The 50 fastest cars around Autocar's test track

The 50 fastest cars around Autocar's test track



MIRA has been our go-to circuit for timing production cars for more than a decade. These are the fastest

Autocar has been timing the fastest production cars in the world on the dry handling circuit at MIRA for more than 15 years. Here are the quickest and most memorable.

*50th - Aston Martin DBS Superleggera*

*Lap time: *1min 11.8sec

*Road test date* 21.11.18 *Test number* 5398 *Peak power* 715bhp at 6500rpm *Kerb weight* 1910kg *Tyres* Pirelli P Zero *0-60mph* 3.7sec *0-100mph* 7.4sec *Quarter mile* 11.6sec at 130.8mph

*Tied 48th - Audi R8 V10 Plus Coupe*

*Lap time: *1min 11.7sec

*Road test date* 30.12.15 *Test number* 5249 *Peak power* 602bhp at 8250rpm *Kerb weight* 1730kg *Tyres* Continental Sport Contact 6 *0-60mph* 3.1sec *0-100mph* 6.7sec *Quarter mile* 11.1sec at 129.9mph

*Tied 48th - Mercedes-AMG GT 63 4-door Coupe*

*Lap time:* 1min 11.7sec

*Road test date* 13.3.19 *Test number* 5413 *Peak power* 577bhp at 5500-6500rpm *Kerb weight *2135kg *Tyres* Michelin Pilot Sport 4S *0-60mph* 3.3sec *0-100mph* 7.7sec *Quarter mile* 11.5sec at 123.6mph

*Tied 46th - Chevrolet Corvette Stingray (C7)*

*Lap time:* 1min 11.6sec

*Road test date* 8.10.14 *Test number* 5186 *Peak power* 460bhp at 6000rpm *Kerb weight* 1570kg *Tyres* Michelin Pilot Super Sport 5P *0-60mph* 4.4sec *0-100mph* 9.4sec *Quarter mile* 12.6sec at 116.6mph

America’s good-old-boy sports car has now gone mid-engined, but it therefore leaping up the order isn’t a given. Because when the final front-engined Corvette lapped our track, it did so in a way that spoke of quite a lot of incremental development of a known-quantity platform. With the C8, Chevrolet has started over.

On a power-to-weight basis, the C7 must be in the bottom 10% of all the cars in this list, but that didn’t slow it down much. Its lap time was built on strong, well-balanced grip, strong brakes and really sophisticated traction control.

Turn that off and you start to see why this car needs such an effective safety net. Stay within the bounds of that grip, though, looked after by those first-rate electronics, and this car has pretty serious track pace.

*Tied 46th - Lexus LFA*

*Lap time:* 1min 11.6sec

*Road test date* 8.9.10 *Test number* 4976 *Peak power* 552bhp at 8700rpm *Kerb weight* 1615kg *Tyres* Bridgestone Potenza *0-60mph* 4.2sec *0-100mph* 8.2sec *Quarter mile *12.2sec at 124.5mph

*45th - Aston Martin Vantage*

*Lap time: *1min 11.4sec

*Road test date* 23.5.18 *Test number* 5372 *Peak power* 503bhp at 6000rpm *Kerb weight* 1720kg *Tyres* Pirelli P Zero *0-60mph* 3.7sec *0-100mph* 8.3sec *Quarter mile* 12.1sec at 120.5mph

*44th - Porsche Cayman GT4 (981)*

*Lap time:* 1min 11.3sec

*Road test date* 23.9.15 *Test number* 5235 *Peak power* 380bhp at 7400rpm *Kerb weight* 1425kg *Tyres* Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 *0-60mph* 4.6sec *0-100mph* 10.0sec *Quarter mile* 12.9sec at 113.9mph

*43rd - Lotus Exige S*

*Lap time:* 1min 11.2sec

*Road test date* 3.4.13 *Test number* 5108 *Peak power* 345bhp at 7000rpm *Kerb weight* 1200kg *Tyres* Pirelli P Zero Corsa *0-60mph* 4.1sec *0-100mph* 9.6sec *Quarter mile* 13.0sec

