Porsche 919 Hybrid Evo obliterates Nürburgring lap record

The former overall record stood for 35 years and 31 days.

Andrew Krok Reviews Editor / Cars
Cars are Andrew's jam, as is strawberry. After spending years as a regular ol' car fanatic, he started working his way through the echelons of the automotive industry, starting out as social-media director of a small European-focused garage outside of Chicago. From there, he moved to the editorial side, penning several written features in Total 911 Magazine before becoming a full-time auto writer, first for a local Chicago outlet and then for CNET Cars.
Andrew Krok
2 min read

When you don't have to adhere to race regulations, the sky's the limit, and Porsche built itself one hell of a rocketship.

Porsche's 919 Hybrid Evo, based on its Le Mans prototype racer, utterly crushed the overall lap record at Germany's Nürburgring Nordschleife on Friday. Its single-lap time of 5:19.55 beat the previous record by a stunning 51.58 seconds, set 35 years ago in a Porsche 956 C. 

Wrestling the car through all 12.94 miles of track was Timo Bernhard, a five-time winner of the Nürburgring 24 Hours endurance race and two-time overall winner at Le Mans. For some context, this lap was about 90 seconds faster than the production-car record holder, the Porsche 911 GT2 RS.

The 919 Hybrid Evo is basically an uncorked version of the prototype Porsche took to Le Mans in 2017. Without regulations to adhere to, Porsche turned up the wick -- its net output of 1,160 horsepower is split between its four-cylinder gas engine (720 hp) and its electric motors (440 hp). The hybrid system captures energy from the front brakes and the exhaust system, storing it in a lithium-ion battery.

The aerodynamics are about as advanced as can be. Both the front diffuser and rear wing contain drag-reduction systems, and compared to the regulated 919, this car puts out 53 percent more downforce. The whole shebang weighs in at just 1,871 pounds, about 500 pounds lighter than a Mazda MX-5 Miata.

This lap time was Porsche's final goal for its no-holds-barred prototype. Earlier this year, the same car lapped the Spa Francorchamps circuit in less time than the fastest modern Formula One car, which is absolutely bonkers.

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Porsche may as well buy the rights to "Zoom Zoom" from Mazda. What a lap!