Here are five sportscars that are more than capable in stock form, but take it to extremes with their own track-focused versions.
Carmakers create track-focused packages for their cars for a range of different reasons. Lexus celebrated a successful campaign at the Nurburgring 24 Hours by assembling the Nurburgring Package for the LFA, Mercedes has the Black Series to make their potent AMG cars even more formidable, while SRT recently rolled out the Viper TA to regain some credibility after losing a track battle with the Corvette ZR1. Nissan and Weismann also prepared special editions of their sportscars for track-day enthusiasts. So how do they compare?
Lexus celebrated the LFA's class-winning performance at the 2010 Nurburgring 24 Hours by creating a Nurburgring Package for the supercar. Limited to 50 units within the total vehicle production of 500, the package was aimed at making the LFA more track-focused with the addition of carbon-fiber aero components including a larger front spoiler, fin-type side spoilers, canard fin and fixed rear wing. Maximum power of the 4.8-liter V10 was boosted by 11 hp to 562 hp and handling was improved with a tighter suspension, a 10mm lower ride height, mesh-type wheels and high-grip tires. Lexus also throws in a year-long pass to the Nurburgring along with an advanced driving course.
Mercedes' fifth and most potent Black Series model is based on the SLS AMG. The ultimate Silver Star to date boasts a glut of superior upgrades, including a revised 6.2-liter V8 engine that cranks out 622 hp instead of 563 for a 0-62 mph sprint time of 3.6 seconds and top speed of 196 mph. The SLS Black sheds plenty of weight thanks to a liberal application of carbon fiber in its construction. An adaptive suspension, electronic differential and carbon-fiber driveshaft further improve the flagship's handling and performance, while the stripped-out cabin loses the multimedia system but gains yet more carbon as well as Alcantara upholstery.
The Clubsport variant of Wiesmann's GT MF4-S is its most track-focused to date. Built to celebrate a quarter-century in the business, the Clubsport is limited to 25 vehicles worldwide, and packs the outgoing BMW M3's 4.0-liter V8. 414 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque are sent to the rear wheels through a 6-speed manual or 7-speed DCT translating to a 4.4-second 0-62 time and a 183-mph top speed. To keep weight down, the Clubsport has a sparse interior with racing seats, an integrated roll cage and fire extinguisher. It also sports a more aggressive front spoiler, fixed carbon-fiber rear wing and a carbon-fiber roof.
Nissan is planning a limited run of just 150 units of the Track Edition GT-R that ditches the back seats in favor of a lightweight quilted cloth mat to drop weight, and adds a set of blue-trimmed specially upholstered front buckets. A hardcore four-wheel independent suspension for the Track Edition was developed at the Nurburgring, consisting of Bilstein DampTronic gas shocks and higher spring rates. It also boasts a new front spoiler with carbon-fiber air ducts, special brake cooling ducts and refined brake cooling air guides, as well as a lightweight carbon-fiber rear spoiler and a set of metallic black six-spoke RAYS forged alloys.
After the Corvette ZR1 came out on top in a Motor Trend track test with the SRT Viper GTS, Chrysler's performance division responded with the Viper TA. Shorthand for Track Attack, the hardcore Viper gets track-focused items such as retuned two-mode Bilstein Damptronic dampers, new springs and anti-roll bars, and a carbon fiber engine-bay brace that's 50 percent stronger and stiffer than the standard aluminum unit. The Viper's aero has also been enhanced with carbon spoilers front and rear, while a new set of Pirelli PZero Corsa tires have been fitted. The 8.4-liter V10, however, remains unchanged with 640 horsepower and 600 lb-ft of torque.