*42nd - Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG*

*Lap time: *1min 11.1sec

*Road test date* 30.6.10 *Test number* 4966 *Peak power* 563bhp at 6800rpm *Kerb weight* 1710kg *Tyres* Continental Sport Contact SP5* 0-60mph* 3.9sec* 0-100mph* 8.0sec *Quarter mile *11.9sec at 124.8mph

*41st - Lamborghini Gallardo LP560-4*

*Lap time:* 1min 11.0sec

*Road test date* 17.10.08 *Test number* 4879 *Peak power* 553bhp at 8000rpm *Kerb weight* 1580kg *Tyres* Pirelli P Zero Corsa 0*-60mph* 3.7sec *0-100mph* 7.7sec *Quarter mile* 11.7sec at 125.7mph

*40th - Lamborghini Urus*

*Lap time: *1min 10.8sec

*Road test date* 3.7.19 *Test number* 5429 *Peak power* 641bhp at 6000rpm *Kerb weight* 2285kg *Tyres* Pirelli P Zero Corsa *0-60mph* 3.3sec *0-100mph* 7.8sec *Quarter mile* 11.6sec at 120.8mph

We tested the monstrous Urus on the same day as the Aventador SVJ. If that hadn’t made practical sense, we might have just taken it to Millbrook, where we test our ‘normal’ metal. But that’s not the right word in this case.

How worthwhile it worked out to be. You might not believe this, but it was probably easier getting a sports-car-level lap time out of the Urus on the day than to make the Aventador SVJ lap faster than the lesser Huracán Performante had.

Just look at all the cars this 2.3-tonne SUV beat; it’s staggering to contemplate. It handles in such a flat, immediate way that on track you can easily forget it’s so heavy, and it accelerates like a missile. It’s pretty hard on tyres and brakes, though, so maintaining top-level pace for more than five laps without a break would be tough.

*39th - Honda NSX*

*Lap time:* 1min 10.7sec

*Road test date* 5.10.16 *Test number* 5289 *Peak power* 573bhp *Kerb weight* 1770kg *Tyres* Continental Sport Contact 5P *0-60mph* 3.3sec* 0-100mph* 7.3sec *Quarter mile* 11.4sec at 125.7mph

*Tied 36th - Noble M600*

*Lap time:* 1min 10.5sec

*Road test date* 14.10.09 *Test number* 4930 *Peak power* 650bhp at 6800rpm *Kerb weight* 1305kg *Tyres* Michelin Pilot Sport *0-60mph* 3.5sec *0-100mph* 6.8sec *Quarter mile* 11.0sec at 131.1mph

*Tied 36th - McLaren GT*

*Lap time:* 1min 10.5sec

*Road test date* 27.1.21 *Test number* 5508 *Peak power* 612bhp at 7500rpm *Kerb weight* 1580kg *Tyres* Pirelli P Zero PNCS *0-60mph* 3.3sec *0-100mph* 6.5sec *Quarter mile* 11.1sec at 134.3mph

*Tied 36th - Porsche Taycan Turbo S*

*Lap time:* 1min 10.5sec

*Road test date* 29.7.20 *Test number* 5484 *Peak power* 751bhp *Kerb weight* 2355kg *Tyres* Pirelli P Zero NFO Elect *0-60mph* 2.8sec *0-100mph* 6.5sec *Quarter mile* 10.9sec at 128.8mph

*35th - Porsche 911 Carrera S (992)*

*Lap time:* 1min 10.4sec

*Road test date* 29.5.19 *Test number* 5424 *Peak power* 444bhp at 6500rpm *Kerb weight* 1525kg *Tyres* Goodyear Eagle F1 Asym’c 3 *0-60mph* 3.4sec* 0-100mph* 7.7sec *Quarter mile* 12.0sec at 125.3mph

*34th - BMW M4 Competition*

*Lap time:* 1min 10.2sec

*Road test date* 21.4.21 *Test number* 5520 *Peak power* 503bhp at 5600-7200rpm *Kerb weight* 1800kg *Tyres* Michelin Pilot Sport 4S *0-60mph* 3.9sec* 0-100mph* 8.4sec *Quarter mile* 12.1sec at 122.2mph

