The racetrack is a great leveller. It doesn’t matter how much money was spent building the car or how many hours went into designing it. Everything boils down to the ultimate lap-time, the best the car can do around the racetrack to decide which one is the winner.
The 3.2km Madras Motorsport racetrack isn’t the longest of the circuits. In fact it is quite technical and tight and hence only brute power cannot ensure you the best lap times. Along with horsepower, you need agility and precision and for that we had an equally agile and precise helmsman – Rayomand Banajee, to put them through the paces and see how they stack up on our leader-board.
Ford EcoSport: 2m24.21s
Starting from below, it was a surprise to see a Ford there. The blue-oval is known for its handling and we expected it to be the fastest amongst the SUVs. With 99bhp of power it did have straight line speed after C1 and cornering speed through C7, but the rivals did better than we expected them to.
Tata Nexon: 2m22.70s
The Nexon had the numbers to go with - 108bhp of power and 260Nm of torque and hence the top-speed honours at 130.11kmph. But it lost out in the corners, being the slowest of the three through C7 and C10. But its exit speed at C1 was the fastest helping it gain the second berth amongst the SUVs.
Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza: 2m20.68s
Surprise! The underpowered Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza was almost two seconds faster than the Nexon and four seconds than the EcoSport. And that is evident by its speed through C7 and C10. C10 is the slowest corner on the circuit which means, the Brezza holds up excellently through tight corners which gave it the deciding edge over its competition.
Volkswagen Polo GT TSI: 2m18.20s
Being India’s first modern hot hatch, the Polo GT TSI is still the same – simple, smart and fast. It is faster than its rival, the Baleno, around the second apex of the tightening C6 and C7 and almost matching it at the exit of C1. Having only front discs and more weight meant that it was slower in the slowest corner which is where it lost the game.
Maruti Suzuki Baleno RS: 2m17.29s
While the power numbers are almost at par with the Polo, it is a whole 159kg lighter and gets all-four discs. That means, late braking, more corner speed and faster acceleration. The 138.41kmph top-speed and 49kmph apex speed through C10 are the reasons why the Baleno could better the Polo around the MMRT.
Mini Cooper JCW Pro 2m08.88s
This Works Mini comes with a 2.0-litre 208bhp/300Nm turbocharged petrol engine and you can see that in the 163kmph top-speed and the taut suspension works its magic in the tight C7. Being lighter does help and it shows in the way the Mini attacks corners.
Skoda Octavia RS 2m07.60s
And here is another surprise. The 227bhp of power and 350Nm of torque of Octavia RS shows its might at the slowest corner with the LSD making sure that no power is wasted. Despite being a whole 200kg heavier than the Mini, it manages to accelerate hard and hold on to high corner speed with ease, which is seen in the exit speed of C1 and the apex speed of the slow C10.
Audi S5 2m02.67s
The Audi S5 pumps out 349bhp of power and 500Nm of torque and is about 240kg heavier than the Volvo. And we pushed it to the limits. It took the top-speed honours, the exit after C1 honours and the C10 honours as well when put head to head with the Volvo S60 Polestar. Then where did it lose out?
Volvo S60 Polestar 2m02.2s
This all-wheel drive from Sweden with 367bhp of power and 470Nm torque packs a real punch. Sadly its brakes weren’t at its best and so was the case with the tyres which meant we didn’t push it all the way. And it was slower than the Audi S5 in three out of four parameters. And the fact that it still turned out to be faster than Audi speaks volumes about this little gem.
Mercedes-AMG GT R 1m59.9s
The Hulk from green hell is here and behind that angry face is all the performance that you can expect. It was the quickest of all cars to go through the tight C7 and the tighter C10. But because we had to save its tyres as well, we didn’t floor it on the straights. Keeping that in mind, the 189kmph top-speed is mind-boggling.
Audi RS7 1m59.7s
Time for the real gunships. The Audi RS7 is a monster – 605bhp of power and 700Nm of torque from the 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 petrol engine. Add the active pneumatic suspension and Quattro to it and it becomes seriously quick. But then, the MMRT is a little tight for these gunships which is why it lost out on the top honours despite having the second fastest top-speed.
Volkswagen Ameo Cup 1m56.8s
The Ameo cup car is your budget compact sedan on a high-protein and adrenaline diet. With the 1.8-TSI from the Polo GTI under the hood, it pumps 205bhp of power, gets race suspension and brakes and only the driver seat for maximum weight reduction. We knew it was unbelievably fast when Vikrant went gaga over it. While it is not on top for any of the parameters, it was the quickest to change directions.
The Audi R8 is officially the fastest car of the 2018 Carwale Trackday and with Rayomand Banajee at the helm, it attacked corners with all its might. The 5.0-litre V10 engine was the largest in our line-up and the famous Quattro meant that it held all the aces. It was the fastest all around, clocking the top speed of 195kmph and exiting C1 at 135kmph. Also, whoever got a drive in it came out smiling all the way.