Nürburgring

Watch Chevy’s First Electrified Corvette Prototype Whip Around the Nürburgring

Watch Chevy’s First Electrified Corvette Prototype Whip Around the Nürburgring

Chevrolet’s first electrified Corvette is getting closer.

Almost three months after the automaker finally confirmed it was developing a hybrid C8, video of the car undergoing track testing at Germany’s Nürburgring has surfaced online. We’re still waiting for concrete details about what to expect from the much-anticipated model, but it’s hard not to get excited by the footage of the coupé roaring around the infamous race track.

The stirring clip was posted to YouTube on Wednesday by CarSpyMedia. The video runs just shy of three-and-a-half minutes and depicts three different mid-engine prototypes—numbered four, five and seven—circling the “Green Hell” for the first time. The cars are all wrapped in digital camouflage, so it’s hard to make out any body changes. The most telling aspect of the video, though, is the audio. You can clearly hear the electrified prototype’s V-8, which lets out more of a loud thunder than a crackle.

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The roar that emanates from the prototype suggests that its hybrid-assisted powertrain will pair an electric “e-booster” motor with the 6.5-liter LT2 V-8 found in the C8 Stingray, rather than the 5.5-liter LT6 found in the Z06. Although the base model’s mill is bigger, the V-8 in the performance-oriented variant has a flat-plane crank which keeps weight down and produces more power, speed and sound. The LT2 may not be as powerful as the LT6—it produces 490 hp and 465 ft lbs of torque compared to 670 horses and 460 ft lbs of twist—but the presence of an electric motor could make up the difference.
Past reporting suggested the hybrid would produce 650 horses, but that was before the debut of the Z06, so it’s possible that output could end up being even higher. There’s also strong belief that the sports car’s “e-booster” motor will be positioned on the front axle, which, if true, would make the electrified C8 the first all-wheel-drive model in the nameplates’s history.

The Chevrolet C8 Corvette hybrid undergoing track testing at the Nürburgring 

CarSpyMedia/YouTube

We should know the answers to all these questions soon. When General Motors President Mark Reuss confirmed the variant’s existence—insiders believe it will be called either the E-Ray or the Grand Sport—earlier this spring he said that it could make its debut as “early as next year.” A fully-electric variant will follow sometime after.

Watch the Porsche 911 Hybrid Run Laps at Nürburgring (Again)

Watch the Porsche 911 Hybrid Run Laps at Nürburgring (Again)

It’s no longer a question of if a hybrid Porsche 911 is coming, but when.

The answer might be pretty soon if a new video from YouTuber Automotive Mike is any hint. The clip, which was uploaded to YouTube this weekend, shows what is believed to be the 911 hybrid prototype undergoing testing at Germany’s legendary Nürburgring race track.
In the video, you can see the lightly camouflaged 911 getting a run out. We don’t know what kind of speeds it was able to hit, but it looks to be traveling at a pretty decent clip. The footage also offers a peek of some potential body modifications, including a dual-exhaust system in the back and an all-new front bumper that appears to have active aero elements.

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Porsche did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Nothing in the video comes as a complete shock, of course. Earlier this year, Porsche Italia’s Pietro Innocenti confirmed that a hybrid 911 was on its way. Although he wouldn’t say when exactly it would arrive, he did say it could be before 2024. And last November, footage surfaced showing a similar prototype undergoing testing at the Nürburgring.
While purists may find the idea of a hybrid 911 dismaying—some still haven’t gotten over the introduction of a water-cooled engine back in 1998—Porsche has already shown it can build a successful hybrid, like the Panamera and Cayenne. The brand has made clear that a potential electrified 911, which would likely be called the Turbo-E Hybrid, would prioritize performance over efficiency.
Although the hybrid may be here soon, a fully electric 911 isn’t on the horizon at this point. Back in 2020, CEO Oliver Blume said that the 911 is a “car prepared for internal combustion engines, and it’s not useful to combine it with pure electric mobility.” So, for now, sports car converts to the electric revolution will have to stick to the popular Taycan if they want to remain loyal to Porsche.

Watch: It Sure Looks Like Porsche Is Testing a 911 Hybrid at the Nürburgring

Watch: It Sure Looks Like Porsche Is Testing a 911 Hybrid at the Nürburgring

A fully electric Porsche 911 may not be on the horizon just yet, but a hybrid is looking like an increasingly real proposition.

