Currently reading: Nürburgring lap records: the fastest cars ranked
According to every category, here are the Green Hell's fastest cars

Well, here we are; the track that needs no introduction.

The challenge posed by Germany's Nürburgring is unrivalled. Each of the 147 corners along the 13-mile course gives car makers unparalleled insight into where their machines work best, and where they must improve.

A Nürburgring lap record is something of an accolade, with manufacturers spending years (if decades) honing their machines around the Nordschleife in the hope of being crowned the fastest cars in the world.

There is a caveat, however, in that the 'official' length of the lap was increased in 2019. Before this, all times were logged on a 12.8 mile circuit that effectively left out a short stretch of the T13 straight at the end of the lap.

Yet with so much emphasis being placed on setting a fast time, the Nürburgring decided that only the whole 12.944 miles would count. 

The record laps set can be divided between several different types of car. Take a look below to see the quickest lap times in all the major categories. 

Fastest road-legal lap around the Nürburgring

1 - Mercedes-AMG One - 6:35:18

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The Mercedes-AMG One has set a new fastest lap for production cars at the Nürburgring, eclipsing the previous record by almost 10sec.

The 1049bhp hypercar posted a time of 6min 35.183sec around the 156-corner circuit, driven by Mercedes DTM driver Maro Engel on 28 October. This lap time also took the record for the super-sports car category.  

Dubbed a Formula 1 car for the road, the £2.2 million hypercar is the most potent Mercedes-AMG road car ever made, combining a modified version of the firm’s turbocharged 1.6-litre V6 grand prix engine with four electric motors.

2 - Porsche 911 GT2 RS (with Manthey Performance Kit) - 6:43:30

Guided by Porsche works driver Lars Kern, the Porsche 911 GT2 RS completed a lap of the Nürburgring in 6 minutes 43.30sec, breaking the previous record by 4.747sec with an average speed of 115.5mph.

The GT2 RS was equipped with the Manthey Performance Kit, bringing changes to the chassis, aerodynamics and brakes, all of which have been specifically designed for the car. The kit also extends to additional flaps on the front spoiler, a carbonfibre underbody and additional air-guiding elements around the front wheels. At the back of the car, there’s a new spoiler, a modified diffuser and aero discs on the wheels. Overall, front downforce is increased from 49kg to 70kg at 124mph and rear downforce from 93kg to 200kg.

Kern has gone even faster around the track, clocking an incredible 6:40:30 in a GT2 RS MR in October 2018. Effectively the same car, it had a suspension and aero set up specifically for the 'Ring without any compromises for the road. It was still completely street-legal, however, featuring upgrade parts that anyone with deep enough pockets could buy off the shelf.

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3 - Mercedes-AMG GT Black Series - 6:43:62

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The ultimate version of Mercedes-AMG's flagship grand tourer took the production lap record crown from the Aventador SVJ by just over 1.3sec. The 720bhp model, driven by the brand's GT3 racing driver Maro Engel, was unmodified from stock bar the addition of the optional Track package. The adjustable aero, camber and suspension were all optimised for the track, but Mercedes claims conditions were "less than ideal" due to low temperatures and some damp patches. This means another attempt could be in the works down the line. 

4 - Lamborghini Aventador SVJ - 6:44:97

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Lamborghini used active aerodynamic upgrades to transform its Aventador supercar into a record-smashing track weapon, letting the V12-powered Aventador SVJ break the Nürburgring record for a production car with a 6:44:97 lap time. That knocked the Porsche 911 GTS RS down into second place at the time, claiming a win for the Italians.

5 – Porsche 911 GT2 RS – 6:47:25

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The 690bhp 911 GT2 RS blasted around the 'Ring seven-tenths of a second faster than the Radical SR8LM, making it the fastest rear-drive production car to lap the infamous Nordschleife at the time. Using its 3.8-litre twin-turbocharged flat-six and 691bhp, Lars Kern drove it to become the fifth fastest road-legal car on our leaderboard.

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6 – Radical SR8LM – 6:48:28


The Radical SR8LM had held the lap record since 2009, when it lapped in just 6min 48sec in the hands of Michael Vergers, until it was dislodged by the Porsche GT2 RS. The king may be dead, but the Radical still holds a place in the top five. Vergers was driving the car just 24 hours after it was driven from England to Germany for the record. Controversially, the SR8LM only has British single-vehicle approval, not full type-approval, and so there's some debate as to whether it qualifies as a true street-legal production car record.

7 – Lamborghini Huracán Performante - 6:52:01

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Next is the Lamborghini Huracán Performante, a track-focused edition of the standard V10-engined Huracán, with carbonfibre bumpers, side skirts and rear wing allowing its weight to be decreased by 40kg over the standard car. Its aero-optimised body allows it to reach 62mph in 2.9sec and push to a top speed of 200mph. Around the track, its ferocious power worked with the bumper-width rear wing to allow it to lap the 12.9-mile Nordschleife in a hair over 6min 52sec.

8 – Radical SR8 - 6:55:00

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The SR8's 2.6-litre V8 engine develops 360bhp and broke the Nürburgring record in 2005. This model was also driven by Michael Vergers. Like the SR8LM, it only has single-vehicle approval in the UK, rather than full type-approval, which has led some outlets to exclude it from production-car record lists.

