Update: We’ve refreshed the list with the latest lap times, including those for the 2023 Tesla Model S Plaid Track Package, 2023 Honda Civic Type R, 2023 Mercedes-AMG One, 2023 Porsche Taycan Turbo S and 911 GT3 RS.
Over the last 20 years Nürburgring lap times have become as important a marketing tool for automakers as a neck-snapping 0-60 mph figure or continent crushing top speed.
Nürburgring Nordshleife laptimes, that is. The Nordschleife is the original 1930s toll road that became too dangerous for the F1 crowd, who decamped to the modern Nürburgring GP circuit next door in 1984.
But the old circuit lives on. It still hosts the annual Nürburgring 24 Hour race (whose course blends the old and new tracks), it’s still open to tourist traffic and crazy taxi rides, and it’s where the car industry comes to test and develop its latest cars.
Take A Look: Nurburgring Live Webcams And 360º Panorama 2021
Beyond the outright production car record, carmakers often claim class records for EVs, SUVs and front-wheel drive cars, but that information isn’t always easy to find in one place so we’ve created this post as a one-stop place to view ‘Ring times. We’ll revisit and update it as and when a new champ appears.
Why Are There Two And Sometimes Three Different Lap Times?
A quick note about the lap times. You’ll find three different types of figures floating around on the web. Bridge-to-Gantry times are usually set on public Touristenfahrten days, because Joe Shmoe have-a-go heroes aren’t allowed to run complete laps.
The other, more credible kind of lap time, the 20.6 km (12.8 miles) record published by most manufacturers from the 1990s onwards, and by Germany’s Sport Auto magazine, isn’t technically a complete lap either, because it starts at the end of, and finishes at the start of, the old pit straight.
But in 2019 the company behind the Nürburgring added a true 20.832 km (12.94 miles) lap record, which caused some confusion because cars claiming new records wrongly appear at first glance to be slower than the cars they’re supposed to have beaten. We’ve published both, where available, to minimize mix-ups, and clicking on a hyperlink in any of the tables will take you to the original Carscoops story (usually with video) of each car’s original record. We’ve used the most credible official sources we can find for the numbers, but let us know if you think we’ve made any mistakes.
When Porsche’s 918 Spyder hypercar broke the 7-minute barrier in 2013 it almost seemed like alchemy. But just nine years later the 918 doesn’t even figure in the top 10 list of fastest cars, and machines like the 911 GT3 and GT3 RS can go faster for far less outlay. But nothing can lap as quickly as the Mercedes-AMG One hypercar, which ripped around the course in 6.35.18 in late October 2022, putting more than 12 seconds between it and the next fastest car on the list.
|1.||2023 Mercedes-AMG One||6:30.71||6:35.18|
|2.||2019 Porsche 911 GT2 RS Manthey-Racing||6:38.84||6:43.30|
|3.||2020 Mercedes-AMG GT Black Series||6:43.62||6:48.05|
|4.||2023 Porsche 911 GT3 RS||6:44.85||6:49.33|
|5.||2018 Lamborghini Aventador SVJ||6:44.97||N.A.|
|6.||2017 Porsche 911 GT2 RS||6:47.25||N.A.|
|7.||2009 Radical SR8 LM||6:48.28||N.A.|
|8.||2017 Lamborghini Huracan Performante||6:52.01||N.A.|
|9.||2005 Radical SR8||6:55.00||N.A.|
|10.||2018 Porsche 911 GT3||6.55.10||6:59.93|
Overall Lap Record
The late Stefan Bellof’s staggering 6:11.13 lap set in a Porsche 956 endurance racer during qualifying for the 1983 Nurburgring 1000 Km race was so outrageously rapid, it remained unbroken for 35 years. But in 2018 Porsche used its spiritual successor, the hybrid-powered 919, to go almost a minute faster. Hovering just above the 6-minute mark is VW’s ID.R electric racer, while the Mercedes-AMG One that tops the production car table comes in fifth in this overall list, an impressive achievement for a fully street-legal car.
|1.||Porsche 919 Evo Le Mans||N.A.||5:19.55|
|4.||March Engineering 832-BMW||N.A.||6:28.03|
|6.||Porsche 911 GT2 RS Manthey (OEM-spec)||6:38.84||6:43.30|
|7.||Porsche 911 GT2 RS Manthey (aftermarket-spec)||6:40.33||6:44.75|
|9.||Pagani Zonda R||N.A.||6.47.50|
|10.||McLaren P1 XP1 LM||6:43.22||N.A.|
Though Jaguar’s hardcore XE-based Project 8 went off sale almost four years ago, it’s still the sedan to beat. But only just, because in 2023 Tesla returned to the ‘Ring with its Model S Plaid, this time with an optional $15k Track Package that consists of 20-inch Zero-G wheels, Goodyear Supercar 3R tires, carbon ceramic brakes and a handful of software changes. Those mods helped it slice 10 seconds out of the stock Plaid’s time and took the S from nowhere to second place on the sedan board.
