The Mercedes-AMG One is the closest thing to a Formula One car with number plates, so perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised by its new Nurburgring record. Nevertheless, any car that can lap the ‘Green Hell’ in six-and-a-half minutes AND pass an MOT test deserves some credit.
We count down the incredible cars it had to beat, from Ferrari, Lamborghini, McLaren and more.
Fastest cars around the Nurburgring
- 20. Gumpert Apollo Sport – 7:11.57
- 19. Mercedes-AMG GT R – 7:10
- 18. McLaren 600LT – 7:08.82
- 17. McLaren 720S – 7:08.34
- 16. Mercedes-AMG GT R Pro – 7:04.63
- 15. Dodge Viper ACR 2017 – 7:01.3
- 14. Ferrari 488 Pista – 7:00.03
- 13. Porsche 992 GT3 – 6:59.93
- 12. Lamborghini Aventador SV – 6:59.73
- 11. Porsche 918 Spyder – 6:57
- 10. Porsche 991.2 GT3 RS – 6:56.4
- 9. Radical SR8 – 6:55
- 8. Lamborghini Huracan Performante – 6:52.01
- 7. Radical SR8 LM – 6:48.28
- 6. Porsche 991 GT2 RS – 6:47.25
- 5. Lamborghini Aventador SVJ – 6:44.97
- 4. Porsche 992 GT3 RS – 6:44.85
- 3. Mercedes-AMG GT Black Series – 6:43.62
- 2. Porsche 991 GT2 RS Manthey – 6:43.30
- 1. Mercedes-AMG One – 6:30.71
20. Gumpert Apollo Sport – 7:11.57
Gumpert may not have the most exotic name, but the Apollo Sport is certainly quick. With 700hp from its twin-turbo Audi V8 (there’s an 800hp version, too), the Apollo Sport embarrassed many Porsches, Ferraris, McLarens and Lamborghinis. We wonder how fast the company’s newer Apollo IE would be.
19. Mercedes-AMG GT R – 7:10
This was a private effort, but it’d be wrong not to include a car with a paint color called ‘Green Hell’ on the options list. Germany’s Sport Auto magazine conducted the lap on Michelin Pilot Sport Cup tires, to an impressive but not record-breaking 7min 10sec time.
18. McLaren 600LT – 7:08.82
We named the McLaren our best driver’s car of 2018, with Tim Pitt saying: ‘The 600LT is tenacious, malleable and fantastically fast. It’s a machine that, despite its junior supercar status (and such things are relative), is fit to follow in the tire tracks of the 675LT.’
17. McLaren 720S – 7:08.34
Tim also spent some time with the sublime McLaren 720S: taking it shopping, picking his son up from school and sitting in tailbacks on the M25. What he didn’t do was attempt a Nurburgring lap-time. ‘Driving it for seven days makes one weak’ was the verdict.
16. Mercedes-AMG GT R Pro – 7:04.63
Merc’s ‘Beast of the Green Hell’ received a selection of aerodynamic and chassis upgrades with this Pro package. That saved it a decent chunk of lap-time, but the Black Series version would go even quicker.
15. Dodge Viper ACR 2017 – 7:01.3
The 2008 Viper ACR was one of the original ‘Ring heroes. This brutal lump of American iron cemented itself as a serious contender by dominating the circuit. No pressure on the 2017 car, then, which was rumored to be a contender for the record. Sadly, it never happened, with the Viper ACR failing to break seven minutes. That said, it remains the fastest car around the track with a manual gearbox.
14. Ferrari 488 Pista – 7:00.03
Pista means ‘track’ in Italian, so it’s no surprise this lighter, more powerful 488 was quick around the Nurburgring. Indeed it even borrowed some components from the 488 Challenge and GTE race cars, such as exotic Inconel exhaust manifolds. The open-top Spider version seemed to miss the point, somehow.
13. Porsche 992 GT3 – 6:59.93
The new 2021 911 GT3 still has a naturally aspirated flat-six and comes with a choice of manual or PDK auto transmissions. With 510hp and a curb weight of 1,418kg (1,435kg with PDK), it blasts to 62mph in 3.4 seconds and lapped the Nurburgring in a fraction under seven minutes. Porsche pro driver Jörg Bergmeister described it as “by far the best production car” he has driven around the circuit.
