Superb British performance car mag, evo, has some interesting new laptimes published in issue 114. The Bedford Autodrome’s West Circuit is always the sight of evo’s lap testing, a 1.8 mile circuit that the magazine testers call ‘fast and technical’.
Although the track was damp in places when the new BMW M3 took to the Autodrome, it’s time of 1:26.60 is just two tenths behind its big brother, the heavier but much more powerful BMW M6. That time is also slightly quicker than that put up by the Aston Martin V8 Vantage.
An obvious M3 competitor, the Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG, was just under three seconds slower than the M3. At 1:29.50 in conditions similar to that of the M3’s drive, the Benz was three-tenths faster than the previous-generation BMW M3 CS and over a half-second faster than the old C55 AMG.
If you were to give the Pontiac G8 GT a slightly different front end, a thicker bodykit, and a supercharged V8, you’d have the Vauxhall VXR8 Supercharged. Its ‘track damp in places’ time of 1:30.00 gets close to that of the C63 AMG. Even with an insane amount of power, the VXR8 can’t generate enough get-up-and-go to overcome the slower corner exit speeds which are a result of the Vauxhall’s size, more than anything else.
For context, the fastest car evo has taken around Bedford’s West Circuit is a Radical SR3 1300. The Radical’s radical time? 1:17.10, although that’s just 2.5 seconds faster than the Ariel Atom 300 Supercharged. Porsche’s Carrera GT has an evo laptime of 1:19.70; that’s 2.5 seconds faster than the Audi R8. The Ferrari 599 GTB Fiorano is a second slower than the R8 but posts a laptime 1-and-1 tenth faster than the Ferrari F430.
Bentley’s Continental GT is listed at 1:32.25, the Hemi-powered Chrysler 300C is 1:34.60. Volkswagen’s Gabbit GTI splits that gap.