While high horsepower numbers and top speeds are nice to have, it's the car's ability to accelerate and take on corners that make it a true sports car. So, for many decades now, car manufacturers have used one of the longest and most daunting racetracks out there to prove the competence and reliability of their vehicles - the notorious Nurburgring. The track is over 16 miles long and incorporates a myriad of daunting corners, slopes, and a few straights. That's why it's the perfect platform to test the true competence of any performance car.
Lapping the Nurburgring fast has little to do with the car's horsepower or top speed, and everything to do with its acceleration, agility, and racing prowess. Given its significance, almost all modern sports cars have left their skid marks and time record on this track.
And while the very fastest Nurburgring lap times naturally belong to track-focused racers, today, we're counting down the 10 fastest cars that have ever lapped this track that are also FULLY STREET-LEGAL. Buckle up!
10 Dodge Viper ACR — 7:01.30
With a massive engine and an aggressive design, the Dodge Viper has been every teenager's dream car for decades now. But, if you think the viper is cool. The Viper ACR will completely blow you away. The acronym "American Club Racing" completely transforms this sports car into a street-legal track monster. And back in 2017, one of these lapped the Nurburgring in just 7 minutes and 1 second.
Inside the ACR is an 8.4L V10 that produces 645 horsepower and 600 lb-ft of torque. It also packs heaps of aerodynamic features and the best Brembo ceramic brakes ever fitted on a Viper. The best part? It set this amazing time using a fully manual transmission, which makes it the fastest manual transmission car to ever lap the Nurburgring.
9 Lamborghini Aventador LP 750-4 SV — 6:59.73
The "LP" denotes its longitudinally mounted engine, the 750 its horsepower, and the SV or "Super Veloce" literally translates to "Super Fast." Needless to say, this Aventador is born to break records. And so, in 2015 the company put this fully street-legal mid-engine supercar on the notorious track to see just how fast it really is. The effort resulted in an outstanding 6:59.73 time, cementing the Aventador among one of the few production cars to ever lap the track in under 7 minutes.
To achieve this, Lamborghini engineered this Aventador to perfection. Adding raw horsepower was not enough and the car's weight was reduced by as much as 110 lbs, with aerodynamics drastically improved to maximize downforce. In the final form, the LP 750-4 SV was able to catapult itself to 60 mph in just 2.8 seconds and reach a top speed of over 217 mph.
8 Porsche 918 Spyder — 6:57.00
It took four years before the Spyder would finally be dethroned as the fastest production car around the Nurburgring, which is something Porsche should be really proud of. With the 918 Spyder, the company managed to engineer the hybrid drivetrain that would allow them to gain an upper hand on just about the entire competition.
With an electric motor mounted to the front axle, the 918 was able to take on corners like no other production car before it, and the brute force of its 887-horsepower engine meant lightning-fast acceleration. We're talking 60 mph in just 2.2 seconds, in 2014!
7 Porsche 911 GT3 RS — 6:56.40
The GT3 RS serves as yet another proof of how track-ready Porsche cars are. The new model, boasting "only" 520 horsepower, easily lapped the daunting "Ring" in less than 7 minutes, or 6:56.40 to be exact. This was achieved due to the car's excellent suspension (featuring stiffer springs), improved aerodynamics, and of course, marvelous driving by Kevin Estre. The car is not even the fastest road-legal Porsche out there, yet it does a 0-60 in just 3.0 seconds and accelerates to a top speed of 193 mph.
6 Lamborghini Huracan Performante — 6:52.01
When Lamborghini's new flagship model took a shot at the "Ring" in 2017, it promptly smashed the long-standing record set by the 918 Spyder, thus becoming the fastest production car around the track. The time it recorded was a cool 6.52.01.
Not only is it fast, it's a whole 28 seconds faster around the track than your standard Huracan (which sports a 610-hp V10, mind you). To make this happen, the Performante incorporates the Aerodinamica Lamborghini Attiva (ALA) system, which greatly reduces drag on straights, and generates heaps of downforce in corners. Apart from that, it comes up with about 30 more horsepower and torque, which allow it to reach 60 mph in 2.9 seconds versus the standard 3.2 seconds.
5 Porsche 911 GT2 RS — 6:47.30
When the Huracan Performance finally managed to dethrone the longstanding street-legal champion of the Nurburgring, the 918 Spyder, it was obvious Porsche will try to concoct something to get back at the raging bull. And indeed they did. So, not even 6 months later, the 911 GT2 RS entered the "Ring." Using a 700-horsepower engine that's able to launch the car to 60 in just 2.7 seconds and guarantees a top speed of 211 mph, the GT2 RS shattered Lamborghini's record by almost 5 seconds. However, the company would soon come up with an even quicker street-legal Porsche.
4 NIO EP9 — 6:45.90
If you've never heard of NIO, we don't blame you. Hailing from Shanghai, China, the car showed up in 2016 before promptly destroying every other production car to ever take a go at the Nurburgring, clocking in at 6:45.90. It's actually a fully-electric car powered by an individual-wheel drive powertrain, that generates a total of 1360 horsepower. This essentially allows it to transfer the power to each individual wheel when needed. The electric engine is good for about 265 miles, and will happily slingshot you to 60 mph in just 2.6 seconds.
3 Lamborghini Aventador SVJ — 6:44.97
Last of a dying breed of Lamborghini V12 mid-engine supercars, the Aventador SVJ is also the quickest and most competent production car the company has ever created. And in 2018, it lapped the Nurburgring at a lighting-fast 6:44.97. For many, this is considered the fastest lap a true production car has ever achieved.
The "Super Veloce Jota" in front of its name means we're by no means dealing with a regular Aventador. The car packs a 6.5L V12 producing 770 horsepower, which is able to slingshot it to 60 mph in just 2.9 seconds. But that's not all, to beat out the Porsche, Lamborghini equipped it with its special Aerodinamica Lamborghini Attiva (ALA) system, which allows the car to take on corners at abnormally high speed and accelerate faster on the straights.
2 McLaren P1 LM — 6:43.00
There are only five of these in existence, each as fast and fearsome as the P1 GTR race car. This essentially means that LM owners get to legally drive a car that can compete with a race car out on the public road. But that's not all, the team made the LM 132 lbs lighter and equipped it with additional aerodynamic features so that it creates even more downforce than its racing counterpart. Under the bonnet is still that beastly 1000-horsepower engine that's able to launch the car to 60 mph in 2.6 seconds. Hold the gas down long enough and who knows what could happen, as the top speed of the LM is estimated at over 217 mph.
1 GT2 RS MR — 6:40.33
Feast your eyes on the quickest and most track-ready Porsche that you can take out on a public road. The MR absolutely destroyed every street-legal car to ever lap the "Ring," including the fabled Aventador SVJ. Though, proper kudos need to be given to Lamborghini for being able to achieve such a terrific time with a mass-produced car with no special track modifications.
Nevertheless, Porsche's GT2 RS MR stands unrivaled by road cars on the track, while still featuring GT2's standard 700-horsepower 3.8L engine. What the MR package does deliver are a new design and aerodynamic features (front splitter, flaps, a rear diffuser, etc), a special suspension, and better brakes. That's Enough to shave off those 7 seconds from the standard version.