That said, we also know that manufacturers love to tout the 'Ring times whenever they can.
We're wondering, do you care?
After Porsche’s Taycan secured its status as the fastest electric production vehicle ever to grace the Nürburgring, Tesla Motors was keen to steal the title. This evolving rivalry also resulted in Elon Musk tossing some light shade at the German manufacturer over its liberal use of the word “turbo.” What followed were some sedan-based lap records set by the American company at Laguna Seca, which was little more than a distraction from the main event while Tesla got its ducks in a row.
In Nürburg, Porsche’s Taycan Turbo S set the highly impressive time of 7 minutes and 42 seconds in August. The following month, Tesla starting running the Model S. This week, reports coming in from Germany claim the American manufacturer set an unofficial time of 7 minutes and 23 seconds. But there are issues with Tesla’s record-breaking run.
In conjunction with the 24 Hours of Nürburgring this past weekend, Mini presented a lightly-disguised John Cooper Works GP well before its scheduled on-sale date in 2020. With more than 300 horsepower on tap, the new JCW GP is almost half a minute faster than its predecessor around the Nordschleife.
While development tuning is still in process, the JCW GP lapped the “Green Hell” in less than 8 minutes. While that is impressive for any front-wheel-drive hot hatch, it will inevitably be compared to the 7:43.80 that was set by the Civic Type R. Whether it reaches that figure or not, it shares outlandish design style and boy-racer looks with the Type R.
For those North Americans seeking to drive the famous 14-mile Nurburgring, a look-alike loop has been plotted just south of Indianapolis, IN. While most replicas are not as big as the original, the “Schweinefiletring™” is more than 12 times the size of the famed German circuit. Utilizing 175 miles of public roads through southern Indiana, its route replicates the Green Hell.
VIR’s Grand Course has frequently been claimed as the USA’s answer to the Nurburging. But, at a paltry 4.2 miles long, it pales in comparison. The only other way to experience the 14-mile challenge for yourself would be on a driving simulator. If you want to see the sights, smell the smells, and feel the g-forces, you can now do so without the need for a track car or fancy sim rig.
Volkswagen is currently on a quest to prove electrification is the true path forward for automobiles. However, it’s not doing this by releasing production plug-ins with robust battery ranges. Instead, it’s taking its electric racer to the Nordschleife this summer after achieving total victory at the Pikes Peak Hill Climb last June.
The automaker wants to showcase the might of electric vehicles before it begins releasing them en mass from 2020 onwards. It’s even calling its ID R racer “the sporty ambassador” for an upcoming range of planned EVs.
“After the record on Pikes Peak, the fastest time for electric cars on the Nürburgring-Nordschleife is the next big challenge for the ID R,” said Volkswagen Motorsport Director Sven Smeets. “A lap record on the Nordschleife is a great accolade for any car, whether a race car or a production car.”
Having already set a lap record for the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb this year, Volkswagen’s I.D. R has served the company well. Intended to showcase the brand’s might in electrification, the blisteringly fast R is as much a purpose-built track car as it is a marketing tool, and its long-term plans involve setting more records.
For 2019, VW wants to set a new lap record at the Nürburgring. Officially, the German automaker is only interested in defeating the Nio EP9’s record for electric vehicles. But we know that the I.D. R is a forced to be reckoned with. An overall victory would not be beyond the realm of possibilities and Volkswagen knows it.
If you want a good example of evolution, you don’t need to venture all the way to the Galapagos Islands. Simply look at the lineage of the Porsche 911 for confirmation of how a species evolves and adapts over time.
Not long ago, the mighty 911 Turbo was the only example of the breed with a snail attached to its rear-mounted engine. Now, with turbos pervading nearly the entire line, it seemed as if naturally aspirated 911s would disappear like the dodo bird. However, we’re now hearing rumours the GT3 may retain its non-turbo status … with a flat-six that screams its way to 9,500 rpm.
Porsche has had more than a few victories in motorsport, so we’ll allow their latest PR move as an appropriate homage to successful racing campaigns of yesteryear – even if the liveries are applied to a crossover. It would be much better if Porsche had slathered this paint and stuck these decals on a bevy of Caymans or 911s.
Still, in this sleepy week between Christmas and New Year’s, it’s neat to see shoutouts to great designs of the past. Porsche chose Singapore as the venue to show off these specially painted Macans.
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.
In 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.
The Camaro's Nurburgring Record Don't Mean a Thing If It Ain't Got That… Actually, It Don't Mean a Thing, Period
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.
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.
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.
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.
“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.
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