The Nurburgring is a special place, located in the town of Nurburg, Germany, the race track can trace its history back to the 1920s. The circuit today has three configurations, the Grand Prix Circuit, the Nordschleife (North Loop) and the combined circuit. The combined circuit measures 15.7 miles, has 170 turns, over 1,000 feet of elevation change and is the longest race track in the world, it’s also one of the most dangerous.
Auto manufacturers have been using the Nordschleife for decades as a test track and proving ground for their fastest, most capable models. And here are the fruits of their labors, the fastest street-legal cars to lap the devilish course
Porsche 991.2 Turbo S
The current Porsche 991 Turbo S isn’t a track day toy, it is in fact one of the best GT cars money can buy. Sure, it’s a sports car and a hugely fast one at that, but the Turbo S is more focused on blasting down the Autobahn and carving up your favorite twisty road than laying down fast lap times.
With 580-horsepower from a 3.8-liter twin-turbo flat six-cylinder engine, the Turbo S is able to sprint to 60 mph from a standstill in 2.8 seconds and carry on to a top speed of 205 mph. With that much speed and a sophisticated four-wheel-drive system, it’s no wonder that the Porsche was able to knock out a 7:17 lap.
Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE
The Camaro ZL1 1LE is the 600-pound Gorilla of track day cars. It’s a supercharged, 650-horsepower bruiser with a big wing, adjustable suspension and close to two-tons of weight to move around.
Despite the girth, the Camaro is surprisingly agile. Huge sticky tires and an adjustable suspension and 300-pounds of downforce from the wing and splitter definitely help. It also doesn’t hurt to have a 6.2-liter supercharged V8 under the hood. In 2017, GM took the Camaro ZL1 1LE to the Nurburgring and took the gloves off. The result was a 7:16.0 lap time, making it the fastest Camaro ever at the ‘Ring.
Donkervoort D8 270 RS
It’s got a funny name, but there’s nothing laughable about its performance. The Donkervoort D8 270 RS is a hand-built ultra-lightweight sports car that is modeled after the Lotus Seven. Think of it as a modern interpretation of the Seven, with more power and made in the Netherlands.
The D8 uses a 1.8-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine from Audi. Thanks to some fancy tuning, 270-horsepower is on tap and because it weighs just 1,386 pounds, it’s capable of 0-60 sprints in 3.6 seconds. Way back in 2006, the Donkervoort set a blistering time of 7:14.9 at the Nurburgring, a feat few can match to this day.
Lexus LFA Nurburgring Edition
Building a special edition of your sports car to break the lap record of the very track where you tested, tuned and developed it may seem like cheating… and it probably is. But when the car is the fantastic Lexus LFA, we can cut it some slack.
Over-engineered and fitted with a sonorous 4.8-liter V10 engine, the LFA has 553-horsepower and a 9,000 RPM redline. Top speed is 202 mph, but it’s the chassis handling and balance that are the real stars of the show. In 2011, Lexus unleashed the LFA Nurburgring Edition on the track and set a time of 7:14.6.
Chevrolet Corvette C7 Z06
In 1962, Chevrolet introduced the "Z06" option package for the Corvette. Its intention was to up the performance and make the ‘Vette more competitive in SCCA Production racing. Today, the Z06 moniker is synonymous with speed, and while it’s no longer a homologation special for racing, it is a track-focused destroyer of lap-times that can be used every day.
The monster under the hood of the Z06 is a 6.2-liter supercharged V8 that produces 650-horsepower and accelerates from 0 to 60 mph in 2.9 seconds. Chevrolet, a Nurburgring regular, never officially posted a lap time for the Z06, but German car magazine Sport Auto managed a 7:13.90 with it.
Porsche 991.2 GT3
The Porsche GT3 is the hardcore, lightened, track-ready version of the 911 Carrera. It’s a tuned and massaged track toy with a 500-horsepower flat six-cylinder engine and a big wing.
The GT3 can hit 60 mph from a standstill in three-seconds flat and race all the way up to a top speed of about 200 mph. But the numbers don’t tell the whole story, the GT3 is a masterclass in design, construction and, most importantly, sensation. Performance is a sensation, and the GT3 has that in spades. It’s nimble, planted, confidence-inspiring and wickedly fast. It’s no wonder that the GT3 was able to crank out a 7:12.7 lap time.
