Famous cars tear up Germany’s Nurburgring track

The Nurburgring track in Germany is one of the most famous race tracks in the world, and some of the most famous vehicles in existence have tried their best to set world-records on the course.

MSN Autos recently detailed some of the most legendary runs made at Nurburgring in an effort to prove which car could claim the title of fastest in the world.

The most recent record-holder is the Pagani Zonda R, which broke the Ferrari 599XX's time by nearly 11 seconds in June of 2010. Clocking in at 6:47.5 seconds, the Zonda set a new standard for racing at Nurburgring.

Yet a Zonda isn't what anyone would describe as "street-legal." It's a race car built for those purposes only. While the Radical SR8 can be lumped in the same category, the car can technically be used on the road in some European countries, depending on the laws. Normally, outfitting a car for street legality means that the time will suffer, but the SR8 came in at just half-a-second behind the Zonda at 6:48.

Still, no driver is gonna find an SR8 lying around at their local used car dealer. More common automakers use the track as well, and quite frequently. In the past 3 years, the title for the world's fastest production sedan has bounced through numerous automakers. Cadillac's CTS-V set the bar pretty high with its 7:59 time in 2008, but it was bested by the new Porsche Panamera Turbo's 7:56 in 2009. Surprisingly, both were taken down by the Subaru Impreza WRX STI, which was able to edge the Porsche by just a second.

Nurburgring might be designed for high-horsepower machines, but that doesn't mean it's not used for a bit of fun as well. Mercedes-Benz' Mini brand debuted their Mini E at the track, posting a pretty respectable time of 9:51 purely on electric power.

Finally, perhaps one of the funniest moments at Nurburgring came on the British television show "Top Gear." Host Jeremy Clarkson was given a Jaguar S-Type to tool around with on the track, but was ridiculed after he posted a disappointing time of 10 minutes. That caused professional driver Sabine Schmitz to boast that she could beat his time – in a Ford Transit Van. Surprisingly, the model known more as a delivery truck was able to come pretty close, finishing just 8 seconds behind Clarkson's S-Type time.

With the exception of the Transit, all of these vehicles will fetch a pretty penny at a dealership – if they're available at all. Those who are looking for a performance vehicle, however, might be able to find a good deal on the used car market.