If we’ve said it once we’ve said it a thousand times: Nurburgring lap times are a futile benchmark of a car’s capabilities.
That is, of course, until a new lap record is published and we get giddier than a taco truck owner on Cinco de Mayo. (That this post was published on May 5 certainly wasn’t lost on your good friends here at AutoGuide.com.) Well our collective excitement is rising once again after Porsche announced that the new 911 GT3 circled the 12.9-mile (20.7-kilometer) track in a blistering 7:12.7.
The mere thought of piloting the Porsche for that hot lap left our adrenaline pumping faster than a 4.0-liter flat-six at redline. It also led us to dust off the old Nurburgring lap time list to see where this new 911 GT3 lands.
As this isn’t the fastest car to ever take to the track — hell, it’s not even the fastest Porsche to run around the Nurburgring — we’ve put together a list not just of production cars present and past that the 2018 Porsche 911 GT3 will outrun on the ‘Ring, but also five production cars that it can’t catch on the famed track.
5. Chevrolet Corvette Z06 (C6): 7:22.1
Fitted with a massive 7.0-liter V8, the Z06 still holds the record as the most powerful naturally-aspirated production car from GM. But it was about more than power, and the Z06 was fitted with all kinds of upgrades hell bent on beefing up its on-track performance. Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough to outgun the new 911 GT3, with the Corvette Z06 coming in almost 10 seconds slower around the ‘Ring.
4. Ferrari 488 GTB: 7:21
Ferrari’s new era of forced induction was ushered in with the 488 GTB, and the 458 successor definitely hasn’t disappointed. With a pair of turbochargers strapped to its V8 engine, the 488 GTB puts down 661 horsepower and 561 lb-ft of torque. Unfortunately, that output isn’t enough to motivate it around the ‘Ring quick enough to compete with the 911 GT3.
3. Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 (C6): 7:19.63
As if the Z06 wasn’t enough, the good folks running the Corvette program blessed us with the ZR1. Clad in all kinds of carbon fiber, the Corvette ZR1 took the Chevy’s supercar-killing ways to the next level, and had a supercharged 6.2-liter engine V8 helping it along. Despite its amped-up performance, the car completed its fastest lap around the track some seven seconds slower than the new GT3.
2. Porsche 911 GT2 RS (997): 7:18
With a twin-turbocharged flat-six pushing it around, the 911 GT2 RS was the most powerful street legal 911 when it went on sale in late 2007. Output was a healthy 612 horsepower and 516 lb-ft of torque, both of which are substantially more than what this new, naturally aspirated GT3 model makes. Still, that wasn’t enough to keep it out ahead of its descendant, with the GT2 RS completing its lap more than five seconds slower.
1. Lexus LFA Nurburgring Package: 7:14.64
The LFA opened plenty of eyes to the performance potential of Toyota’s luxury brand. The Nurburgring edition simply kept them open. This track-focused version got power from the same V10 engine as the car on which it’s based, as well as a bunch of upgrades to its internal components aimed at improving the car’s lap time on — you guessed it — the Nurburgring. Unfortunately, the six-figure supercar didn’t quite have what it takes to outrun the 2018 Porsche 911 GT3 on its namesake track, completing its hot lap about two seconds slower.
2018 Porsche 911 GT3: 7:12.7
With its 4.0-liter six-cylinder, this new 911 GT3 features the smallest engine of the bunch. It’s also among the least powerful, putting out just 500 horsepower and 339 lb-ft of torque, making its lap time that much more impressive.
5. Mercedes-AMG GT R: 7:10.92
Mercedes-Benz builds some opulent luxury cars, but its AMG division is more than capable of going toe-to-toe with any performance brand it deems worthy. Mercedes-AMG’s second car to ever be developed completely in-house, the AMG GT, is great. The AMG GT R is just great-R. Output from its twin-turbo V8 jumps to 577 horsepower 520 lb-ft of torque, while a bunch of other changes in the name of speed. Mission accomplished.
4. Nissan GT-R Nismo: 7:08.68
There’s a reason the GT-R has been nicknamed Godzilla. Ready to terrorize pretty much anything in its path, the GT-R is a handful for every car it encounters. The big differences in the GT-R Nismo version that can outrun the 911 GT3 are its suspension setup and stiffened chassis, as will as additional brake cooling. These parts were further enhanced for its ‘Ring run, with the aptly named N Attack Package made specifically for the Nurburgring.
3. Lamborghini Aventador LP 750-4 SV: 6:59.73
The heavy hitter of the Lamborghini lineup, the Aventador SuperVeloce was built to do outrageous things — like sprint to 60 mph in about 2.7 seconds. Aside from more carbon fiber bits and better handling, the SV received as extra shot of about 50 horsepower for 740 ponies. With the car offering one horsepower for every five lb it has to move, the Aventador SV broke the seven-minute mark — but just barely — around the Nurburgring.
2. Porsche 918 Spyder Weissach Package: 6:57
One of a trio of so-called hypercars to hit the market at about the same time, the 918 Spyder was supposed to be a gesture of good environmental will from Porsche. And while its hybrid powertrain undoubtedly helped in that regard, it also helped the two-seater become the first production car to break the seven-minute mark around the ‘Ring. The record-setting car was fitted with the Weissach pack, which adding components like magnesium wheels to lower its weight, thus improving track performance.
1. Lamborghini Huracan Performante: 6:52.01
Dethroning its hybrid-powered sibling from Porsche, the Huracan Performante features a naturally-aspirated V10 engine that makes 631 horsepower and 443 lb-ft of torque. It also weighs less than the standard Huracan, with its forged carbon fiber body reminiscent of the one fitted to the outrageous Sesto Elemento. With a stiffer chassis and re-calibrated tuning, the Performante is now the record holder for the faster Nurburgring lap by a production car. How long it will last is anyone’s guess, but you it’s definitely a matter of when, not if, it will be unseated.