This year no fewer than three cars have set new lap records around the MIRA dry handling circuit we use during our road tests.
We try not to make too big a thing of it: the laps are a useful, repeatable, subjective handling test for us, not a competition. That we come up with a lap time is just an objective by-product of our testing.
Manufacturers, though … well, they’ve come to like a lap time.
The first car we lapped in record time this year was the Bugatti Veyron Super Sport, all 1183bhp of it. That’ll be that, we thought: 1min8.5sec. Nothing will go faster than that anytime soon.
Then Ariel acceded to the idea of us performing a full eight-page road test on the Ariel Atom V8. It ‘only’ has 475bhp but it only weighs 650kg. It duly went round in a hairy 1min8.4sec.
This week, though, we’ve tested the Radical SR3 SL. As you can read, SL stands for Street Legal. But once a track car, always a track car.
Despite weighing over 700kg and only toting 245bhp, the SR3 SL ripped around our dry handling circuit in 1min8.0sec dead.