Shock car smashes world record
An unknown Chinese car maker has shown the big boys how it's done at one of the world's most challenging race tracks.
Fledgling youth-focused manufacturer Lynk & Co has set a new record around the undulating 20.8-kilometre track that is the unofficial testing benchmark for fast cars.
The time of 7 minutes 20.143 seconds set a new record for a front-wheel drive car, eclipsing the Renault Megane RS Trophy-R (by 20 seconds) that is expected to sell for about $70,000 and comes fitted with lightweight carbon fibre wheels.
The 170.4km/h average speed also shaved three seconds off the time for the world's fastest sedan set by Jaguar last month in its race track-prepared XE SV Project 8, which uses a supercharged V8 engine driving all four wheels.
The Lynk & Co time smashed Holden's record-setting attack in 2013 with a V8-powered Commodore ute by almost one minute.
It is the first time a Chinese car maker has set a record at the Nurburgring, a track that regularly lures the world's most revered performance car brands to spend big bucks chasing lower lap times for bragging rights against rivals.
Lynk & Co is owned by Geely, the company that bought Volvo almost a decade ago.
It focuses on styling and technology to appeal to younger Chinese buyers and has plans to enter the European and US markets as early as 2020.
The car that set the time was based on the Lynk & Co 03, a small sedan that uses an architecture and engines shared with Volvo.
However, the car that set the Nurburgring lap time was called the 03 Cyan Concept and is for now a one-off developed by Cyan Racing, formerly known as Polestar.
It used a 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo engine modified to produce 376kW and drive through a six-speed sequential transmission.
There were also substantial aerodynamic and suspension modifications and the car was fitted with Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tyres, which are designed to provide maximum grip on race tracks.
"We continue to push past the boundaries and goals that we have set for the Lynk & Co 03 Cyan Concept, a car that acts as a development platform for future Lynk & Co performance cars and parts," said the head of automotive R&D at Cyan Racing, Henrik Fries.
"While our main purpose for the many laps on the Nürburgring Nordschleife is development, the records that we broke are a true testament to the potential and capabilities of the Lynk & Co platform, as well as our engineering philosophy from more than two decades of motorsport and road car performance."