The top 20 fastest cars around Autocar’s handling track
1 Porsche 918 Spyder: 1:05.70
Forget the Nürburgring – we take the world’s fastest and put them to the test in the UK
We like a level playing field here at Autocar, though, so we take every car we review to our own test track as a real, fair challenge.
The seven-corner track, located at the MIRA proving ground in Nuneaton, is a high-speed track designed to take cars to the edge of their grip and test their high-speed stability.
These are the top 20 cars to have lapped the Autocar handling track:
1 Porsche 918 Spyder: 1:05.70
It might be four years old and it might be only sixth on the top road-legal laps of the Nürburgring, but Porsche’s 918 Spyder sits atop our handling circuit, almost half a second ahead of the closest challenger.
2 McLaren 720S: 1:06:10
McLaren’s on the war path with the 720S, beating all of its direct rivals and even the far more powerful and hardcore P1 in the process. It’s also one of the newest entries into our top 20, so its podium position isn’t necessarily guaranteed for long.
3 McLaren P1: 1:06.80
The big daddy of McLaren completes the top three, beaten only by its 720S stablemate and its fiercest rival, the Porsche 918 Spyder. It’s close, though; just 1.1sec separates the two. Its follow-up model, codenamed P15, could shake things up in a few months’ time, however.
4= Radical SR3 SL: 1:08.00
The radical, erm, Radical is one of the most extreme road-legal cars there is. With 300bhp on tap, it’s also the least powerful in our top 20, but weighing a feathery 765kg, it’s the second lightest after the Ariel Atom 500 V8. It’s level pegging with the Ferrari 488 GTB in its lap time.
4= Ferrari 488 GTB: 1:08.00
Ferrari sneaks into the top five in a fourth-place tie with Radical’s SR3 SL. It’s got more than double the power (661bhp) of the Radical and weighs around double that car too. A hotter version akin to the 458 Speciale will trounce both upon arrival, though.
6= McLaren 650S Spider: 1:08.30
Yes, another McLaren; this time it’s the father of the 720S, the 650S. With just 0.3sec between it and the Ferrari 488 GTB, there’s something of a tense rivalry on our leaderboard. The McLaren is lighter than the Ferrari, but has 641bhp – 20bhp down on the 488.
6= Ferrari 458 Speciale: 1:08.30
Completing the Ferrari-McLaren sandwich is the 458 Speciale – Ferrari’s hot range-topper to the 458 range. It’s clear to see the step change in Ferrari performance; the entry-level 488 is quicker than this heated-up supercar.
6= Mercedes-AMG GT R: 1:08.30
The quickest car with a three-pointed star around the Nürburgring is joint sixth around our circuit. Mercedes claims an unprecedented level of motorsport technology into one of its production cars for the GT R and clearly it’s paid off.
9 Ariel Atom 500 V8: 1:08.40
There was never going to be a lighter car on this list than the Ariel Atom, which tips the scales at 550kg. With a 475bhp, 3.0-litre V8 sitting behind the driver, it’s got a power-to-weight ratio of 864bhp; one of the highest on this list. Little wonder that it cracked the top ten, then.
10 Bugatti Veyron Super Sport: 1:08.50
Completing the top ten is the car that broke new ground when the Volkswagen Group revived the Bugatti brand: the Veyron. In its quickest, Super Sport iteration, it can hit 268mph, and 62mph passes in just 2.5sec. A weight of 1838kg holds it back from climbing further up our leaderboard.
11= Ferrari F12 Berlinetta: 1:08.60
The F12 Berlinetta’s 731bhp helped the car make it onto this list and its status as Ferrari’s production flagship makes it a blast to drive on road or track. It’s been replaced by the 812 Superfast, but that’s so recent that we’ve not had a chance to put it through its paces on our track just yet.
11= McLaren MP4-12C: 1:08.60
Yes, another McLaren. This time, it’s the MP4-12C – the first car made by McLaren Automotive back in 2010. Two generations later, the 720S is second only to a near-million-pound hypercar and the MP4-12C clings on to joint 11th place on our leaderboard.
13 McLaren 570S: 1:08.70
McLaren’s ‘baby’ Sports Series supercar, the 570S, is just 0.1sec off the pace of its Super Series elder, the MP4-12C. It’s still got that fearsome twin-turbo V8, albeit with 562bhp in place of the ever-increasing power outputs of its bigger brothers, but it’s marked its territory in a not unremarkable 13th place in our top 20.
14= Ferrari 458 Italia: 1:08.90
Just 0.9sec separates the 458 Italia from its replacement, the 488 GTB, but that 0.9sec represents ten whole places on our top lap times leaderboard. Perhaps predictably, the hot version of its predecessor isn’t far behind.
14= McLaren MP4-12C Spider: 1:08.90
The drop-top version of McLaren Automotive’s first model matches its closest rival, in coupé form, around our track. Not impressive enough? Its coupé sibling was a whole 0.4sec quicker.
16 Ferrari 430 Scuderia: 1:09.50
The 430 Scuderia is the last Ferrari in our top 20, but if it was a top 21, the F430 – the cooking version of this heated-up model – would have appeared. The Scuderia bettered its standard counterpart on our track by half a second, meaning that a quarter of our top 20 fastest are Modena’s finest.
17= 997 Porsche 911 GT3 RS: 1:09.60
A brace of Porsche 911s sit in the final four places, with, remarkably, the previous-generation Porsche 911 GT3 RS clinching the joint quickest 911 lap time around our track. But once we get the new, blisteringly quick 911 GT2 RS on circuit, this is likely to change.
17= 991 Porsche 911 Turbo S: 1:09.60
The range-topper among the 911 Turbo range is the Turbo S and, predictably, it’s the other half of the quickest Porsche 911 lap time, sharing 18th place overall with the previous-generation Porsche 911 GT3 RS – 572bhp and 0-62mph in 2.9sec will do that.
19 997 Porsche 911 GT2: 1:09.70
Then dubbed Porsche’s wildest road car (with the exception of the Carrera GT), the 997 GT2, with a comparatively modest 523bhp, takes 19th. The best thing about the 911 GT2, though? It’s a pussycat to drive.
20 991 Porsche 911 GT3 RS: 1:09.90
Rounding off the top 20 is the new 911 GT3 RS. Not only does it accelerate to 62mph in less than 3.5sec, it stops from 70mph in less than 40 metres; stopping power unrivalled by almost every car ever made.
Source: Autocar Online