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What Road Car Would Make the World’s Fastest Time Attack Machine?

One lap, one modified road car, and no other rules.
A heavily modified Chevrolet Corvette and Nissan GT-R in the pit lane at Circuit of the Americas
via Car Plus + Tuner on YouTube

Bench racing is a pastime as old as performance cars, but it’s often only about comparing stock vehicles. When it comes to modifying them, though, the imagination is the limit. Or is it? Not all platforms are built equal, and every car has a performance ceiling; a fastest lap time it can achieve.

So, if you had to choose one car to turn into the fastest time attack build possible—with its original frame and road-legal tires—what would it be?

It’s a harder question to answer than it first seems, as proven by the variety of cars that have succeded at this over the years. The only constants between them are minimal weight, maximum tire, and as much horsepower and downforce as you can generate. It’s up to you to figure out how best to combine those—if you can even settle on one idea.

To choose something other than the obvious (like the 1,300-hp Chevy Corvette above), something with the potential to beat it, I see multiple ways of going about it. One involves an ND Mazda MX-5—a small, light, nimble chassis with torque vectoring—a sequential six-speed, and a Honda K24 with a giant turbo. The power delivery and short wheelbase would be a handful, but the right driver could manage both. Especially with antilag and 345-section tires behind them.

The other, more brutish solution is an Audi R8 or Lamborghini Huracan with twin turbos and as wide a body as you need to put down those thousands of horsepower in every gear. And of course, enough aero to keep a Boeing 747 from taking off. They’re both the kinds of builds you’d expect from the most obnoxious influencers you can imagine, but the brief was fastest, not coolest. Y’all aren’t ready to hear about my Chevy Cavalier fan car idea.

Got a tip or question for the author? You can reach them here: james@thedrive.com