From 1925 to 1927, the Nurburgring racetrack was built as a means of helping to employ people in Nurburg, a town in the western German state of Rhineland-Palatinate. Today Nurburgring is the longest racing track in the world. The track in its maximum configuration is 12.9 miles or 20.8 km in length and contains dozens of challenging turns including one large chicane located at its top end.
The Track cost 14.1 million reichmarks (which is around $40 million US today) to build and you can have the experience of driving on it for only €26 (about $35 USD) per lap. However, it's very unlikely that any everyday driver will even come close to reaching one of the track's fastest recorded laps, regardless of the car they're driving. Tourist driving days are highly regulated, with caps on speed for safety purposes.
Many people have driven all sorts of experimental test cars around Nurburgring over the years and have used their experiences to analyse speed and handling capabilities on the challenging course. Also, the Sport Auto magazine in Germany often reviews cars by testing them on this track, but they typically only do this for new, high-speed vehicles. The 67,600 foot or 20,600 meter length is the standard for completing these laps.
Some of the fastest laps on this track were recorded by extremely improbable vehicles that are rarely spotted on today's roads. However, the majority of these high-end supercars and prototypes are in fact street-legal.
10 Porsche 911 GT2 RS - 2010 - 7:24
The Porsche 911 is one of the most famous vehicles made by the German auto maker. The GT2 RS model was driven on Nurburgring in 2010 by German test-driver Horst von Saurma who recorded a lap time of 7:24. The $245,000 cost for this vehicle may be extremely high for most, but its 3.6L H6 engine with 620 hp and six-speed manual transmission make it a vehicle that can tear down any winding race track. It also weighs around 150 pounds less than the standard version of the GT2. In fact, the RS shoots from 0 to 60 in 3.4 seconds and tops out at speeds of 205 mph.
9 2012 Chevrolet Corvette C6 ZO6 - 2011 - 7:22
The 2012 Chevrolet Corvette C6 ZO6 is the first of two Corvette models on this list. Tested by General Motors in 2011, this car is based heavily off of the Stingray convertible model that has been a historical flagship of the company for years. The vehicle had a 7.0L engine with an aluminum chassis and donned wider tires for this test than regular Corvette models. Brand new, the Z06 could be found for $110,000 in many markets, but was not made in a convertible format. A carbon edition of the vehicle was also available and cut the weight down by a few hundred pounds but it cost an extra $15,000. Driver Jim Mero took it around the track with a lap time of 7:22 in 2011.
8 2012 Chevrolet Corvette C6 ZR1 - 2011 - 7:19
Mero's previous lap time in the Z06 couldn't best his fastest lap in Chevrolet's Corvette C6 ZR1. This 6.2L supercharged V8 supercar is assembled by hand in Kentucky and uses carbon ceramic brakes similar to those used in the Ferrari FXX. Today you could find this car for as little as $115,000 but it will certainly cost extra to get some racing features like the Michelin Pilot Sport Cup Zero Pressure tires used to go down Nurburgring in 7:19. This is still a welcome addition to the Corvette family which has become home to some of the most popular vehicles in the world. It's a car synonymous with speed and style and has become a real status symbol, competing with sports cars double or triple the price.
7 Donkervoort D8 RS - 2006 - 7:14.9
German driver Michael Duchting had taken the Donkervoort D8 RS onto Nurburgring a few times and clocked in at 7:18 once, but his best time came in 2006 when he went around the track in just under 7:15. The vehicle that he used is a hand-made model that features a 1.8L Audi engine with a turbocharged setup and a lightweight design that is closer to two thousand pounds in weight. The $207,000 value is extremely high but you get what you pay for as each unit from this Netherlands-based company is completely hand-made according to the specific demands of the buyer. Naturally, Duchting's model was assembled with racing functions in mind above all else.
6 Lexus LFA Nurburgring Package - 2011 - 7:14.6
The Lexus LFA is a two-seat supercar that was in production from 2010 to 2012. It originally had a 4.8L V10 engine with 552 bhp but the Nurburgring Package edition boosted power to 563 bhp and featured a new transmission with slightly faster shifting times. It also had special light-weight alloy wheels. In fact, this vehicle was designed with the Nurburgring track in mind and allowed buyers to get a trip to the track included in the purchase of the car and even a year-long pass to the ring. However, the price tag was around $450,000 for the vehicle and all its perks and was only available for a limited time. Japanese driver Akira Iida took this baby around the track in just under 7:15 in 2011.
5 2010 Dodge Viper ACR - 2011 - 7:12
The Dodge Viper made a huge splash in the early 1990s when it was released with its V10 engine. The American Club Racing model of the Viper uses K&N air filters and weighs 50 pounds less than a standard model. This vehicle is made in the United States unlike many of the other vehicles seen in this list and it's not totally uncommon to see one of these bad boys prowling the streets. The exact cost of the vehicle that Dominic Farnbacher used to go 7:12 on Nurburgring in 2011 is unclear, but it is likely more valuable than the $95,000 price tag on a base model in the United States. Fortunately, the Fiat motor company saved the vehicle from production purgatory during Chrysler's struggles with Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
4 Gumpert Apollo Sport - 2009 - 7:11
The German-engineered Gumpert Apollo was produced up until 2012 and was designed with a 4.2L twin-turbocharged V8 engine and a six-speed manual transmission. It also weighs in at 2,400 pounds thanks to its fiberglass body, although a carbon fiber option is also available. Roland Gumpert himself claims that you could technically drive it upside-down on a tunnel if you were travelling at its top speed of 190 mph, but as of yet no one has bothered to risk their life proving him wrong. The car that Florian Gruber piloted around the Nurburgring in 2009 would go for $410,000 if it were sold in the United States.
3 2015 Nissan GT-R Nismo - 2013 - 7:08
Michael Krumm took the 2015 Nissan GT-R Nismo out to Nurburgring in late September 2013 and came relatively close to breaking the seven-minute barrier with a time of 7:08. The vehicle uses a twin-turbo V6 engine and has 545 horsepower. It also used Dunlop SP Sport Maxx GT tires during this successful run down the track. It will be available for sale in the United States in the middle part of 2014 at a cost of $205,000. Still, the 17mm anti-roll bar, carbon-fiber-supported leather seats and its top speed of around 195 mph make for one of the most impressive road vehicles on the market in terms of sheer performance.
2 Porsche 918 Spyder - 2013 - 6:57
In September 2013, Marc Lieb went 6:57 down the Nurburgring with a rare edition of the Porsche 918 Spyder. This vehicle was limited to a production run of only 918 models and has a 4.6L V8 engine. The Spyder is capable of 199 mph and can go from 0 to 60 in just over three seconds. It made its successful sprint down the track on Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires. Needless to say, you'd have to throw down a hefty sum ($845,000 to be exact) if you're actually going to get your hands on this limited edition vehicle.
1 Radical SR8 LM - 2009 - 6:48
Michael Vergers holds the two fastest laps ever recorded on the Nurburgring Nordschleife, both in a British-made Radical SR8. In 2009 he shot the LM version of this car around the track in 6:48. This V8-powered car with a weight of only 1,500 pounds is extremely fast and nimble but is anything but affordable. It can be found for $180,000 if one is lucky enough to actually land this particular model, and buyer beware, it comes with precious few creature comforts. Actually, it doesn't come with any. The ability of the engine to rev up to 10,500 rpm and its incredibly light-weight design help to maintain downforce for brutally fast acceleration of 0-60mph in 2.8 seconds. This vehicle also used Dunlop Direzza DZ03 tires while completing its record run around the track.
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