*33rd - Nissan GT-R*

*Lap time: *1min 10.1sec

*Road test date* 6.5.09 *Test number* 4907 *Peak power* 480bhp at 6400rpm *Kerb weight* 1775kg *Tyres* Dunlop SP Sport 600 DST *0-60mph* 3.8sec *0-100mph* 8.5sec *Quarter mile* 12.1sec at 120.4mph

That so many of the cars ahead of the GT-R on this list came out much later goes to show how astonishing the big Nissan was. And make no mistake, the R35 is big. Technical. Complex. You’d also say sophisticated if so many of its attributes didn’t feel industrial and cumbersome compared with today’s supercars. If a roadster feels like a speedboat, the GT-R feels like a ship.

What’s doubly impressive is that Nissan didn’t bring a team to get the best out of the GT-R’s tyres or brakes, even though its weight puts extreme strain on them. It was driven to a time it could maintain. I recall how it wanted to put its power down, but it’s the heat coming from it after getting out that I remember the most, rather than the drama I felt inside it.

*32nd - Ferrari F430 F1*

*Lap time:* 1min 10.0sec

*Road test date* 21.6.05 *Test number* 4709 *Peak power* 483bhp at 7500rpm *Kerb weight* 1528kg *Tyres* Pirelli P Zero Rosso* 0-60mph* 4.4sec *0-100mph* 9.3sec *Quarter mile* 11.7sec at 125.0mph

*Tied 29th - BMW M5 CS*

*Lap time: *1min 9.9sec

*Road test date* 14.7.21 *Test number* 5532 *Peak power* 626bhp at 6000rpm *Kerb weight* 1940kg *Tyres* Michelin Pilot Sport 4S *0-60mph* 3.0sec *0-100mph* 6.8sec *Quarter mile* 11.1sec at 128.8mph

This awsome BMW 5-Series is the most powerful road-going M car that has yet been built, and it's also the only four-door saloon ever to lap the MIRA dry handling circuit as part of an Autocar test figuring session in less than seventy seconds. Rather absurdly, that achievement doesn't even get it into the top half of this chart overall; but what a car. Think unburstable power, remarkable grip and balance, incredible brakes for something of its sheer bulk; and only the slightest sense of penalising weight when you're boorish or late with your inputs. 

We tested it on standard-fit Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tyres; on BMW's optional Pirelli Corsas, you'd imagine it might have gone up to a second quicker still. If you're were wondering what the king of the 21st century super saloon set looks like, wonder no longer.  

*Tied 29th - Porsche 718 Spyder*

*Lap time: *1min 9.9sec

*Road test date* 1.4.20 *Test number* 5467 *Peak power* 414bhp at 7600rpm *Kerb weight* 1350kg *Tyres* Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 *0-60mph* 4.3sec *0-100mph* 9.7sec *Quarter mile* 13.0sec at 115.3mph

*Tied 29th - Porsche 911 GT3 RS (991)*

*Lap time: *1min 9.9sec

*Road test date* 19.8.15 *Test number* 5230 *Peak power* 493bhp at 8250rpm *Kerb weight* 1490kg *Tyres* Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2* 0-60mph* 3.4sec *0-100mph* 7.8sec *Quarter mile* 11.6sec at 123.3mph

*28th - Porsche 911 GT2 (997)*

*Lap time:* 1min 9.7sec

*Road test date* na (road test rival) *Test number* na *Peak power* 523bhp at 6500rpm *Kerb weight *Not weighed *Tyres* Michelin Pilot Sport Cup *0-60mph* 3.8sec *0-100mph* 8.0sec *Quarter mile* 12.0sec at 123.9mph

*Tied 26th - Porsche 911 Turbo S (991)*

*Lap time:* 1min 9.6sec

*Road test date* 8.1.14 *Test number* 5147 *Peak power* 552bhp at 6500rpm *Kerb weight* 1610kg *Tyres* Pirelli P Zero *0-60mph* 3.0sec *0-100mph* 7.1sec *Quarter mile* 11.4sec at 126.3mph

*Tied 26th - Porsche 911 GT3 RS 3.8 (997)*

*Lap time: *1min 9.6sec

*Road test date* 12.5.10 *Test number* 4959 *Peak power* 444bhp at 7900rpm *Kerb weight* 1415kg *Tyres* Michelin Pilot Sport Cup *0-60mph* 3.9sec *0-100mph* 8.4sec *Quarter mile* 12.2sec at 120.0mph

