If you think only supercars can excel at Green Hell, this list of cars will make you change your mind. I promise you they’re mind-blowingly fast, and record-breaking too.
When you think of the infamous Green Hell aka Nurburgring, the first thing that will come to mind is the devastatingly fast long straights, deceivingly narrow, and off-camber corners. There’s a reason it’s known as the “Green Hell”–the 22.8km long mecca of motoring is the most dangerous and challenging circuit in the world. The most terrifying track is also the place where car manufacturers put their latest developments to the test.
As it turns out, it isn’t only the four-wheel drive, all-wheel drive or rear-wheel drive cars that have all the fun. And you certainly don’t need to be supercar or sports special to excel. Front-wheel drive cars can be chuckable and post fast lap times too.
So, here’s a list of the top five FWD cars that have recorded some record-breaking scorching times at the world’s most notorious circuit.
5. SEAT Leon Cupra 280 Estate (7:58.12)
This may come as a surprise to most of you, myself included. An estate that has made it to the top five fastest lap times at the Green Hell. Pretty shocking and amazing to be perfectly honest. SEAT decided to send its FWD estate version of the Leon Cupra 280 to the ‘Ring.
Backed by a 2.0L TSI engine outputting 280PS and 350Nm of torque, the estate is capable of 0-100km/h in 6.0 seconds. There’s a DSG or six-speed manual version (that’s 0.1 seconds slower) and it can hit a top speed of 250km/h.
No surprise that it’s the fastest production estate to have lapped Nurburgring, and the first FWD car to dip under eight seconds at the ‘Ring.
4. Renault Megane RS 275 Trophy-R (7:54.36)
Possibly upset that it was upstaged by its estate cousin earlier, the Megane RS 275 Trophy-R came back with a vengeance. It regained the top spot in 2014 from the Seat Leon Cupra 280, the third Renault Sport car to hold a FWD lap record.
The two-seater is pretty much a RS 275 Trophy, equipped with a titanium Akkrapovic exhaust system, Ohlins Road&Track one-way adjustable dampers with composite springs.
3. Honda Civic Type-R 2015 (7:50.63)
The previous-generation Civic Type-R (FK2R) broke the FWD Nurburgring lap record in 2015, unofficially dethroning the Renault Megane RS 275 Trophy-R, and by quite a margin. Unofficial, because it was a pre-production car, but nevertheless, an incredible feat.
When you put it into perspective, it’s quicker than a Porsche 911 Turbo, Ferrari F430 F1 and Gallardo LP 560-4, amongst other cars it obliterated.
It boasted a 310PS and 400Nm output from the 2.0L VTEC Turbo power plant, which propelled it to a top speed of 270km/h and a 5.7s 0-100km/h sprint.
Unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show, the speedster was sold exclusively in the European market.
2. Volkswagen Golf GTI Clubsport S (7:47.19)
VW’s Golf GTI Clubsport S actually broke the record twice. The first lap time recorded was 7:49.21 back in May last year. Then in December, the lap time came out two seconds faster. Both lap times were set by the same VW test driver, Benny Leuchter.
The Golf GTI Clubsport S is officially the fastest, most powerful FWD Golf yet. Only 400 were ever produced.
The 2.0L EA888 four-cylinder turbo crunches out 306bhp and 380Nm of torque @ 1,850-5,700rpm. It records 0-100km/h in 5.8s, and tops out at 265km/h.
1. Honda Civic Type-R 2017
And what do you know. Honda comes back and snatches the crown once again. In April this year, the 2017 Honda Civic Type R set a scorcher of the time, rewriting the FWD lap record at the ‘Ring by four seconds.
Based on the new FK8 Civic Hatchback, the Type R special pushes 306 horses out its tri-exhaust system, and 400Nm of torque to its wheels. All the power rips through the close-ratio 6-speed manual transmission.
It’s the fastest, and most advanced vehicle that Honda’s ever made, and boasts 3-Way Driving Mode, and a host of safety features.
Recently launched in Malaysia, the record-breaking Civic Type R is available for booking, for a cool MYR320,000 (excluding insurance).