Germany’s Nurburgring is one of the most challenging race circuits in the world, with its bumpy surface, twisty layout, and grueling 12.9-mile length, which led to its apt nickname, “The Green Hell.”
It’s not for the faint of heart, that’s for sure, and that’s why records set on the North Loop (Nordschleife) part of Nurburgring have a lot of weight to them, compared to other, less feisty tracks, that is.
One such record has been set in April by German car magazine Sport Auto, but the video – embedded above – has only been published a few days ago, with a Ferrari 296 GTB becoming the fastest road-going Ferrari ever on the Nordschleife under the helm of the magazine’s test driver, Christian Gebhardt.
Gallery: Ferrari 296 GTB road test
It’s also the first-ever Ferrari to set a timed lap on the North Loop of the Nurburgring of under seven minutes, with the stopwatch showing 6:58.7 minutes. That’s about two seconds faster than the next Ferrari on the list, the 488 Pista, and almost three seconds faster than a Dodge Viper ACR that ran a 7:01.3 with an Extreme Aero Package installed.
It’s worth mentioning that the Ferrari 296 GTB that set the sub-7-minute time was wearing Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 R tyres, which are semi-slicks, and that it was fitted with the Assetto Fiorano pack, which comes with Multimatic adjustable shocks and several weight-saving features which make it a more track-focused weapon than its normal, base variant sibling.
According to Ferrari, the 296 GTB has a dry weight of 1,470 kilograms, while the hybrid powertrain – which combines a centrally mounted 3.0-litre V6 and two electric motors – makes a total of 819 bhp and 546 lb-ft of torque.
Additionally, if one doesn’t want to rev the coupe's V6 while driving through a highly congested city, there’s also a full-electric driving mode that can be used for up to 16 miles of zero-emissions travel, thanks to an integrated 7.45-kilowatt-hour battery that feeds the electric motors. The Ferrari 296 GTB is also a plug-in hybrid, so the aforementioned high-capacity battery can be replenished from an EV charger.