Lamborghini Aventador LP770-4 SVJ
All hail the King of the ‘Ring! Meet your new hero, the completely unhinged Lamborghini Aventador SVJ. Here are the specs for you to bask in… 6.5-liter V12 with 759-horsepower, seven-speed transmission with a Haldex four-wheel-drive system, racing-style pushrod suspension with active dampers and four-wheel steering, carbon-ceramic brakes and active aerodynamics. All of this is bolted to a carbon-fiber monocoque with the best exhaust note in the industry!
It’s a car of complete excess, and of unmatched performance. In 2018, Lamborghini held an official test at the Nurburgring and laid down the single fastest lap ever by street-car, 6:44.9, WOW!
Dodge Viper ACR
The Dodge Viper ACR is an all-out assault on the senses. A front-engine, rear-drive hooligan with a singular aim of drop-kicking your stomach every time you mash the accelerator.
ACR stands for "American Club Racer" and is the designation Dodge assigned to the most track-tuned version of the Viper. Underneath the impossibly long hood is an 8.4-liter V10 with 600-horsepower. To keep that behemoth under control, Dodge fits the ACR with sticky Michelin tires, adjustable suspension and an aero-package that produces over 1,000-pounds of downforce. In 2011, the Viper ACR came, saw and conquered the Nurburgring with a 7:12.13 lap.
Gumpert Apollo Sport
The Gumpert Apollo Sport exists for one reason only, to be the best street-legal track car in the world. In 2005, when the car made its world debut, it succeeded.
The Apollo Sport uses a modified version of Audi’s 4.2-liter V8 with a pair of turbochargers that help it produce 690-horsepower. State-of-the-art, for the time, adjustable suspension and a racing derived aerodynamic body helped the Apollo achieve a top speed of 224 mph and allowed it to break track records wherever it went. In 2009, a Sport Auto test at the Nurburgring saw the Apollo S run a warp-speed 7:11.6 lap.
Mercedes-AMG GT R
The Mercedes-AMG GT R is the higher-performance version of the already high-performance GT. Think of it like the Mercedes equivalent of the Porsche GT3. The GT R has a 4.0-liter twin-turbocharged V8 up front, drive goes to the rear wheels and has one of the best sounding exhaust notes as standard. The V8 packs 577-horsepower and is able to sling the Merc from 0 to 60 mph in 3.5 seconds.
The GT R pairs manually adjustable coil-over suspension and a manually adjustable rear-wing with a suite of electronics that maximize grip and traction control for fast lap times. In 2016, the AMG GT R lapped the ‘Ring in 7:10.9.
Nissan GT-R NISMO
Like the Lexus LFA, the Nissan GT-R and the NISMO variant spent a lot of time being developed, tuned and optimized at the Nurburgring. However, the Nissan GT-R could be had for a fraction of the price of the LFA and performed in a completely different way.
The NISMO GT-R is an all-wheel-drive supercar tour de force. A 3.8-liter V6, with a pair of turbochargers from the race car version, give the GT-R 600-horsepower and a top speed of about 200 mph. But top speed is not this cars forte, corner speed is. The NISMO engineered GT-R lapped the Nurburgring in a very supercar-like 7:08.7.
Mercedes-AMG GT R Pro
Yes, the GT R Pro is a lot like the Mercedes-AMG GT R, but the changes that AMG made to the car to make it faster around a race track have altered the feel and character of the car enough for it to be considered a different car.
The GT R Pro uses the same 577-horsepower 4.0-Liter twin-turbo V8 as its sibling, but Mercedes-AMG refined the aerodynamics and tuned the suspension to be even more track-focused. This is essentially a road-going version of the AMG GT R GT3 race car. That’s a lot of "Gs" and "Ts" but you get the idea. Those changes add up to a 7:04.6 lap of the Nurburgring.
Dodge Viper ACR
The newest and last version of the Dodge Viper ACR was the best, and weirdly the slowest! The 645-horsepower V10 has grunt for days but it’s the extreme aerodynamics package with lots of downforce that limit the ACR to just a 177 mph top speed. What it lacks in top end, though, it more than makes up for in corner speed.
Fully adjustable suspension and 2,000 pounds of downforce give the Viper ACR copious amounts of grip and that grip translates to scary levels of speed through corners. This car’s limits are far beyond what you think are possible. The updated ACR hit the ‘Ring in 2017 and rocked a 7:01.3 lap.
Lamborghini Aventador LP 750-4 Superveloce
Nothing personifies a supercar in the way a Lamborghini does. Each of their cars are fully bedroom-wall-poster worthy and their angular, futuristic designs are exactly what you’d expect from a no-holds-barred supercar.
