The year 2017 was a fast one filled with fast cars and their fast records. In 2017, the gruesome Nurburgring records were broken every few weeks. So we decided to look back at the noticeable feats achieved by the unlikely heroes in the past one year to be crowned the worthy title of the “King of the Ring 2017”.
So what exactly does the Nurburgring Lap record really mean? The Nurburgring is also famously known as the Green Hell. It is every driver’s dream (or a nightmare). To claim the lap record, the series production car needs to be fastest around the Nordschleife (northern loop) which spans around 22.8 kilometres. The notorious piece of German tarmac is the crucible for the cars and carmakers alike to boast how focused their machine actually is. So here are the noticeable lap records that kept us entertained this year.
Volvo S60 Polestar
Volvo’s Polestar Cyan Racing stayed back after the 2016 FIA WTCC round at the Green Hell to carry out a ‘secret test’. At that time, the Polestar prepped S60 recorded a time of 7:51:11 seconds. However, the record of the fastest sedan was kept a secret for a year and only revealed few days before the 2017 WTCC race of Germany. By that time, the record had already been broken by the Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio and the Porsche Panamera Turbo. Volvo justifies the delay in letting the world know of their record time by saying, “Being Swedish, we didn’t want to shout about the record, just learn from the experience.”
Honda Civic Type R
When the Japanese carmaker revealed the 2017 Civic Type R, they went a step ahead and shattered the lap record for front-wheel-drive cars at the Nordschleife. With a time of 7 minutes 43.8 seconds, the new Type R was a whole seven seconds quicker than its predecessor. Under the hood, the Type R packs a refined 2.0-litre VTEC Turbo engine that generates 316bhp of power and 400Nm of torque. For better acceleration, the hot hatch gets lower gear ratios in the six-speed manual version. The front-wheel-drive Civic Type R is one serious hot hatch.
McLaren P1 LM
Following the record time at the Goodwood, the McLaren P1 LM went to Nordschleife, lapping it in a record breaking time of 6:43.22 seconds. The road-going version of the track-focused P1 GTR, the P1 LM, is the rarest and quickest model to be built with only five units on the road right now. The 4.0-litre biturbo V8 is breathing out an excess of 986bhp. The LM weighs 60kg less than the GTR and has some excessive hybrid boost as well. It comes with air-conditioning as standard. The car was driven back to the UK after the record run. Interestingly, the P1 LM also smothers the timing of the Neo EP9 electric car by two seconds.
Lamborghini Huracan Performante
Lamborghini introduced a new Performante suffix to its long list of performance derivative by setting the fastest lap clocking 6:52:01 minutes. The Performante packs a boost of 40 more horsepower over the standard car. However, to achieve this feat, the Raging Bull used the active aerodynamics – Aerodinamica Lamborghini Attiva (ALA). On the Performante, there are multiple flaps opening and closing precisely to provide an aerodynamic assist at the Ring’s many fast corners. There was a question raised about the authenticity of the Baby Lambo’s claim for the title. But the Italian carmaker came back with all the proof they could conjure to showcase the prowess of the Performante.
Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE
It’s the American Muscle this time, the Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE that recorded an impressive time of 7:16.04seconds. The ZL1 1LE became the fastest Camaro around the Nurburgring, 13 seconds faster than the regular ZL1. This makes the hardcore Camaro one of the fastest rear-wheel-drive cars in the world to go around the gruesome German racetrack. The ZL1 1LE costs a fraction of the supercar’s (read Mercedes-AMG GT R) price. Powering the modern muscle car was the massive 6.2-litre supercharged V8 pushing out 650 horsepower sending the madness to the rear wheels via a six-speed stick.
Jaguar XE SV Project 8
Jaguar’s hardcore Project 8 smashed the Nordschleife lap record for four-door cars with a time of 7min and 21.23sec. The full-blown British saloon blew the Alfa’s time to smithereens by a whole 11 seconds. The 5.0-litre supercharged V8 belting out 591bhp made the compact super saloon capable enough for a 0-100kmph run in 3.3 seconds with a top whack of 320kmph. Limited to just 300, the XE SV Project 8 is the most powerful, agile and track-focused Jaguar till date. Although the record-breaking car was running a Track Pack with a roll cage at the back, its timing is into the supercar territory.
Porsche 911 GT2 RS
Finally, Porsche has been crowned the title of the “King of the Ring” for its record time of 6 minutes and 47.3 seconds. The GT2 RS is the most powerful 911 till date with the 3.8-litre twin-turbo flat-six engine’s fire-breathing output of 690bhp and 750Nm. Porsche claims that they had a time of 7:05.00 in mind when attempting the record run. But the GT2 RS didn’t just shave off a few seconds off the previous record, it absolutely smashed it. Sadly, the 911 GT2 RS has a limited production of only 1000 units and they all found their home way before the ‘Ring title was established.