A prototype of what’s believed to be the iconic sports car’s long-rumored hybrid version was spotted undergoing testing at the Nürburgring by YouTuber CarSpyMedia over the weekend. We’ve known about the possibility of the variant for a while now, but the video suggests it could be even closer than anyone outside the marque realizes.

In the short clip, a 911 can be seen (and heard) sprinting around the famously punishing German race circuit. Even with an electric motor providing some added oomph, the vehicle still sounds majestic as it maneuvers its way through the track’s twisting curves. Interestingly, the prototype isn’t wearing any kind of camouflage, though its black paint job makes it difficult to make out too many details. CarSpyMedia’s video description points out that its blacked-out rear windows are likely meant to hide the additional battery packs providing juice to its electric motor.

Porsche 911 Turbo E-Hybrid prototype undergoes testing at Nürburgring 

CarSpyMedia/YouTube

Porsche has yet to confirm the existence of a 911 hybrid, but there have been plenty of hints out of Stuttgart that one is on the way. In early 2020, a member of the automaker’s board said it was already road-testing prototypes of the vehicle. Then, in November of last year, the company’s CEO, Oliver Blume, said that any potential electrified 911 would prioritize performance over efficiency. (He also said he didn’t see a fully battery-powered version in the near future.)
In addition to these on-the-record statements, there has also been reporting that the electrified model will be called the 911 Turbo E-Hybrid, which would appear to accord with Blume’s comments. It also sounds like the vehicle will be a regular (or parallel) hybrid rather than a plug-in model, according to Motor1.com. In this setup, the gasoline engine keeps the electric motor and battery charged, so it doesn’t have to be plugged in. That means the electrified 911 would likely feature a 400-volt electrical system, as opposed to the much-bigger 800-volt setup the brand’s Taycan EV is equipped with.

CarSpyMedia/YouTube

When reached for comment on Tuesday morning, a representative for Porsche told Robb Report, “We’ve not made any announcement about a potential 911 hybrid model, and we don’t comment on or participate in speculation about potential future product.”

CarSpyMedia’s video isn’t just exciting because it shows what the 911 hybrid can do, but because it suggests it could be moving past the prototype stage sooner than later. There is still nothing resembling a concrete timeline for the vehicle, but Motor1.com reports it could arrive in 2023 or 2024. That would be right around the time the 992-generation 911 is ready for its mid-cycle refresh.
What better time to give things a jolt.

Tesla’s Model S Plaid Just Dusted the Porsche Taycan’s Nürburgring EV Lap Record

Tesla’s Model S Plaid Just Dusted the Porsche Taycan’s Nürburgring EV Lap Record

It’s taken two years, but Tesla has finally nabbed the official record for an electric car’s fastest lap of Nürburgring’s Nordschleife.

On Thursday, the brand announced that a factory version of its latest vehicle, the Model S Plaid, had completed a circuit around the famously treacherous German racing circuit in 7:30.9. That time bests the previous record, which was set by the Porsche Taycan Turbo, by a whopping 12 seconds.

As tends to be the case whenever Tesla achieves something of note, Elon Musk trumpeted the news on Twitter. “Tesla Model S Plaid just set official world speed record for a production electric car at Nurburgring. Completely unmodified, directly from factory [sic],” he wrote alongside a printout of the Model S Plaid two runs around the 12.94-mile course.

Tesla Model S Plaid just set official world speed record for a production electric car at Nurburgring. Completely unmodified, directly from factory. pic.twitter.com/AaiFtfW5Ht
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) September 9, 2021