*25th - Ferrari 430 Scuderia*

*Lap time: *1min 9.5sec

*Road test date* 23.7.08 *Test number* 4867 *Peak power* 503bhp at 8500rpm *Kerb weight* 1405kg *Tyres* Pirelli P Zero Rosso *0-60mph* 3.4sec *0-100mph* 7.4sec *Quarter mile* 11.5sec at 127.0mph

*24th - Ferrari 812 Superfast*

*Lap time: *1min 9.3sec

*Road test date* 25.7.18 *Test number* 5381 *Peak power* 789bhp at 8500rpm *Kerb weight* 1725kg *Tyres* Pirelli P Zero F *0-60mph* 3.1sec *0-100mph* 6.2sec *Quarter mile* 10.9sec at 137.9mph

You may be surprised to find the most potent front-engined Ferrari yet sitting so far down this list, but there’s a simple explanation. When you try to send 789bhp through Pirelli P Zero tyres for a sustained period, you may manage to preserve the rears for longer than expected but will very quickly obliterate the fronts, whose job it is to direct and partially contain such huge force.

Thus what I remember from our 812 Superfast road test is a mixture of frustration and fun: mid-corner understeer, then lashings of easy-access yaw as the tail went wide and the agile steering let you gather it all up intuitively. On more serious tyres, it would have been no surprise to see it break into the top 10.

*Tied 21st - Ariel Atom 4*

*Lap time: *1min 8.9sec

*Road test date* 9.10.19 *Test number* 5443 *Peak power* 316bhp at 6500rpm *Kerb weight* 680kg *Tyres* Yokohama Advan A052 *0-60mph* 3.2sec *0-100mph* 6.9sec *Quarter mile* 11.3sec at 123.4mph

*Tied 21st - Ferrari 458 Italia*

*Lap time:* 1min 8.9sec

*Road test date* 18.8.10 *Test number* 4973 *Peak power* 562bhp at 9000rpm *Kerb weight* 1535kg *Tyres* Michelin Pilot Sport K1 *0-60mph* 3.2sec *0-100mph* 7.0sec *Quarter mile* 11.3sec at 128.7mph

*Tied 21st - McLaren 12C Spider*

*Lap time:* 1min 8.9sec

*Road test date* 8.5.13 *Test number* 5113 *Peak power* 616bhp at 7500rpm *Kerb weight* 1520kg *Tyres* Pirelli P Zero *0-60mph* 3.4sec *0-100mph* 7.2sec *Quarter mile *11.6sec at 129.5mph

*20th - McLaren 570S*

*Lap time: *1min 8.7sec

*Road test date* 30.3.16 *Test number* 5262 *Peak power* 562bhp at 7400rpm *Kerb weight* 1445kg *Tyres* Pirelli P Zero Corsa *0-60mph* 3.1sec *0-100mph* 6.4sec *Quarter mile* 11.0sec at 133.5mph

*Tied 18th - Ferrari F12 Berlinetta*

*Lap time:* 1min 8.6sec

*Road test date* 6.11.13 *Test number* 5139 *Peak power* 731bhp at 8250rpm *Kerb weight* 1715kg *Tyres* Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 *0-60mph* 3.0sec *0-100mph* 6.5sec *Quarter mile* 11.0sec at 133.6mph

*Tied 18th - McLaren MP4-12C*

*Lap time:* 1min 8.6sec (damp)

*Road test date* 29.6.11 *Test number* 5018 *Peak power* 592bhp at 7000rpm *Kerb weight *1470kg *Tyres* Pirelli P Zero Corsa *0-60mph* 3.3sec* 0-100mph* 6.7sec *Quarter mile* 11.1sec at 131.5mph

*17th - Bugatti Veyron Super Sport*

*Lap time:* 1min 8.5sec

*Road test date* 2.3.11 *Test number* 5000 *Peak power* 1183bhp at 6400rpm *Kerb weight* 1995kg *Tyres* Michelin Pilot Sport PAX *0-60mph* 2.6sec *0-100mph* 5.0sec *Quarter mile* 10.1sec at 147.9mph