The Aventador is the biggest and baddest car that Lamborghini produces, A V12 speed machine with performance and panache to match it’s fighter-jet inspired looks. The SV, short for "Super Veloce" ups the ante and makes the raging bull a true race track weapon. It has 740-horsepower and a 0 to 60 mph time of 2.8 seconds with tuned suspension and a big wing. Lamborghini clocked an impressive 6:59.7 lap of the Nurburgring when they brought it there in 2015.
Porsche 918 Spyder
When the Porsche 918 Spyder debuted, it was hailed as the future of supercars. A mid-engined plug-in hybrid using electric motors to boost performance. Today, with the debut of the Rimac Concept-One and the NIO EP9, we can see that the 918 was a transitional supercar, a gateway drug to bigger performance.
The legendary 918 Sypder uses a 4.6-liter V8 with a pair of electric motors to achieve 887-horsepower and a ridiculous 0 to 60 mph time of 2.2 seconds. The 918 remains one of the fastest supercars ever built and a worthy successor to the Carrera GT. In 2013, the 918 Spyder blitzed the ‘Ring with a time of 6:57.0.
Porsche 991.2 GT3 RS
The Porsche GT3 RS is the harder-core version of the hardcore GT3, which is the hardcore version of the 911 Carrera. It seems silly to make a track car, and then make a more track-focused version of the same track car, but one turn of the wheel in a GT3 RS and it all makes sense.
A 4.0-liter flat six-cylinder engine with 520-horsepower provides ample motivation and is capable of hurling the GT3 RS from 0 to 60 mph in 3-seconds flat on to a top speed of 193 mph. Using fully adjustable suspension and aerodynamics, the GT3 RS lapped the ‘Ring in 6:56.4.
Ok, we know what you’re thinking… this isn’t a street-car, it’s a race car! There’s no denying that Radical Sportscars are clearly pushing the definition of "street-legal" but the SR8 is, technically, fully road-legal with lights, turn signals, license plates, and street tires. Is it a streetcar? Yes. Can you pick up the kids from school in it or go to the grocery store with it? You can try.
It feels a bit like Radical found a loophole in the rules, but regardless, the SR8 is seriously fast. It has a 2.6-liter Powertec V8 that makes 360-horsepower and revs to over 10,000 rpm. Way back in 2005, the SR8 smashed the Nurburgring track record and posted a 6:55.0 lap.
Lamborghini Huracan LP 640-4 Performante
The Lamborghini Huracan Performante hit the scene like a tsunami in 2017. It didn’t have crazy horsepower numbers or an outrageous top speed, what it did have was a trick reworked suspension tuned for the race track and active aerodynamics which allowed it to completely vaporize track records, and the competition.
The Performante has the same 5.2-liter V10 as the normal Huracan, but it’s been re-tuned to produce 631-horsepower and a 0 to 60 mph sprint time of 2.9 seconds. Given enough space, the Performante can hit a top speed of 218 mph. More impressive than the stats is the Nurburgring lap time, 6:52.0. Boom.
Radical SR8 LM
To make up for the questionable road-legality of their SR8 track car, Radical decided in 2009 to break their own record with a newer, faster version of the same car, the SR8 LM. To appease the critics, Radical drove the car from England to the Nurburgring on public roads and then promptly set about obliterating the track record.
The 2009 SR8 LM came equipped with a 2.8-liter V8 with 455-horsepower. Using a chassis, suspension and aerodynamics that look more at home at the 24 Hours of Le Mans than on the street, the SR8 LM posted a lightning-fast lap time of 6:48.3.
Porsche 991.2 GT2 RS
What happens when you take an already fast Porsche GT3 RS and give it an extra 200-horsepower? You get the bonkers GT2 RS. The GT2 RS is the king of Porsche’s current line-up and the most powerful 911 variant ever made.
A twin-turbocharged 3.8-liter flat six-cylinder engine with 690-horsepower rockets the GT2 RS to top speed of 211 mph and can make the 0 to 60 mph run in 2.7 seconds. It’s the fastest 911 by miles and the engineering required to make this brute perform at such a high level is truly staggering. The mighty GT2 RS owns the 2nd fastest lap ever by a street-car at the ‘Ring with a 6:47.25 lap.
Over the past few years, the all-electric Volkswagen I.D.R has broken three motoring records, taking two titles from traditionally powered vehicles. Driving on an all-electric track, the I.D.R has put down some impressive times at Nurburgring.
It set a new lap record for all-electric cars with a Nurburgring spec version of the Pikes Peak Hill Climb. The all-wheel monster drive lapped the 12.9-mile circuit in just 6:05.336, beating the record set by the Chinese EV maker NIO It also et the second-fastest unrestricted lap around the ring.
