The Nürburgring remains the most demanding high-speed proving ground on the planet, and manufacturers take full advantage of that on Industry-Pool Days, when the track is shared between 30 OEMs, nine tire manufacturers and five parts suppliers. And yesterday happened to be one of those days. Let's see what was seen at the Green Hell.
Following its initial launch in 2011, the Lamborghini Aventador went through a major facelift two years ago, getting four-wheel steering in the process. Yet it seems that the engineers at Sant'Agata are not quite done with their flagship, as more and more prototypes keep burning rubber at the Nürburgring, showing off their aggressive aero package as well as an exhaust setup similar to the Huracan Performante's.
But Lamborghinis weren't the only fast machines on the 'Ring this week. Chevy kept working hard on the ZR1's final tune, with its red development car's patent-pending active exhausts still being too loud for the neighboring German villages. Hence the cobbled-together exhaust extenders you see here, which aim the Corvette's shout away from trackside noise measurement devices.
While we don't know exactly why Jaguar's "Race Taxi" XJR575 was out there—Industry Pool days are usually closed to tourists, for obvious reasons—AMG seems to be working on a GT even faster than the mighty R. Let's hope they go with the Black Series badge for that one.
Toyota is not done yet with the Supra either (that's why we only got a race car mockup at Geneva instead of something that feels closer to production). BMW is not far behind with its work on the soft-top Z4. Among less performance-oriented machines, Mercedes-Benz is busy perfecting the new A and GLA-Classes, while Land Rover's mystery prototype is most likely the drivetrain mule of the upcoming unibody Defender.
VW is likely to be looking into ways to regain the front-wheel drive lap record from Honda, while Audi might be working on an even hotter TT, along with a whole fleet of pure electric SUVs like the Q8. Following Audi's flagship utility vehicle was a prototype of BMW's very own, the X8. Then, there's Ferrari, making sure the 488 Pista will live up to its name.
However, the X8 wasn't the only large Bavarian on the circuit, as BMW is just about to round up its development of the new 8 Series. And the same could be said about the next generation 3 Series, perhaps their most important product.
Talk about having a busy day in the German countryside!
Update: Even more sweet prototypes made appearances on the second day.
Words can not describe how much we'd like to max out Pirelli's Aston Martin Vantage prototype. There's just something about it. Yet what could be under the hoods of those other two older Astons remains a mystery.
Either way, Aston Martin's engineers weren't alone. Alfa Romeo attacked the curves with an unmarked Giulia QV. AMG kept busy testing its new four-door GT, as well as the soft top C-Class. Chevy continued with its pair of mildly muted Corvette ZR1s, Audi with the TT RS facelift, while Porsche kept the pedal hard on the floor both with the GT3 and the GT2 RSes. Most likely training for a future lap record.
Then, we had Lamborghini with its crazy Aventador "SVJ", as well as a surprisingly stock-looking Huracan. Chasing a RenaultSport Clio was once again Ferrari's 488 Pista, while Jaguar kept the pace up with its XE SV Project 8. You know, the four-door with a factory half cage...