*16th - Ariel Atom V8*

*Lap time:* 1min 8.4sec

*Road test date* 10.8.11 *Test number* 5024 *Peak power* 475bhp at 10,500rpm *Kerb weight* 650kg *Tyres* Toyo Proxes R888 *0-60mph* 3.0sec *0-100mph* 5.7sec *Quarter mile* 11.2sec at 134.2mph

*Tied 13th - Ferrari 458 Speciale*

*Lap time: *1min 8.3sec

*Road test date* 20.8.14 *Test number* 5179 *Peak power* 597bhp at 9000rpm *Kerb weight* 1445kg *Tyres* Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 *0-60mph* 3.6sec *0-100mph* 6.8sec *Quarter mile* 11.1sec at 130.1mph

*Tied 13th - McLaren 650S Spider*

*Lap time: *1min 8.3sec

*Road test date* 30.7.14 *Test number* 5176 *Peak power* 641bhp at 7250rpm *Kerb weight* 1490kg *Tyres* Pirelli P Zero Corsa *0-60mph* 3.2sec *0-100mph* 6.3sec *Quarter mile* 11.0sec at 135.2mph

McLarens like it best if you trail their brakes right to the apex, because this quells the understeer that they all to an extent suffer from. But the circuit layout we chose deliberately doesn’t always allow the same cornering style – particularly the really long, really fast left-hander, which shows up high-speed stability issues.

Even so, the 650S Spider was exceptionally fast, even on slightly worn tyres. (One last set went unused because we don’t get the circuit all day and the car turned up late.) Still, with the McLaren techs thinking there was a little more left in the bag, our track time was up, but this drop-top would match the more track-focused Ferrari 458 Speciale coupé.

*Tied 13th - Mercedes-AMG GT R*

*Lap time: *1min 8.3sec

*Road test date* 10.5.17 *Test number* 5319 *Peak power* 577bhp at 6250rpm *Kerb weight* 1665kg *Tyres* Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 *0-60mph* 3.6sec *0-100mph* 7.3sec *Quarter mile* 11.5sec at 128.6mph

*12th - Radical RS3 SL*

*Lap time: *1min 8.0sec

*Road test date* 20.11.11 *Test number* 5040 *Peak power* 245bhp at 6000rpm *Kerb weight* 765kg *Tyres* Kumho Ecsta V700 *0-60mph* 3.4sec *0-100mph* 8.4sec *Quarter mile* 12.3sec at 115.8mph

*11th - Dallara Stradale*

*Lap time: *1min 7.9sec

*Road test date* 16.10.19 *Test number* 5444 *Peak power* 395bhp at 6200rpm *Kerb weight* 987kg *Tyres* Pirelli P Zero Trofeo R *0-60mph* 3.7sec* 0-100mph* 9.2sec *Quarter mile* 12.4sec at 116.6mph

*10th - Porsche 911 GT2 RS (991)*

*Lap time: *1min 7.8sec

*Road test date* 18.7.18 *Test number* 5380 *Peak power* 691bhp at 7000rpm *Kerb weight* 1520kg *Tyres* Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 *0-60mph* 3.0sec *0-100mph* 6.1sec *Quarter mile* 10.8sec at 136.3mph

*Tied 8th - McLaren 620R*

*Lap time: *1min 6.9sec (damp)

*Road test date* 23-30.12.20 *Test number* 5504 *Peak power* 611bhp at 7250rpm *Kerb weight* 1470kg *Tyres* Pirelli P Zero Trofeo R *0-60mph* 3.2sec *0-100mph* 6.4sec *Quarter mile* 11.1sec at 138.5mph

*Tied 8th - McLaren 600LT Spider*

*Lap time: *1min 6.9sec

*Road test date* 22.5.19 *Test number* 5423 *Peak power* 592bhp at 7500rpm *Kerb weight* 1465kg *Tyres* Pirelli P Zero Trofeo R *0-60mph* 2.9sec *0-100mph* 6.1sec *Quarter mile* 10.7sec at 133mph