Porsche 911 GT2 RS
When creating the 911 GT2 RS, Porsche had a goal of a lap time around 7:05s. However, after releasing the car, it surpassed their goals, going on to surpass the Lamborghini Huracan Performante with an impressive run of 6:47.3.
This was done by driver Lars Kern in 2017. More recently, after some modifications made by Manthey-Racing, the car managed to complete the lap in a shocking 6:40.3s. However, the GT2 RS isn’t the only 911 to do well either. The HTS 3 also holds some records of its own.
NextEV NIO EP9
The NextEV NIO EP9 is another all-electric vehicle that had an impressive lap time of just 6:45.9, setting a record on the Nurburgring racetrack. Although technically the car is street legal, it was later discovered that the record was done on bespoke tires.
This makes the vehicle that that broke the record is not street legal. However, if it had a different set of tires, the car would legally be allowed to be driven on the road.
McLaren P1 LM
Although this car may be up for debate regarding being street legal, the McLaren p1 LM is a road-legal version of the 986bhp, track-only P1 GTR. It was specialized and built by Lanazante and has gone nearly three seconds faster than the NextEV Nio EP9.
What makes the car so controversial is that it’s a road-legal adaptation of a track-only car, although some may debate that it fits the profile for such a vehicle.
Porsche 911 GT3
The Porsche 911 G3 is a high performance take on the Porsche 911 sports car which is primarily meant for racing. There have been a number of variations since the high-performance versions were launched in 1999. Since then, more than 14,000 cars have been produced.
A few of the vehicle’s most notable performances include the Porsche Carrera Cup and GT3 Cup Challenge, the International Porsche Supercut, FIA Formula 1 World Championship, among others. It also has a lap time of 7:05.41 on the Nurburgring.
Radical SR3 Turbo
With a Nurburgring lap time of 7:19, the Radical SR3 Turbo has an impressive Powertec 1500cc Turbo engine that was built in-house. The most popular is the Radical model. Over 1,000 of them have been built, most with carb-steel spaceframe chassis, using an RPE-tuned Suzuki Generation 3 4-cylinder.
The engine producer 225 horsepower, taking 3.1 seconds to get to 60 mph and soon on to 147 mph. The car could be made road-legal in the UK with the addition of indicators hand brake, tires, and a catalytic converter.
Chevrolet Corvet C6 ZR1
The Chevrolet Corvette C6 is the sixth generation of the Corvette sports cars that were made by Chevrolet division of General Motors between the years 2005 to 2013. Since the 1962 model, it was the first to have exposed headlights and had a very modern-looking design.
The ZR1 is the high-performance variant of the Z06, with rumors spreading that General Motors was developing a car that would surpass the Z06 and had the code name Blue Devil.
Ferrari 488 GTB
The Ferrari 488 is a mid-engine sports car designed and built by Ferrari. The car is regarded to be an update from the 458 models, with noticeable changes to its exterior. In 2015, the GTB was named the “Supercar of the Year” by Top Gear car magazine.
It also went on to become the Motor Trends “Best Driver’s Car” in 2017. The car has competed in countless races with much success and even had an impressive time of 7:21 on the Nurburgring.
This is a limited production two-seater car that is produced by the Italian carmaker Maserati. The vehicle entered production in 2004 with only 25 being produced. However, in 2005, another 25 were made, leaving only 50 in existence for around $670,541 per vehicle. Twelve more of these cars were then produced, leaving only 62 in existence.
Built on the chassis of the Enzo Ferrari, the MC12 is longer, wider, and taller, along with several other exterior changes from the Enzo. The car was designed to symbolize Maserati’s return to racing, clocking in a time of 7:24.29 on the Nurburgring.
Pagani Zonda F Clubsport
Named after Formula 1 driver Juan Manuel Fangio, the Zonda F was unveiled at the 2005 Geneva Motor Show. It was the most re-engineered version of the Zonda yet, although it still had many similarities with its predecessors such as the 7.3 AMG V12 engine.
The transmission was also very close to the c12 S but had different gears and stronger internals. The car’s new bodywork did a lot to improve its aerodynamics, even landing it a 7:24.44 on the Nurburgring.
The Ferrari Enzo, also referred to as the Ferrari Enzo or F60, is a 12 cylinder mid-engine sports car named after the company’s founder. The car was created in 2002 using Formula One technology including elements such as a carbon-fiber body, F-1 style electrohydraulic shift transmission, composite disc brakes, and more.