That slip shows that Tesla’s 1,020-hp speed machine didn’t just beat the Taycan’s record once, it managed to do it twice. In addition to the new record, the Model S Plaid also completed another full circuit of the Green Hell in 7:35.6. Tesla posted an onboard video of that run, which features plenty of tire squeals and shows off the car’s yoke-style steering wheel, to its YouTube channel on Friday morning. Curiously, a video of the faster run has yet to be released, leading some to wonder if it was actually run by a stock Model S Plaid. Regardless, both lap times easily bested the 7:42.3 that Porsche’s first EV posted shortly before its debut in the fall of 2019.
While the EV mark now belongs to Tesla, it has a way to go before it can claim the record for the fastest production car in Nürburgring history. That currently belongs to Porsche’s 911 GT2 RS, which circled the punishing course in a jaw-dropping 6:43.3 earlier this summer. Although that vehicle is essentially a street-legal race car, it should be noted that its 3.8-liter, twin-turbo flat-six only generates 691 horses, 329 hp less than the Model S Plaid.
Tesla already knows it can do better, though. The Model S Plaid’s lap isn’t actually the fastest Nürburgring time posted by one of the brand’s vehicles. In September 2019, a heavily modified Model S completed a lap in 7:23, although that was a “very unofficial” hand-timed lap.
Now the brand’s engineers have something else to focus on besides beating a Shelby GT500 in a drag race.

Watch: The 2022 Audi RS3 Just Set a Nürburgring Lap Record for Compact Sedans

Watch: The 2022 Audi RS3 Just Set a Nürburgring Lap Record for Compact Sedans

The new Audi RS3 is now officially the fastest compact car to rip around the Nürburgring.

With the Four Ring’s trusted driver Frank Stippler behind the wheel, the super sedan completed a full 12.9-mile lap of the famous track in just 7 minutes and 40.748 seconds and set a new record in the compact class.
The five-cylinder pocket rocket absolutely obliterated the previous record set by the Renault Megane RS Trophy-R, shaving off a total of 4.64 seconds from the standing lap time of 7 minutes and 45.389 seconds.

The RS3 can hit 180 mph at full tilt. 

Audi

The hot hatch is powered by a 2.5-liter inline five that cranks out 401 hp and 354 ft lbs of torque. This gives the RS3 the ability to soar from zero to 62 mph in just 3.8 seconds and reach 155 mph at full tilt. Add the optional performance package and that max speed jumps to a blistering 180 mph. The marque claims the RS3’s power and acceleration are best in class.
The RS3 is also the first Audi to get a torque splitter, which controls the amount of torque sent to each rear wheel. During tight corners, the splitter sends the most power to the outer wheel with the higher load. This means the small but speedy sedan turns into corners with precision and can also accelerate out quickly, which results in faster lap times.

Frank Stippler with the Audi RS3 after his record-breaking lap. 

Audi

“In general, the new RS3 is much more agile when driving from the middle of the curve to its end and when accelerating out of the curve,” Stippler said in a statement. “For me, the torque splitter is a quantum leap in terms of agile driving.”
For the run around the Green Hell, the RS3 was equipped with a proper roll cage and racing seats, along with Pirelli P Zero Trofeo R semi-slicks. Stippler and his team also carefully adjusted the tire pressure as per the track conditions.

This RS3 is now officially the fastest compact car to grace Nürburgring. 

Audi

“We don’t have unlimited opportunities to try for a record like this,” added Stippler. “That’s why a little is always necessary on the day when it matters—particularly with respect to tire pressure, because that also affects how the torque splitter functions. We succeeded. It was a triumphant day all around.”
You won’t have to wait too long to get behind the wheel of the record-breaker, either. The 2022 Audi RS3 will roll out this fall. While US pricing has yet to be announced, the super sedan is already available in Europe and starts at €60,000.

Porche’s New 631 HP Cayenne Turbo GT, the Nürburgring Record Breaker, Is the Marque’s Most Powerful V-8 Yet

Porche’s New 631 HP Cayenne Turbo GT, the Nürburgring Record Breaker, Is the Marque’s Most Powerful V-8 Yet

A couple weeks after it was first teased, we finally know the name of Porsche’s record-breaking Cayenne variant—the Turbo GT.

The German luxury marque officially unveiled the latest high-performance version of its popular SUV on Tuesday evening.  But the vehicle isn’t just a beast by Cayenne standards, it’s also the brand’s most powerful V-8 yet.

2022 Porsche Cayenne Turbo GT 

Porsche

Considering that Porsche revealed the newest Cayenne’s Nürburgring Nordschleife time before announcing its name, we had a feeling something special would be lurking under its hood. And sure enough the automaker has outfitted the vehicle with a monstrous 4.0-liter twin-turbocharged V-8 with an upgraded crankshaft, connecting rods and pistons, according to a press release. Mated to an eight-speed automatic, the engine can generate 631 hp and 626 ft lbs of torque—90 horses and 59 ft lbs more than the previous top-tier Turbo Coupé. It’s technically less powerful than the Turbo S Hybrid variant, but that version has an electric motor assisting its 541 hp twin turbocharged V-8. Still, the Turbo GT is even faster, able to launch from zero to 60 mph in 3.1 seconds, cover the quarter-mile in 11.6 second and reach a top speed of 196 mph.