*7th - McLaren P1*

*Lap time:* 1min 6.8sec

*Road test date* 7.5.14 *Test number* 5164 *Peak power* 903bhp at 7300rpm *Kerb weight* Not weighed *Tyres* Pirelli P Zero Corsa *0-60mph* 2.8sec *0-100mph* 5.2sec *Quarter mile *10.2sec at 147.5mph

*6th - McLaren 720S*

*Lap time:* 1min 6.1sec

*Road test date* 24.5.17 *Test number* 5321 *Peak power* 710bhp at 7500rpm *Kerb weight* 1419kg *Tyres* Pirelli P Zero Corsa *0-60mph* 2.9sec *0-100mph* 5.6sec *Quarter mile* 10.4sec at 143.5mph

*5th - Porsche 918 Spyder*

*Lap time: *1min 5.7sec

*Road test date* 22.10.14 *Test number* 5188 *Peak power* 874bhp at 8700rpm *Kerb weight* 1740kg *Tyres* Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 *0-60mph* 2.6sec* 0-100mph* 5.3sec *Quarter mile* 10.2sec at 144.9mph

*Tied 3rd - Lamborghini Huracan Performante*

*Lap time: *1min 5.3sec

*Road test date* 11.10.17 *Test number* 5341 *Peak power* 630bhp at 8000rpm *Kerb weight* 1590kg *Tyres* Pirelli P Zero Trofeo R *0-60mph* 2.9sec* 0-100mph* 5.9sec *Quarter mile* 10.6sec at 136.7mph

Meeting the Lamborghini crew on a grey, mizzling morning made me feel guilty from the off. I always do when conditions make it hard to test a car fairly; usually we have a day to do it so just have to get on with our work.

I remember heading onto the track with the rain only just stopped and an hour booked in which to try to warm the car and tyres, dry out a line and see what was possible.

We had already scrubbed a fresh set of tyres and the asphalt was still drying, so we extended our session.

With literally a minute left, on our last tyre set and at temperature just in time, the Porsche 918 Spyder’s three-year-old record went. When the VBox timing app pinged in the way it does to indicate you’ve just improved your best time, I felt as if I’d just ‘done a Hamilton’ in Q3.

*Tied 3rd - Ferrari 488 Pista*

*Lap time:* 1min 5.3sec

*Road test date* 7.8.19 *Test number* 5435 *Peak power* 710bhp at 6750rpm *Kerb weight *1465kg *Tyres* Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2R *0-60mph* 2.8sec *0-100mph* 5.6sec *Quarter mile* 10.5sec at 141.0mph

*2nd - Lamborghini Aventador SVJ*

*Lap time: *1min 5.2sec

*Road test date* 19.6.19 *Test number* 5427 *Peak power* 759bhp at 8500rpm *Kerb weight* 1770kg *Tyres* Pirelli P Zero Trofeo R *0-60mph* 2.9sec *0-100mph* 6.1sec *Quarter mile* 10.7sec at 135.9mph

*1st - McLaren Senna*

*Lap time: *1min 3.8sec

*Road test date* 10.10.18 *Test number* 5392 *Peak power* 789bhp at 7250rpm *Kerb weight* 1345kg *Tyres* Pirelli P Zero Trofeo R *0-60mph* 3.1sec *0-100mph* 5.5sec *Quarter mile* 10.4sec at 148.2mph

Our current record holder set a time that might easily remain the best for years to come. That was always the point of the McLaren Senna. For all its power and downforce, its genius is in making driving preposterously fast amazingly simple, and not just for those with a WEC racer’s skillset.

Not that we just hopped in and smashed it on the out lap. The car’s Trofeo R tyres certainly needed some warming. Otherwise, as one tester found out, if you select Race mode and dial back the electronics, it’s easy to end up embarrassed, stationary and looking at an apex you’d swear you’d already passed.

Once enough heat was in those tyres, the Senna just flew. It posted its time according to the script, just as its fresh rubber had been fitted and set for optimal pressure – no chasing or adjusting was needed.

The feeling of sheer stability, downforce and speed it produced, of flying through Turn Four with hardly a hint of a lift and challenging myself to brake later and harder, turn by turn, will stay with me for as long as I can recall MIRA at all.


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