The Nurburgring Nordschleife (North Loop), nicknamed “Green Hell” by Sir Jackie Stewart, is one of the longest and most dangerous race tracks in the world. Measuring 12.94 miles, this asphalt/concrete track is famous for its 1,000-foot elevation changes, unpredictable weather changes, and many blind turns. While this is the actual race track in Germany used for the amazing Nürburgring 24 Hours of endurance race, the Nurburgring track also serves as a proving ground for the best cars of today.
For about 10 decades, pilgrimages to the legendary track have remained the gold standard for vehicle testing and development. American automakers like General Motors are not left behind in the quest for better lap times on the famous track. Ford doesn’t publish lap times despite testing their vehicles there because they believe the Nurburgring’s lap times don’t matter. However, several Ford cars have been tested by automotive media outlets, and lap times are published for comparison and reporting purposes. Here, we take a look at the fastest wade through and Chevy cars around the Nurburgring track.
10 Ford: 2015 Ford Mustang GT Performance Package – 8:07
With Horst Von Saurma behind the wheel, the 2015 Ford Mustang GT Performance package clocked a lap time of 8:07 in 2015. Redesigned for the model year, the pony car gets its motivation from a 5-liter V8 engine producing 435 hp and 400 lb-ft of torque.
When sent to the rear wheels, the mix is strong enough to time a quarter mile of 12.8 seconds at a trap speed of 112.2 mph. Although the 2015 Mustang introduced a new 4-wheel independent suspension, the optional Performance package takes things away with a firmer suspension, limited-slip differential, stronger brakes and bigger tires.
9 Ford: Ford Focus RS 2016 – 8:06.29
Judging from its appearance alone, the 2016 Ford Focus RS would easily be considered a mid-sized grocer with a luxurious design. That would be a huge mistake as it is a rocket powered by a 350 hp 2.3 liter turbocharged I-4 engine.
Linked to a 6-speed manual and a torque-vector all-wheel drive system, it takes the hot hatch to 60 mph in just 4.6 seconds. The Focus RS, with excellent handling and grip, was carried around the Nurburgring track by Christian Gebhardt in 8 minutes 6 seconds.
8 Ford: 2021 Ford Mustang Mach 1 – 7:58.29
Revamped for 2021, the Mach 1 comes with an MSRP of $52,915 that delivers a nimble blend of blistering acceleration and solid handling. Power is supplied by a 5-liter V8 engine that sends 480 hp to the rear wheels via an optional 6-speed manual or 10-speed automatic transmission.
The Mustang Mach 1 is a piece of well-crafted machine that is equally comfortable on curvy roads and straight lines. The European spec example with 453 hp and 390 lb-ft of torque clocked in at 7:58.29 in 2021.
7 Ford: 2005 Ford GT – 7:52.00
Although inspired by the GT40 from the 1960s, the 2005 Ford GT is bigger, wider, and 4 inches taller. The car is powered by a 5.4-liter supercharged all-aluminum V8 engine that produces 550 hp and 500 lb-ft of torque through a 6-speed transmission.
0-60 mph happens in 3.3 seconds while the quarter mile goes in 11.8 seconds to a top speed of 205 mph. It’s no surprise that he ran in 7 minutes 52 seconds at an average speed of 98 mph.
6 Ford: 2016 Ford Mustang Shelby GT350R – 7:32.19
The Shelby GT350R is a more hardcore version of the track-focused Shelby GT350 and was developed to rival the Chevrolet Camaro Z28 and Porsche 911 GT3. Just like the GT350, it is powered by a 5.2-liter engine paired to a Tremec 6-speed manual transmission for 526 hp and 429 lb-ft of torque.
However, the performance is better, thanks to the lighter carbon fiber wheels wrapped in wider tires in addition to some suspension and aerodynamic improvements. In the January 2015 issue, EVO reports that the 2016 Shelby GT350R has recorded a lap time of 7:32.19 at the Nurburgring.
5 Chevrolet: 2012 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 – 7:19.63
Despite sharing a platform with the Z06, the C6 Corvette ZR1 is a more powerful machine that offers plenty of lightweight materials. The beating heart is the supercharged, intercooled 6.2-liter V8 engine that makes 638 hp and 604 lb-ft of torque.
Boasting an outstanding power-to-weight ratio, the 2012 ZR1 can hit 60 mph in 3.4 seconds and hit 205 mph. In a General Motors test conducted in June 2011, Jim Mero recorded a lap time of 7:19.63 in one of these beautiful cars.
4 Chevrolet: 2012 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 – 7:22.68
While there’s no slow Corvette in the 2012 lineup, the Z06 comes with a variety of refinements that make it a fearsome track-tuned sports car. This list contains everything from stiffer shocks/springs, aluminum chassis, stronger sway bars, rear spoiler and wider tires to bigger brakes.
Tip the scales at 3130 pounds, the Z06 is the lightest of the lot and draws power from the 505 hp 7-liter V8. Good for 11.7 seconds of the quarter mile at 125 mph, it took around the Nurburgring track in a blistering 7 minutes 22.68 seconds.
3 Chevrolet: 2020 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray – 7:29.9
The 2020 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray is powered by a mid-mounted 6.2-liter V8 engine that produces 495 hp and 470 lb-ft of torque. Mated to an 8-speed Tremec dual-clutch automatic transmission, it sends the 2020 Stingray to 60 mph in an astonishing 2.8 seconds.
This car uses a performance adjustable suspension with tighter dampers and is equipped with large Brembo brakes for sufficient stopping power. Moving, balanced and equipped with 6 driving modes, the Corvette is brought around the track in 7 minutes 29.9 seconds by Oliver Gavin.
2 Chevrolet: 2018 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE – 7:16.04
The ZL1 1LE is a track-focused Camaro SS variant equipped with Multimatic shock spool valves and wide Goodyear Eagle F1 Supercar tires. Behind the wider front grille is a 6.2-liter supercharged V8 engine mated to a 6-speed manual transmission or an optional 10-speed automatic transmission.
Boasting 650 hp and 650 lb-ft of torque, it sends the ZL1 1LE to 60 mph in just 3.5 seconds and a top speed of 198 mph. In 2017, with test driver Bill Wise at the helm, the 2018 model hit the Nurburgring in 7 minutes and 16 seconds.
1 Chevrolet: Chevrolet Corvette C7 Z06 – 7:13.9
Entering the Corvette C7 lineup for 2015, the Z06 is powered by a supercharged and intercooled 6.2-liter V8 engine. Linked to a 7-speed manual or 8-speed automatic transmission, this engine produces 650 hp and 650 lb-ft of torque.
While this is great for a top speed of 185 mph, the unique suspension setup with high-tech features enhances its driving dynamics. Under the control of Christian Gebhardt, the C7 Z06 crossed the Nurburgring track in 7 minutes 13.9 seconds with an average speed of 106 mph.