Time for some fast cars, faster lap times, and the fastest we have seen them go! And the mix includes everything from affordable hatchbacks to hot hatches to RWD sedans and even a supercar! Of course, driving them at their limit on a public road is plain stupid. So, here we are at MMRT or the Madras Motor Race Track for the inaugural CarWale Track Day!
Now, to be honest, we didn’t have the best of conditions. It was raining most of the times, there were puddles all around the track, and the sun barely shone. But then, where there’s a will, there’s a way, especially when our guest racing driver – Aditya Patel – is both confident and gung-ho about setting some quick and fun lap times.
Here then is the lap time leaderboard as set by Aditya starting from the slowest car around the circuit to the quickest.
Ford Figo Titanium 1.5 TDCi: 2m 21.9s
The Figo, as expected, recorded the slowest lap time. It is the least powerful car in this test, after all. The small Ford mostly lost out on the long straights but a beautiful chassis balance, great turn-in, and loads of throttle adjustability meant, it was tremendous fun at the track. Compared to its direct rival in this test, however - the Abarth Punto - it was three seconds slower.
Fiat Punto Abarth: 2m 18.14s
A strong turbocharged 145bhp petrol motor, lowered ground clearance, stiffer suspension, wider tyres and all-round disc brakes compared to the regular Punto meant, the Abarth was impressively quick. It was great on the straights pulling lengths over the Ford. But, there was loads of understeer and torque steer to deal with as the suspension and tyres struggled to put down all that power down.
Fiat 595 Abarth Competizione: 2m 14.19s
Four seconds quicker than its more mainstream cousin, the 595 was the slowest car in its class of hot hatches. Its 1,368cc turbocharged petrol engine does churn out a healthy 160bhp of power and 230nm of torque, and it has marvelous direction changing ability. but, the slow shifting amt ‘box hurt the competizione’s lap times severely. a manual ‘box would have done wonders here.
Mercedes-Benz C250d: 2m 13.55s
We drove the C250d from Mumbai to Chennai for this test. And not only was it efficient, it proved to extremely comfortable too. On the track, a RWD layout and lots of torque – 500Nm of it – works in its favour too. However, the over-cautious electronics, even with it completely ‘off’ according to the car’s menu, meant the car was losing speed where it needed to be on power. A dry track would have helped the C though.
Mini Cooper S JCW: 2m 8.42s
Pitted to offer maximum go-kart feel and sport excellent driving dynamics, the Cooper S enthralled us by putting up an impressive lap time around the track. The 189bhp 2.0-litre petrol mill induces a lot of pep in a car that’s very agile and engaging around the track. Only down side to the Mini was its twitchy nature, particularly in the wet, and that meant, it wasn’t as smooth as say the GTI.
Lamborghini Huracan Spyder: 1m 59.72s
The big daddy. The Lamborghini Huracan with its blue hue and drop top charm completely swept us off our feet. And this is before it went out for hot laps. With a naturally aspirated V10, over 600bhp of power and all-wheel drive, it is no surprise it was the fastest car in our test. But, what the lap times don’t tell you is the noise, the grip, and the sheer speed of the Huracan that almost made us weep when it was time to let it go.