Recently, while browsing Nurburgring lap times I notice that the 8 minute mark was a barrier which wasn’t overcome by a mass produced street car until nearly the year 2000. It was then that professional driver, Walter Röhrl lapped the 1999 Porsche 996 GT3 around the Green Hell to a time of 7’56”. It wasn’t until a few years later that Dave Hill matched the GT3’s time in a Corvette Z06, which was a reasonably priced sports car in comparison to the Porsche GT3.
Up until Walter Röhrl’s lap in the Porsche 996 GT3, the Jaguar XJ220 and the Bugatti EB 110 were Kings of the ‘Ring. The incredibly sexy Jaguar XJ220 with it’s twin turbo V6 engine and a top speed of 217 MPH lapped the Nurburgring in 1992 to the time of 7’46”. While breaking the 8 minute mark, the XJ220 wasn’t exactly an available car on the market as most had already been sold. Over twenty years later the XJ220 still holds one of the top 50 fastest Nurburging lap times.
You also recall the Bugatti EB 110, right? Most famous in its shade of baby blue. The EB 110 screamed to 213 MPH using all 600 horsepower however it fell short of the 8 minute barrier by just 1 second. The legendary 200 MPH Lamborghini Diablo also missed the mark, setting a Nurburgring lap time of 8’04”. And lastly, the Mopar powerhouse, Dodge Viper GTS coupe, bested 8’10”.
Since the year 2000 there have been over 70 production vehicles to break the 8 minute barrier around the Green Hell. And if we told you in 1992 that a four door family sedan would best the exotics, we know you’d laugh. Look how far we’ve come.