Nürburgring lap times are turning into an obsession as more and more automakers are taking their shiny new performance cars to the Green Hell to try and take down records. It’s a different story this time around as the attached onboard footage doesn’t come from a car manufacturer. Germany’s Sport Auto magazine took the new BMW M5 to the Nordschleife where it was clocked in at 7 minutes and 38.92 seconds in the hands of Christian Gebhardt.
In case his name sounds familiar, Christian also tested the Ford Focus RS towards the end of 2016 when crossed the finish line in 8 minutes and 6 seconds. Over the years, he has tested a variety of cars from a multitude of automakers, including Mercedes-AMG’s GT R also in late 2016 with an impressive time of 7:10.92. In other words, it's safe to say he knows a thing or two about the track and its 73 turns.
Getting back to the M5, it’s only a little bit slower than the Panamera Turbo, which completed a lap in 7:38 almost two years ago to match the Lexus LFA and the Lamborghini Gallardo LP 570-4 Superleggera. It goes without saying the super sedan from Bavaria should prove to be substantially faster with a professional racing driver behind the wheel.
Not only that, but BMW revealed yesterday a beefier M5 Competition with 17 more horsepower than the regular M5. It packs a total of 617 hp while carrying over the same amount of torque (553 lb-ft / 750 Nm). While the minor bump in output might not be very important in the quest to shave off seconds from a Nürburgring lap time, other upgrades should do the trick. These include a lowered ride height (-7mm), additional chassis tuning, stiffer springs and dampers, firmer anti-roll bar, and other similar tweaks.
It remains to be seen whether BMW will take the M5 Competition to the ‘Ring, but even if it won’t, don't be too surprised if Sport Auto’s Christian Gebhardt will get his hands on one to see how it stacks up against the standard model.
Video: Sport Auto / YouTube