• Dec 31, 2010
Car and Driver presents Lightning Lap No. 5 – Click above for high-res image gallery

The annual Lightning Lap roundup from Car and Driver is easily one of our favorite car magazine features of any of the past five years, and this year's extravaganza at Virginia International Raceway delivers once again. The five classes in the throwdown represent vehicles under $30,000, $30k to $60k, $60,000 to $120,000, $120k to $240k and the elusive "and up" category. C/D asked manufacturers to supply production vehicles that come equipped with the most track-ready options that any Tom, Dick and Harry can get straight from the factory, including uprated tires, brakes and sporting suspensions. The goal? To find out what production car is the quickest around VIR's challenging roadcourse.

After the jump are video summaries of the LL2 and LL3 competitions. The LL2 class features dream matchups of the Ford Mustang GT, Lexus LS-F, Shelby Mustang GT500, Mazda RX8 R3, Mitsubishi EVO and Subaru WRX STI. The LL3 class features the Jaguar XFR, Chevrolet Corvette Z06, Cadillac CTS-V Coupe, Lotus Evora, Mercedes E63 AMG and Porsche Boxster Spyder.

We won't reveal any winners here, but you can find out the LL2 and LL3 champs by hitting the jump. Heck, one LL3 car would have also won the LL4 class, so we're talking serious speed here. There aren't many better ways to spend eight minutes of your life, but if you've got an hour or two to kill, head over to C/D's website for all five Lightning Lap summaries, plus a bunch of individual laps and summaries from past Lightning Laps.



[Source: Car and Driver I Images: Marc Urbano]



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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 71 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      ISF FTW !

      The new suspension and LSD are much better. No more saying the M3 beats the ISF on the track and in handling thats a thing of a past what it took BMW 20 years to do Lexus as done in 3... and you must also note the M3 has wider tires AND the ISF is heavier then the M3... and the M3 had on the better performance tires.. damn ISF > M3

      And the ISF cost less, more rare, better DD, 5x more reliable, more luxurious, more comfortable, more technology more unique IMO and the ISF looks killer in that Ultrasonic Blue.
      • 4 Years Ago
      1. That 'Vette just keeps getting better.
      2. That Caddy just keeps getting better.
      3. Don't know how I feel about that Jag.
      4. The Boxster Spyder is the coolest one there and I'd have it first.
        • 4 Years Ago
        That Boxster Spyder looked FILTHY blazing through some of those turns, but I'm actually suprized it's lap time wasn't closer to the Vette. Does VIR have a lot of long straights? It seems to favor the big horsepower cars...
        • 4 Years Ago
        @trustedcarsalesman,
        Yes, it definitely has long straights. CandD picked the track they thought most resembled the characteristics of the Nurburgring since so many folks pay so much attention to those times. Something like the Top Gear test track is the exact opposite. And those times are easy to find (Wikipedia I think). Although not available for these exact cars. Still interesting to compare though.
      • 4 Years Ago
      The one thing I find interesting is that C&D ran a 2:58.48 in the same model GT500 earlier this year - the in car video is on their site as well as on YouTube. At the time they praised the short throw as being perfect, and praised the car for being incredibly nimble now they say they can't get a lap in with a missed 2-3 shift???

      Video Here:
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aR7PIZhFUdc

      In fact I think it is also here on AutoBlog....
      • 4 Years Ago
      All the vette needs is better interior and a DCT transmission.
        • 4 Years Ago
        ...but dct dosent have torque converter.... no such slush.... That corvette is unbelievably fast but most cars do become faster on a track with twin clutch.... Eventually the vette and most other makes will have dct if for no other reason then better fuel economy via allowing 7th or more gear and no loss of power on shifts..
        • 4 Years Ago
        lol

        You just said Dual Clutch Transmission transmission.

        You should just be slapped for even thinking about a Corvette with a slushbox.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Poor RX-8.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Now regarding LL3:

      1 - Damn... to think the Boxster was Porsche's Civic... then again the new Spyder weights as much as a Civic lol. Good times... a White Spyder looks beautiful

      2 - Under 3 seconds for the vette... one word: WOW... can't wait till I can afford one :-)

      3 - meh @ the rest... the CTS-V coupe is mad ugly...
        • 4 Years Ago
        i was amazed at the 3 second lap times as well, pretty awesome that the vette can carry an average speed of 1700 m/s (or 3900 mph). It was also cool to see it spontaneously combust at the end. :)
        • 4 Years Ago
        I kno u were joking broz lol

        Yeah I'm actually proud of our best American sports car, the vette is simply too much car for the money!
        • 4 Years Ago
        i know brosef, just making a joke :) The vette is fantastic, it was well ahead of the competition.
        • 4 Years Ago
        *I meant under 3 minutes for the vette -_-
      • 4 Years Ago
      The Porsche Spyder is faster than the CTS-V around VIR. I loved seeing the Mustang own the STI and Evo.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I'll take the Vette and add the Recaro seats from the CTS-V Coupe and call it a day.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Seriously, better seats would help with lap times also.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Car and Driver should not be taken so seriously..
      • 4 Years Ago
      +1.....Corvette was also my pick for 'bang for the buck". Second was Mustang GT.
        • 4 Years Ago
        You are great on DTWS!!
      • 4 Years Ago
      wait, what?! no BMW in the comparo?

      I guess BMW forgot to cut them a obligatory "$$ check" for this article, lol.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I miss seeing the Viper run around VIR. :(

      Anyone remember when the ACR ran a 2:48.6 lap? Wonderful machine.

      Thanks Cerberus! (sarcasm obviously)

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