|1.||2019 Jaguar XE SV Project 8||7:18.36||7:23.16|
|2.||2023 Tesla Model S Plaid Track Package||N.A.||7:25.23|
|3.||2021 Mercedes-AMG GT 63 S 4Matic+||7:23.01||7:27.80|
|4.||2020 Porsche Panamera Turbo S||7:25.04||7:29.81|
|5.||2018 Mercedes-AMG GT 63 S 4Matic+||7:25.41||7:30.11|
SUV & Crossovers
If the idea of timing an SUV around a race track sounds absurd, you obviously haven’t driven the latest crop of super-SUVs. Despite their height and weight penalties, these high-rise muscle machines are almost as quick as the fastest sedans and can even shame a few sports cars. It’s interesting to note that while crowing about its supercar’s achievements at the ‘Ring, Lambo hasn’t revealed how quickly its Urus completes a lap. But given its Porsche Cayenne Turbo GT and Audi RS Q8 sister cars dominate the leaderboard, you might presume it’s not slow.
|1.||2021 Porsche Cayenne Turbo GT||7:33.95||7:38.93|
|2.||2020 Audi RS Q8||N.A.||7:42.25|
|3.||2019 AMG GLC 63 S 4Matic+||7:49.37||7:54.40|
|4.||2018 Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio||7:51.70||N.A.|
|5.||2016 Porsche Cayenne Turbo||7:59.70||N.A.|
The Renault Megane and Honda Civic Type R have been trading places at the top of the front-wheel drive record table for almost a decade, and it’s the Honda that’s the current champ. The record-breaking 2023 Civic was a Europe-only lightweight version called the S-grade the comes minus a stack of electrical goodies, but it’s still a genuine production model and that’s what matters. Looking further down the table, Volkswagen’s two-seater Mk7 Golf GTI Clubsport R briefly held the record in 2016, but the company claims it’s not planning a track-ready version of the Mk8 GTI.
|1.||2023 Honda Civic Type R||N.A.||7:44.88|
|2.||2019 Renault Megane RS Trophy-R||7:40.10||7:45.39|
|3.||2018 Honda Civic Type R||7:43.80||N.A.|
|4.||2016 VW Golf GTI Clubsport S||7:47.19||N.A.|
|5.||2016 Honda Civic Type R||7:50.63||N.A.|
When the Nürburgring 1927 GmbH &Co. KG established the concept of a full lap record in 2019 it also established a class for compact cars. Most of the speediest compacts sold in Europe (where Nürburgring records are more relevant for marketing purposes) are front-wheel drive hot hatches, so they also appear on our FWD list. But Audi’s new all-wheel drive RS 3 Quattro sedan is quickest of all.
|1.||2022 Audi RS 3||N.A.||7:40.75|
|2.||2023 Honda Civic Type R||N.A.||7:44.88|
|3.||2019 Renault Megane RS Trophy-R||7:40.10||7:45.39|
|4.||2017 Honda Civic Type R||7:43.80||N.A.|
|5.||2016 VW Golf GTI Clubsport S||7:47.19||N.A.|
The Volkswagen ID.R and NIO EP9 racers currently lead the EV table by a huge margin, but with mega-power electric supercars like the Rimac Nevera ready to take a shot at a record, they might not stay top for long. Among current speedy road-legal EVs, the Tesla Model S Plaid and its Porsche Taycan arch rival dominate, snaffling up spots two to six, and it’s the Plaid that’s currently quickest thanks to the new optional Track Package.
Porsche had previously reclaimed the fastest electric production car record by taking 2 seconds out of the Plaid’s time with the Taycan Turbo S, but the Plaid Track Pack has obliterated that lead by going more than 8 seconds faster than the Porsche. We know the Stuttgart buys are working on an even hotter GT3-inspired Taycan and we can’t wait to see what it can do.
|3.||Tesla Model S Plaid Track Pack||N.A.||7:25.23|
|4.||Porsche Taycan Turbo S||N.A.||7:33.35|
|5.||Tesla Model S Plaid||7:30.91||7:35.58|
|6.||Porsche Taycan Turbo||7:42.34||N.A|