable on-road driving experience, but it often results in one hell of a performance machine. The NIO EP9 electric supercar was already the fastest EV ever to grace the track, which is a feat in itself since the Tesla Model S proved itself incapable of maintaining full-trust for the duration of the 14-mile track. However, after taking another stab at it, the NIO is claiming the EP9 is now the fastest production vehicle ever to grace the track — gas or electric.

Under what NIO admitted to being perfect conditions, the EP9 completed the course in 6:45.90. That’s over 19 seconds quicker than its pervious lap time and 6 seconds quicker than the Lamborghini Huracan Performante’s. The EP9 also bested the Radical SR8LM, which is not globally street legal and only slightly more useful for daily-driving duties than the space shuttle.  (Read More…)

By on April 24, 2017

2017 Civic Type R (European Version)

“Tested on the Nürburgring,” is just the latest eye-rolling claim to be adopted by automakers desperate to instill a new product with an air of sportiness.

“Nürburgring?!” being the anticipated reaction. “Well, the Germans aren’t going to let just any minivan on that track … ”

There’s much guilt to go around. Just as a Ram maintenance truck trundling down the runway at Edwards Air Force Base is not a space shuttle or F-35, running some laps on the famed circuit does not a supercar make. Still, the track’s allure persists, especially among marketing types.

Sometimes, an achievement crops up that makes the typing of “Nürburgring” an acceptable practice — specifically, the setting of a record. (Read More…)

By on January 31, 2016

The year was 1984. Rally was all the rage. Danger was mainstream. And carcinogens weren’t exclusively advertised by the rumble of tailpipes.

Also in 1984, Porsche was developing a legend, but it was behind schedule: The 959 wasn’t ready when David Richards, the orchestrator of the Porsche-Rothmans deal, wanted to go rallying. So, along with Weissach, 20 examples of the Porsche 911 SC RS were built to take the manufacturer Group B rallying. Those cars also became the foundation of Prodrive, one of rally’s most famous teams.

This is one of those cars. Drifting. In snow.

(Read More…)

By on January 17, 2016

porsche-ceo-matthias-muller

Porsche-Piech family is standing behind their man — which totally isn’t the kiss of death, right?

That, Toyota’s completely nuts and it’s awesome and Mazda’s CX-4 breaks cover … after the break!

(Read More…)

By on August 18, 2015

Nurburgring_lap

Germany’s Nurburgring Nordschleife will be reopened next year for manufacturers’ bragging rights after officials announced Tuesday that the track’s speed limits — added after a crash during a race killed a spectator in March — will be lifted, PistonHeads is reporting.

Track officials also announced they would be smoothing some parts of the track to keep cars from launching into the air, including the section that launched a Nissan GT-R GT3 into a crowd in March, and keeping spectators from certain areas of the track.

The track may be open for full-speed testing in 2016.

(Read More…)

By on July 11, 2015

Nurburgring_lap

After speculation that Germany’s famed Nurburgring would lift speed limits at the track for manufacturer testing this year, GTSpirit.com has reported that officials will keep the limits in place for at least this year.

“There is no change in the situation so far and the speed limit at three sections of the Nordschleife will not be lifted during the 2015 season,” track spokesman Uwe Baldes told GTSpirit.com.

Nurburgring management implemented speed limits in three portions of the track after a Nissan GT-R GT3 crashed and killed a spectator during a race held in March. The limits effectively ended the manufacturer arms race for the fastest production time around the circuit.

(Read More…)

By on July 3, 2015

Nurburgring_lap

Per Road and Track, the operators of the famed Nurburgring in Germany may be preparing to dump its speed limits for manufacturers and may mean a return for manufacturer records.

After a Nissan GT-R GT3 crashed and killed a spectator, the famous road installed speed limits during specific sections for safety and enforced those limits during testing for manufacturers — effectively ending record run chest-thumping.

(Read More…)

By on July 1, 2015

C 250 d 4MATIC sets record at Pikes Peak

At the conclusion of this year’s Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, Mercedes-Benz issued a release claiming a new record: the Mercedes-Benz C250d 4MATIC was the fastest production diesel to ever make it from base camp to summit. Driven by Uwe Nittel, the compression-ignition, tri-star sedan navigated the mountain’s 156 corners in 11 minutes 22 seconds.

Since the manufacturer-favorite Nürburgring has imposed speed restrictions at certain high speed sections and outright banned hot lap record attempts, a new battleground is needed.

Will that frontline be in Colorado?

(Read More…)

By on June 19, 2015

BMW M5 Ring Taxi

Depending on one’s point of view, this is either the best or the worst thing to happen: The ‘Ring time is no more on the Nürburgring.

(Read More…)

By on March 29, 2015


Warning: Video includes fatal crash

GT Academy is a Sony sponsored competition where contestants can compete, racing on the Playstation sim, for actual rides with factory Nissan teams. Jann Mardenborough won in 2011 and he’s had a successful motorsports career since, winning in both the British GT championship and in the GP3 series. Today, Mardenborough was driving a Nissan GT-R NISMO at a VLN endurance race on the Nürburgring in Germany when the car got airborne at the Flugplatz, flipped and went over the catch fencing into an area where spectators were sitting, killing one and injuring others. Mardenborough was unharmed. (Read More…)

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