In case you hadn’t already heard, there’s a new production car king of Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. So which car is it? For now, all we’re going to say is that it’s either the 2013 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 or the 2013 SRT Viper, one of which lapped the famed circuit in 1:33.70 (see sidebar). That time bests the old record of 1:33.92 held by a 2010 Dodge Viper ACR driven by SRT development engineer Chris Winkler.
We’ve created a special in-depth infographic highlighting the Top 10 fastest production cars Motor Trend has previously lapped at the 2.238-mile circuit as part of our annual Best Driver’s Car competition. All of the cars – including the ZR1 and Viper for our latest story — were driven by Motor Trend contributor and race car ace Randy Pobst.
Below are short snippets about the Top 10 fastest cars on the list, and scroll down to see our special Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca infographic!
2012 Lexus LFA – Pobst said the LFA’s brakes were some of the most powerful he’d ever experienced, but had some reservations about the car’s performance: “It’s not a good-time car in a relaxed, casual way. It’s a good-time car in a serious work way. … And for me, that’s less enjoyable than something I can just haul ass in.”
2012 Audi R8 GT - Three words: barely street legal. This race-bred GT and its standard roll cage, four-point harnesses, fiber-reinforced plastic racing seats, fixed rear wing, race compound tires, lightweight aluminum and carbon-fiber bodywork, adjustable coilover suspension, sport exhaust, and 560 horses help it lap the track in 1:36.9.
2012 McLaren MP4-12C – This car was born ready. After all, the mid-engine supercar has F1 workings in its blood, and is powered by a twin-turbo V-8 that makes 592 horsepower.
2012 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 - We already knew there was something sinister about this red and black devil when it showed up with 666 miles on the odometer. Despite having fewer horses than several other contenders, it showed them and the Laguna Seca raceway who is boss.
2012 Nissan GT-R – The GT-R is a little on the heavy side, but that just means there’s more to love. It rushed to 60 mph in 2.9 seconds before conquering the quarter mile in 11.2 seconds at 121 mph.
2013 Nissan GT-R Black Edition – Godzilla impresses with its large bag of magic tricks. “It doesn’t tip over on itself and the GT-R’s hefty curb weight of 3887 pounds is well hidden.”
2009 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 - While the McLaren easily does all the hard work for you, the Corvette ZR1 requires the opposite type of driving. Don’t think you’re just going to sit back and enjoy the ride. “The ZR1 does not elicit relaxed smiles or slow sighs of ecstasy — only pants and palpitations,” we said of the 638-hp Bowtie.
2010 Ferrari 458 Italia – This wild horse ran like the wind, lapping the raceway in 1:36.2, and it did it ever so gracefully. “There aren’t any flaws,” we said of the Italian supercar, in which we took extra laps in just because we could.
2012 Lamborghini Aventador - Just like the raging bull it was named after, the Aventador stormed the circuit with all its might, but it didn’t come easy, as the wild animal was rather difficult to tame. Nonetheless, it lapped the circuit in an impressive 1:35.4.
2008 Dodge Viper ACR - The Viper has no shame; it’s rude and crude. It lapped the Mazda raceway in 1:35.12, and although it was anything but smooth, Randy Pobst said it was “tremendous fun.” If you don’t know what you’re doing though, the snake will come back and bite — hard.