The Nurburgring, one of the most ferocious racetracks in the world. Located in the town of Nurburg in Germany, it is home to almost every car manufacturer who go there to test their latest performance models on this 20.8 km long, loop track because it has been found that the track puts cars on a proving ground to test handling, power delivery and downforce. The racetrack hosts numerous racing events such as 24 Hours Races and GT Races, and when there are no race events, it is open for public use. Legendary F1 driver Jackie Stewart nicknamed the track “The Green Hell” suggesting how deadly it is and in fact it is labelled as one of the most dangerous tracks in the world.
The following cars have been categorized by their body style category that they are dominating with the Nurburgring times and all the cars are road legal. This doesn’t mean that they are the fastest cars in the world but only quick on several racetracks in their respective segments.
Fastest Hatchback: Renault Megane RS Trophy-R with a time of 7:40.1
When Renault revealed the latest Megane RS, we were promised a hotter version focused on breaking the Nurburgring lap record for the fastest hot hatchback. Not only did it set that record but it also became the fastest front-wheel drive car to go around the track. It was driven by Laurent Hurgon who is Renault Sports development driver. The car’s weight has been shed by 130 kg over the standard Megane RS, running on Potenzo S007 tyres and using the same 1.8 litre turbopetrol 4-cylinder engine without any power increment. It produces 220 kW and 400 Nm of torque, propelling the car from 0-100 km/h in just 5.4 seconds and it has a top speed of 262 km/h. Only 500 units were made.
Fastest Sedan: Jaguar XE SV Project 8 with a time of 7:23.164
The Special Vehicles group at Jaguar took a standard XE family sedan, stripped off some weight, fitted a large 5.0 litre Supercharged V8 engine and a large rear spoiler to create what is considered, the most ambitious project car ever. It produces an incredible 592 hp (441 kW) and 700 Nm of torque, sprinting from 0-100 km/h in 3.3 Seconds with a top speed of 321 km/h. The prototype vehicle that lapped the track was driven by a multi-winning Touring Car champion, Vincent Radermecker. The run was conducted in July 2019 and the car had Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 R tyres on and the rear seats were removed. Imagine a car that laps the Nurburgring faster than any other sedan in the world and has space for kids at the back, what a machine.
Fastest SUV: Audi RS Q8 with a time of 7:42.2
On November 2019, the Audi RS Q8 became the fastest SUV around the ring beating the time of the Mercedes-AMG GLC 63 S by a whole 7 seconds. This is a car that everyone took for granted as they thought its glorified cousin, the Lamborghini Urus, was the more capable version of it. Now it has a unique achievement to it thanks to a 4.0 litre twin-turbocharged V8 producing 592 hp (441 kW) and 800 Nm of torque going to all four wheels which are wrapped in Pirelli P Zero tyres. This monster SUV accelerates from 0-100 km/h in 3.8 seconds and goes flat out at 306 km/h with the Dynamic Plus package.
Fastest Supercar: Lamborghini Aventador SV J LP770-4 with a time of 6:44.97
The Porsche 911 GT2 RS did not reign king for a long time because this beast quickly took the title in July 2018 as the fastest supercar and the fastest production car to lap the Nurburgring. To achieve this magnitude, it was a combination of the engine and downforce. The 6.5 litre Naturally Aspirated V12 produces 759 hp (566 kW) and 720 Nm of torque with a sprint time of 2.8 seconds and a top speed of 352 km/h. The downforce aspect is achieved through Lamborghini’s ALA (Aerodinamica Lamborghini Attiva) which includes exterior upgrades such as the front splitter, large carbon fibre rear wing with a central fin and a large rear diffuser. There is 40% more downforce than the Aventador SV. Marco Mopelli, who is Lamborghini’s factory driver, was the one piloting this car around the track to set the lap record and it was riding on Pirelli P Zero Trofero R tyres and it had a roll cage.
Car manufacturers are looking for ways to make their cars perform as they should but the Nurburgring has always been the best place to push a car to its absolute limits and fact is the best driver’s cars were developed at that track.
Sources: Renault; Jaguar; Audi; Lamborghini; Nurburgring Wikipedia Page