12. Lamborghini Aventador SV – 6:59.73
Before the current Aventador SVJ came the SV, with revised damping, lower weight and some serious aero. It also boasted more power and stickier tires, and became the second car (after the Porsche 918 Spyder), to break the seven-minute barrier around the Nurburgring. Impressive at the time, but others have topped it now.
11. Porsche 918 Spyder – 6:57
Porsche works racing driver Marc Lieb was tasked with extracting the maximum from the firm’s 887hp hybrid hypercar. He did so brilliantly, setting a lap time of 6min 57sec. With Ferrari and McLaren not publishing times for the LaFerrari and P1 respectively, the Porsche is officially the fastest of the hypercar ‘Holy Trinity’.
10. Porsche 991.2 GT3 RS – 6:56.4
Not five years after the Porsche 918 owned the Nurburgring, its flagship 911 goes and beats it. Who needs nearly 1,000hp, all-wheel drive and instant electric power? Equipped with the lightweight Weissach package, Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 R tires and a 500hp free-breathing flat-six, the new RS did the business a second quicker.
9. Radical SR8 – 6:55
The Radical SR8 is not a car for long motorway journeys. Its manic 2.6-liter V8 develops 360hp and, in theory, it generates enough downforce to drive upside-down. Back in 2005, it blasted around the Nurburgring in a supercar-slaying 6min 55sec.
8. Lamborghini Huracan Performante – 6:52.01
A year before the 911 GT2 fought back, the Lamborghini Huracan Performante put its active aerodynamics to the test for a barely believable 6min 52.01sec lap. In 2016, the thought of this relatively conventional supercar beating the sophisticated Porsche 918 Spyder was a real upset. We think weight is a key factor.
7. Radical SR8 LM – 6:48.28
When people say “It’s a racing car with number plates”, generally that’s not accurate. This actually is. Radicals race in this spec, minus headlights and those all-important plates. Michael Vergers drove the SR8 LM around the Nurburgring on street-legal tires for a time of 6min 48.28sec. That’s pretty epic, particularly as it was achieved way back in 2009.
6. Porsche 991 GT2 RS – 6:47.25
The GT2 RS was a fitting run-out model for the 991. Its incredible performance at the Nurburgring places it third in the overall ranking. Given the GT2 name’s reputation for spikiness, it’s quite an achievement to create such a well-rounded 700hp-plus 911.
5. Lamborghini Aventador SVJ – 6:44.97
The biggest and baddest of the raging bulls didn’t enjoy a lot of time atop the Nurburgring throne. Nevertheless, as a proof of how far the Aventador SVJ has come, its 6min 44.97sec time is undeniably incredible. Compare that to the original LP700’s time of 7min 25sec. Yes, that’s 40 seconds slower.
4. Porsche 992 GT3 RS – 6:44.85
With even more aero than a Le Mans-spec 911 RSR – including that monstrous rear wing – the latest GT3 RS is all about downforce: 870kg at 177mph, to be precise. The extra grip this generates means a 525hp 911 edges ahead of a 770hp Aventador around a lap of the ‘Ring. Sensational.
3. Mercedes-AMG GT Black Series – 6:43.62
Amazingly, this 6min 43.62sec time was achieved on a cold day with tarmac that was still damp in patches. Could the mega-Merc emulate the XE SV Project 8 and break its own record? Watch this space.
2. Porsche 991 GT2 RS Manthey – 6:43.30
Nurburgring lap times are often a bit controversial. So it proves with the first-placed 911 GT2 RS. Yes, it’s a production car – albeit now discontinued – but the record-holder was fitted with the optional Manthey Performance Kit. This consists of chassis, brake and aero upgrades, plus the lightweight magnesium wheels of the Weissach Package.
1. Mercedes-AMG One – 6:30.71
Mercedes-Benz engineers spent five years grappling with the challenge of making a 1.6-liter V6 Formula One engine pass noise and emissions tests – arguably an even greater achievement than the AMG One’s Nurburgring lap record. Still a time of 6min 30.71sec, set by driver Maro Engel, is pretty incredible. What will it take to beat it?
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