The Dodge Viper may be dead, but it is still one of the fastest production cars around the Nurburgring.
There’s actually an interesting story behind the 2010 Dodge Viper ACR’s impressive lap time of 7:12.13 set by Dominik Farnbacher, at the time setting a record for production cars. The Porsche 918 Spyder has since claimed the crown, but Dodge’s Viper, particularly in ACR trim, has a rich history at the ‘Ring, having also established a production car lap time in 2008 with 7:22.1, a record that stood through much of 2011.
But as we reported in 2014, that record lap almost didn’t happen. Since production of the second-generation Dodge Viper was coming to an end, the American automaker actually didn’t have any cars to use for an attempt on the Nurburgring. Instead, Tomball Dodge donated two vehicles for the test with a driver hand-picked to set the record. But due to unknown circumstances, that driver wasn’t able to make it to the Nurburgring and that’s when Farnbacher stepped in after being invited by Ben Keating, owner of Tomball Dodge. With just two hours behind the wheel, Farnbacher set the record even though Dodge only wanted to best the Corvette ZR1’s time of 7:19.63.
Unfortunately, Dodge never went back to the Nurburgring with the third-generation Viper, and we’re left to wonder how the new Dodge Viper ACR would have fared around the Green Hell. Perhaps as a farewell, the American automaker will make an attempt and set a new record, that is if the new Viper ACR is even up to the task. Below is the in-car video of the 2010 Dodge Viper ACR setting its record lap at the Nurburgring, and a list of 10 cars that the Viper beat around the ‘Ring – some of them may surprise you.
The Ferrari 458 Italia might a true Italian exotic, but even all that engineering, mid-engine layout and superb handling doesn’t allow it to lap the Nurburgring faster than an older Dodge Viper. The Ferrari 458 Italia did its lap in 7:28.0.
With an identical lap time as the Ferrari 458 Italia at 7:28.0, the McLaren MP4-12C might be British-bred for the track, but it doesn’t trump good ol’ American muscle.
At the time, the Porsche Carrera GT was one of the most advanced supercars available. Though it entered and end its production run far earlier (2007), its lap time matches the Ferrari 458 Italia and McLaren MP4-12C at 7:28.0. Its spiritual successor however, the Porsche 918 Spyder, has conquered the Nurburgring with a ridiculous time of 6:57, the current record for a production vehicle.
7. Pagani Zonda F Clubsport
You would think something as exquisite as a Pagani Zonda F Clubsport would be faster than the Dodge Viper ACR. Surprisingly it’s not. The Pagani Zonda F Clubsport lapped the Nurburgring in 7:27.82, but there is a really small * by the time. Even though the test was conducted by the Italian automaker itself, it was in semi-wet conditions.
6. Ferrari Enzo
One of the more surprising cars, not even the venerable Ferrari Enzo has a faster time than the Dodge Viper ACR at the Nurburgring. The extremely limited Ferrari flagship turned in a lap time of 7:25.21, although it wasn’t officially conducted by the Italian automaker. Evo Magazine did the test in 2008 with Marc Basseng behind the wheel.
Lamborghini’s latest and greatest V12 supercar is the Aventador, and even this machine could only muster a 7:25 lap time.
Other than the Porsche 918 Spyder, the previous Porsche 911 GT2 RS is the German automaker’s fastest machine around the Nurburgring with a time of 7:24. That’s still not better than the Dodge Viper ACR!
3. Corvette C6 ZR1
As we mentioned before, Dodge made the trek to the Nurburgring to best the Chevrolet Corvette C6 ZR1’s lap time of 7:19.63. With Farnbacher behind the wheel, the Dodge Viper ACR did that and more. The C6 ZR1’s lap time was set by Jim Mero behind the wheel and was a General Motors–conducted test with stock tires.
2. Nissan GT-R
Each year the Nissan GT-R improves, which means the Japanese automaker takes it out for another spin at the Nurburgring. The 2012 model clocked in a time of 7:19.1, which is quite impressive, but not good enough to best the Dodge Viper ACR. The 2015 Nissan GT-R NISMO, however, is faster, having set a lap time of 7:08.69. Hopefully Nissan will bring its latest model out for another attempt, as the automaker claims the GT-R has received its biggest update since the car was introduced.
1. Lexus LFA Nurburgring Edition
Just because you attach “Nurburgring Edition” to a car’s nameplate doesn’t mean it’s the fastest car around the Nurburgring. The Lexus LFA is significantly more expensive than the Dodge Viper ACR, and even the Nurburgring Edition package isn’t enough to beat the Viper. Lexus turned in a lap time of 7:14.64, which is still one of the fastest ever. It puts it all into perspective just how fast the Dodge Viper ACR is around the Nurburgring.