Game of Thrones

Nardó's high-speed tuner contest reveals who's fit to wear the crown

March 6, 2014
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So why do a bunch of tuners bring their cars and crews to Nardó Technical Center every two years for a high-speed shootout? Easy: credibility and publicity. However, good press doesn’t come cheaply. The tuners rack up considerable expense, not just from participation in the event itself but also from the preparation needed to ensure the cars are as mechanically perfect as possible.

A good result here means a lot to both the participants and their customers, especially when the story appears in the few car magazines around the world that are highly regarded by the speed demons who build and buy these cars. And with the very experienced Nardó staff and a small group of invited journalists acting as third-party monitors, everyone is satisfied that the numbers achieved are both accurate and bona fide.

The top speeds achieved here help inform the owners and prospective buyers of these road-legal conversions that they can run at speed safely and reliably on the German autobahn. And in other countries, for owners who are denied the the luxury of unrestricted roads, it is an assurance that their car really will do what it says on the tin.

The full tuner line-up at the 2013 event: AC Schnitzer, Edo, GAD, Gemballa, G-Power, GSC, HGP, Klasen, MTM, Novidem, SKN, Techart, TH Automobile, and 9ff. With a total of 10,400 horsepower (around 7,650 kW) and running on high-tech Continental tires, the 16-vehicle field recorded five new fastest runs and saw almost all of the sports cars top 300 km/h (186 mph). Using Conti SportContact 5 P tires, Swiss tuner Novidem recorded a speed of 331 km/h (205.68 mph) and set a new benchmark for the fastest Nissan GT-R. Only a fraction behind at 330 km/h (205.05 mph) was the 550-hp (404 kW) Golf 3.6 Biturbo entered by HGP from Ohmden on Conti SportContact Vmax tires, which secured the record for the fastest Golf. Meanwhile, the smallest car in the field, an Opel Corsa run by Klasen Motors from Oberhausen, also boasting 550 hp and running on Conti SportContact Vmax tires, recorded a fabulous speed of 309 km/h (192.00) mph) – making this 1,259 kilo lightweight the fastest Corsa of all time. The record for the fastest diesel went to MTM with a 410-hp (302 kW) Audi A8 Biturbo. This high-speed sedan clocked exactly 300 km/h (186 mph) on Nardó’s concrete track on Conti SportContact 5 P tires. The “slowest” vehicle in the high-powered line-up was a

580-hp (425 kW) VW T5 Camper that posted a speed of 270 km/h (167.77 mph) on high-tech tires from the Conti SportContact family—and that was without Berlin-based tuner TH Automobile even bothering to remove the fitted kitchen!

Porsches are top all-around performers right out of the box and so are a natural favorite for aftermarket tuning. And of all the German Porsche tuners, 9ff has been the most consistent winner of the top-speed shootout at Nardó over recent years. The firm’s Jan Fatthauer has an enviable reputation for making Porsche flat-six engines deliver humongous power, borne out by results at Nardó that included the year his legendary 1,120-hp GT9 just about scorched the tarmac as it blasted past at over 408 km/h (254 mph).

Also from Issue 218

  • Shark Werks 540-hp GT3 RS 4.1
  • Technical primer on road wheels
  • Porsche and the English Patient
  • Ed Mayo builds an early 911 hot-rod
  • David Stone: Unsung hero of the Monte
  • Recreation of the 1968 Monte Carlo winner
  • Project 911, Part 3: Engine
  • Dennis Simanaitis on racing and horns
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