More importantly, as far as Porsche is concerned, the brawny V-8 engine was inside the Turbo GT driven by Lars Kern that recently circled the Nürburgring—or the “Green Hell,” as it is more affectionately known—in 7:38.925. That time, which was posted just over two weeks ago, makes the Turbo GT the fastest “SUV, off-road vehicle, van, pick-up” in the track’s history.

Inside the Cayenne Turbo GT 

Porsche

The engine isn’t the only thing that separates the Turbo GT from the rest of the Cayenne range. The SUV sits 0.3 inches lower and has its front wheels positioned a full inch wider than the Turbo Coupé. It also features a slightly revised front fascia, wider air intakes, carbon-fiber roof and diffuser, a titanium exhaust system, an upper rear wing, and it rides on a set of 22-inch wheels wrapped in Pirelli P Zero Corsa tires. One thing to note: The variant will only be available as a coupé. In our opinion, that’s a virtue, not a flaw.
Inside the car, you’ll find Porsche’s brand-new infotainment system, which features both Android Auto and Apple Car Play. The front sport seats and rear seats have special Alcantara insets and Turbo GT script along the headrests. There’s also unique stitching and a yellow marker at 12 o’clock on the steering wheel. Rounding out the luxe interior is a 10-speaker sound system.

Porsche

As you may have guessed, the Cayenne Turbo GT will come at a premium when it arrives here early next year. Porsche has said that the SUV will start at $180,800, which is nearly $50,000 more than the regular Turbo Coupé and $15,000 more than the Turbo S Hybrid Coupé. But as capable as those Cayennes may be, neither of them is a Nürburgring record holder.

A New High-Performance Porsche Cayenne Variant Is Now the Fastest SUV to Lap the Nürburgring

A New High-Performance Porsche Cayenne Variant Is Now the Fastest SUV to Lap the Nürburgring

The Porsche Cayenne was already one of the fastest SUVs on the road. Now, it’s a record breaker.

The German luxury marque has just announced a new, high-performance variant of the nearly 20-year-old model. We don’t know its name or technical specs just yet—though Porsche promises they’re coming soon—but we do know that it’s the fastest SUV to ever circle the legendary Nürburgring Nordschleife.

The unnamed, high-performance Porsche Cayenne 

Porsche

That record was set just days ago, on June 14, according to the automaker. On that day, test driver Lars Kern piloted a lightly camouflaged example of the new Cayenne around the German track in an astonishing 7:38.925 minutes. That’s right, Kern managed to push an SUV around the famously punishing 12.94-mile circuit—which is known among enthusiasts as the “Green Hell”—in just over seven-and-a-half minutes. That time was then certified by a notary and now stands as the new, official Nürburgring record for a “SUV, off-road vehicle, van, pick-up.”

Porsche wasn’t ready to reveal the variant’s specs just yet, but it did reveal that it will be based on the Cayenne Turbo Coupé. That SUV has a twin-turbocharged V-8 that can generate a very robust 541 horses and 567 ft lbs of twist. We expect the new Cayenne will deliver more than 600 horses and a zero-to-60 time that will rival that of the high-performance 992-generation 911 GTS (3.2 seconds), which is one of the marque’s fastest production vehicles of all time.

Lars Kern and the record-setting Cayenne 

Porsche

“This Cayenne model is a top performer,” Cayenne line vice president Stefan Weckbach said in a statement. “During its development, we focused on exceptional on-road performance. Our record-breaking Cayenne is based on the Cayenne Turbo Coupé, though more systematically designed for maximum longitudinal and lateral dynamics. Its record time on the Nordschleife confirms the dynamic capabilities of our new performance SUV. Furthermore, it’s a typical Cayenne all-rounder, providing a high degree of driving comfort and everyday utility.”
No release date—or even official debut date—has been set yet, but we expect one will be announced soon. If you’ve ever wanted to an SUV that can also hold its own on the track, it sounds like this could be the ticket.

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