Germany’s famed Nurburgring Nordschleife is one of the most technical and dangerous race tracks in the world, so naturally it’s the place where the world’s automotive brands come to develop their upcoming models – as well as competing for the title of ‘fastest around the ‘Ring’.
UPDATE, 23/08/2023 – We have updated the record times as of August 2023, including additional categories such as super sports cars and electric vehicle records.
In recent years it seems Nurburgring lap times have almost been as important as releasing new models, as manufacturers fight for bragging rights around the ‘Green Hell’.
The Mercedes-AMG One has toppled the Porsche 911 GT2 RS with Manthey Performance Kit, with a lap time of 6:35.183 on the Nordschleife.
That’s an improvement of 8.0 seconds on the previous record – a significant margin.
The previous record holder, the Porsche 911 GT2 RS with Manthey Performance Kit, set a lap time of 6:43.30.
Here’s a list of the current Nurburgring production car record holders from the race track’s official website:
- Compact Cars: Audi RS3 sedan – 7:40.748 minutes (2021, video here)
- Mid-range Cars: BMW M4 CSL – 7:20:207 minutes (2022, video here)
- Executive Cars: Mercedes-AMG GT63 S 4-Door – 7:27.800 minutes (2020, video here)
- Electric Cars: Porsche Taycan Turbo S with Performance kit – 7:33.350 minutes (2022, video here)
- SUVs, off-road vehicles, vans, pick-ups: Porsche Cayenne Coupe performance model – 7:38.925 minutes (2021, video here)
- Sports Cars: Porsche 911 GT2 RS with Manthey Performance Kit – 6:43.30 (2021, video here)
- Super sports cars: Mercedes-AMG one – 6:35:183 (2022, video here)
- Electric supercars and hypercars: Rimac Nevera – 7:05.298 (2023, video here)
There’s also a ‘Prototypes’ category for non-production models like race cars and pre-production concepts, here are three benchmark times set by three very different prototype vehicles:
- Porsche 919 Hybrid Evo (all-time record) – 5:19.546 minutes (2018, video here)
- Volkswagen ID.R (electric record) – 6:05.336 minutes (2019, video here)
- Lynk & Co 03 Cyan concept (FWD + four-door record) – 7:20.143 (2019, video here)
Given the extremely competitive nature of these lap times, Nurburgring record attempts don’t come without their controversies.
It’s common practice for manufacturers to fit vehicles with racing seats and track-focused tyres on record-attempting vehicles, leading many to question the validity of lap times especially if the model isn’t available to the public with similar specifications.
Possibly one of the biggest media storms of late came in 2017 when Lamborghini Huracan Performante claimed to be the fastest production car around the ‘Ring, though naysayers accused the Raging Bull of cropping its on-board video of the record-breaking lap at the time, which was 6:51.01 minutes.
The production car record set by the Porsche 911 GT2 RS MR also came under fire, as the modifications over the ‘standard’ GT2 RS were done by Manthey Racing, meaning the record-holding car isn’t wholly an in-house job by Porsche.
Regardless, there’s no doubt we’ll continue to see manufacturers shave previous seconds off these Nurburgring lap times in the years to come. With cars continually getting faster and more aerodynamic, perhaps we might see production cars crack the six-minute barrier sooner than we think.