Its F140 B V12 engine was the first of a new generation for Ferrari, which is loosely based on the V8 engine in the Maserati Quattroporte. With all of its speed, it earned itself a 7:25.21 on the Nurburgring.
KTM X-Bow RR
The KTM X-Bow is an extremely light sports car that is designed for both racing and regular driving. The X-Bow was KTM’s first car in their product range which was introduced at the Geneva Motor Show in 2008.
The X-Bow was a collaboration between Kiska Design, Audi, and Dallara. KTM expected to only produce 500 units a year, however, after high demand, they decided to raise the numbers to 1,000 a year. The car has been racing since 2008, winning multiple championships to date.
Ferrari 812 Superfast
Clocking in at 7:27.48 on the Nurburgring, the Ferrari 812 Superfast is a front mid-engine, rear-wheel-drive was debuted at the 2017 Geneva Motor Show. The car is considered to be the successor of the F12berlinetta.
However, it had some updating styling including full LED lamps, air vents, among other aspects. The car has a top speed of 211 mph with an acceleration time of just 2.9 seconds. It is also the first Ferrari to be equipped with electric power steering.
BMW M4 GTS
The BMW M4 is a high-performance version of the BMW 4 Series developed by BMW Motorsports. The M4 was the replacement for the M3 coupe and convertible models. The M4 is different from others due to its powerful twin-turbocharged engine, aerodynamic body, improved handling, and braking systems.
It also has reduced weight compared to the standard 4 series. All of these additions and tweaks allowed for the car to have a 7:27.88 lap on the Nurburgring.
Later known as the McLaren 12C, the vehicle is a sports car that is the first-ever car wholly designed and produced by McLaren. It is also their first production road car since the McLaren F1 which stopped production back in 1998. The final design of the MP4-12C was revealed in 2009, and the car was officially released in 2011.
It is powered by a longitudinally-mounted McLaren M838T 3.8 L twin-turbocharged engine, giving it a time of 7:28 om the Nurburgring. The car also has Formula 1 aspects such as brake steer and a dual-clutch transmission.
Chevrolet Camero ZL1
The Chevrolet ZL1 model is a high-performance model of the Camaro SS which was introduced to the public in 2017. The carbon hood insert helps to remove hot air, as does the lower grille as well.
The car also features wider front fenders, which allow for wider tires and therefore better control. The vehicle has the capability to accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in 3.4 seconds and reach a speed of 127 mph m 11.4 seconds. The ZL1’s top speed clocks in at 198 mph.
Audi R8 V10 Plus
The Audi R8 is a mid-engine 2-seater sports car which utilizes Audi’s signature all-wheel-drive system. It is based on the Lamborghini Gallardo as well as the Huracan. The car was first introduced in 2006 but was reintroduced with a new-and-improved version known as the Audi R8 V10 Plus.
Upgrades include a V10 engine which was also offered in convertible models known as the Spyder. However, these cars were no longer produced after August 2015. Still, the car managed to clock in a time of 7:32 on the Nurburgring.
Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio
The Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio, Italian for “four-leaf clover,” is a high-performance vehicle and first model in the new Giulia. It was showcased in Italy on June 2015 and made its official debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show. The vehicle has an all-aluminum alloy, twin-turbocharged gasoline direct-injection V6 engine, and a single-cylinder displacement just under half a liter.
The engine was designed exclusively for the car by Ferrari technicians, sharing many of Ferrari’s traits. With a top speed of 191 mph, it completed the Nurburgring circuit in seven minutes and 32 seconds.
The Koenigsegg CCX is a mid-engine sports car that is produced by Swedish manufacturer Koenigsegg Automotive AB. Their goal was to make a global car that adheres to safety and environmental regulations, especially those in the United States.
The car was revealed at the 2006 Geneva Motor Show, and also had body modifications to meet United States’ standards. The name, CCX, is an abbreviation for Competition Coupé X, with the X standing for the 10th anniversary of the completion and test drive of the first CC prototype in 1996.
Lamborghini Gallardo LP 570-4 Superleggera
The Lamborghini Gallardo LP 570-4 Superleggera was announced in March 2010 and is a more powerful and lightweight version of the LP 560-4. The use of carbon fiber used both inside and out makes the car particularly lightweight, actually, the lightest Lamborghini in the range, weighing just below 3,000 pounds.
The performance had also been improved since past models, able to reach 62 miles in 3.2 seconds with a top speed of 204 mph. On the Nurburgring circuit, it clocked in at an impressive 7:40.76.