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We talk about Nürburgring lap records all the time around here, but they're always qualified by some category or another: for production cars, for sedans, for front-drive hatchbacks... But nobody talks about the all-out record very much.

In qualifying for the Nürburgring 1000 km race in 1983, Stefan Bellof recorded a lap time of 6:11 in his Porsche 956. It was the fastest anyone had ever made it around the Nordschleife, and the fastest anyone has since – largely because top-level racing series don't compete at the Nordschleife anymore, and the last couple of Formula One cars to complete a lap were driving at a relative snail's pace for demonstration and nostalgic purposes alone. But a group of students in Europe are out to beat that record. And this is the car with which they aim to do so.

It's called the IM01, and it's the work of students at the Technical University of Eindhoven and the Fontys University of Applied Sciences, both in the Netherlands. They call their collective InMotion, and their design calls for a hybrid racing prototype looks like a cross between an F1 car and a Le Mans prototype, with a dose of Red Bull X2014 and Caparo T1 thrown in for good measure.

Underneath the sleek, no-holds-barred bodywork sit four individual electric motors (one in each wheel) with a rotary engine to serve as a range extender. It's got a canopy greenhouse, covered wheels, a blown rear diffuser and about as much ground clearance as a puddle of oil on the floor of a garage.

Though they haven't revealed any actual specifications for their designs, the students evidently hope it'll prove fast enough to knock Bellof and his thirty-year-old Porsche off the top of the leaderboard. That's assuming, of course, the project actually works and is authorized to run on the 'Ring, after which they hope to get similar approval from the FIA and ACO to run it at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in the same Garage 56 slot that was previously awarded to the DeltaWing and Nissan ZEOD RC hybrid racing prototypes.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 5 Months Ago
      If you are going to design a car to get the absolute best time around the Nürburgring, that car is going to be completely different than what you would design for the 24 Hours of Le Mans. A hybrid drive would be good for Le Mans, where efficiency is valuable. For driving around the Nürburgring for less than 7 minutes, you are going to want it as light as possible. You are going to want you power to weight ratio up as high as possible and you down force to weight up as high as possible. A hybrid drivetrain, with its extra weight and complication is not likely a good application. The rest of the car would also be very different for the two different races. For the Nürburgring, where endurance is not the prevailing factor, the engine can be tuned to much higher power density, and the transmission and really, every other component of the car can be lighter with a lower designed safety factor. Perhaps designing this car for these two very dissimilar tasks is the ultimate engineering challenge, like trying to design a great car that also operates as a boat.
      • 5 Months Ago
      Those massive wheel arches are going to make for brutally annoying blind spots. Neat design if you were doing a straight line though.
      Ryan Clarke
      • 5 Months Ago
      Think these guys play a lot of Gran turismo, because that right there is 95% likeness of the Redbull car in. GT5 and 6
      • 5 Months Ago
      I think the word you're looking for is not "prototype", I think it's "sketch". A prototype, by definition, should have at least some of the functionality of the design.
      • 5 Months Ago
      Not sure why you would have lights on it which by definition is a draw on power, unless you were going for your record run at night ? ? ?
        • 5 Months Ago
        You did read the part that says they want to enter it in Garage 56 at Le Mans right? ...right?
      • 5 Months Ago
      • 5 Months Ago
      I have lapped it in GT6 using the Toyota Hybrid TS030 , in exactly 6:00:035, with no driving aids whatsoever other than my own modulation at the wheel and pedals.
      • 5 Months Ago
      Some obvious improvements: single piece fairings over the front wheels that turn with the wheels. More monobody shape on the central body. Riblet surface. Thin wheels. low weight.
      • 5 Months Ago
      if they're going for the lowest possible time, then why not utilize a type of downforce fan similar to the 917's? components used on the 917 still could lead to something even faster today, especially when paired with current auto tech.
      • 5 Months Ago
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