9 - Porsche 911 GT3 RS (991.2) - 6:56:04

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The 992.1 generation GT3 RS was prepped with Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 R tyres, an audio system deleted to save weight, and Weissach package (all OEM options, of course) for its attempt to loop the Green Hell. It worked, with Porsche driver Kevin Estre managing to outrun the mighty 918 Spyder hybrid supercar by almost a full second.

10 – Porsche 918 Spyder- 6:57:00

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Making use of a carbonfibre construction, a mid-mounted naturally aspirated 4.6-litre V8 and a suspension set-up donated by the RS Spyder racer, the 870bhp 918 Spyder has a top speed of 214mph and, when new, had a starting price of £711,000. Using this power and a 0-62mph time of 2.2sec, the 918 Spyder achieved a Nürburgring time of 6:57:00 when driven by Marc Lieb.

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11 – Ferrari 296 GTB - 6:59:42

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Unveiled in June 2021, the 296 GTB was presented as the first "real Ferrari with just six cylinders on it" and uses a 650bhp 3.0-litre twin-turbocharged hybridised V6 that allows it to travel in electric power using a 165bhp motor. Driven by Christian Gebhardt, the 296 managed to complete a lap of the Nordschleife in 6:58:70 - not bad for what is one of Ferrari's least expensive cars.

12 - Porsche 911 GT3 (992) - 6:59:927

Are we surprised the latest iteraton of the 911 GT3 went faster than its predcessor, and near-as-dammit as quick as the outing RS model? Of course not. The naturally aspirated 4.0-litre flat-six delivers a fraction more power at 503bhp, but it's the revised aero and new double wishbone front suspension that make the bigger difference, allowing it do go nearly 12sec faster than its predecessor. What's more, if Porsche used the old, slightly shorter lap, then the GT3 would have logged a 6:55:20....

13 - Ferrari 488 Pista - 7:00:03

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A privateer attempt by German publication Sport Auto saw Ferrari's track-ready 488 Pista lap the circuit in almost seven minutes dead.

14. Rimac Nevera - 7:05:28

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The crown for the fastest production electric car has been taken by the 1887bhp Nevera, just one year after it reached 258mph - a claimed top speed record for a production electric car. Coupled with a 0-62mph time of 1.7sec, its blistering time was achieved through an aero-optimised bodyshell and the skill of driver Martin Kodrik. The Croatian company celebrated the time by launching a special-edition Nevera called the Time Attack at Pebble Beach.

Porsche Taycan Turbo GT - 7:07.55

The Porsche Taycan Turbo GT has become one of the fastest Porsches around the Nurburgring, posting a time of 7min 7sec. The new Tesla Model S Plaid rival is available as a two-seater and features a wide-reaching overhaul of both its chassis and powertrain. Launched as the first electric car from Porsche’s storied GT division, it is one of the fastest four-door cars on the market.

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Front-wheel-drive Nürburgring lap records

1 - 2023 Honda Civic Type R - 7:39.691

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Honda is no stranger to Nürburgring records: every iteration of the Civic Type R released over the past decade has at one point held the front-wheel drive record. The new FL5-generation car was fitted with Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 Connect tyres for its run, giving it the extra grip needed to dethrone the Renault Mégane RS Trophy-R.

2 - 2019 Renault Mégane RS Trophy-R - 7:40:10 

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Packing the 1.8-litre turbocharged unit from the already-snorting Mégane RS 300 Trophy, this limited-edition flagship hot hatch took the FWD record in April 2019 – before it had even been revealed. The model owes its celebrity status to a 130kg weight reduction, aerodynamic tweaks and reworked axle components over the 'standard' model on which it's based. 

3 – 2017-2021 Honda Civic Type R - 7:43:80

Honda snatched the front-drive Nürburgring lap record back from the Volkswagen Golf GTI Clubsport S less than a year after the German opposition took it from the previous-generation Civic Type R. It's got 316bhp – 10bhp more than both the Golf and the previous-generation Civic Type R.

4 – Volkswagen Golf GTI Clubsport S - 7:47:19

Volkswagen's Volkswagen Golf GTI Clubsport S broke the lap record twice – first setting a time of 7:49:21 in May 2016, and then in December, when it shaved more than 2sec from its previous lap time. Both lap records were set by VW test driver Benny Leuchter.

5 – 2015-2016 Honda Civic Type R - 7:50:63


The FK2 Honda Civic Type R also held a front-wheel-drive Nürburgring lap record, after snatching the title in 2015 from the Renault Mégane RS 275 Trophy-R. It was first announced at the Geneva motor show in 2015 as the first Type R to feature a turbocharger, thus raising its output to 306bhp and lowering its 0-62mph time to 5.7sec. It was also available in limited-run Black Edition spec, designed to mark the end of production for this generation with 100 coming to the UK. The car that completed this lap was a standard one, though.

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6 – Renault Mégane RS 275 Trophy-R - 7:54:36

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Renault took the record from Seat back in 2014, with the snappily named Mégane RS 275 Trophy-R. This limited-edition model is based on the regular Trophy and was designed to be the fastest front-wheel-drive car to lap the ring. As a result, Renault made it 130kg lighter using thinner glass, a carbonfibre bonnet, lighter front seats and no rear wiper or rear seats. The firm's efforts resulted in a hatchback that lapped the track faster than a Caterham R500 Superlight.

Four-wheel-drive Nürburgring lap records

1 - Lamborghini Aventador SVJ - 6:44:97

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Lamborghini proved you don't need an electric powertrain with instant torque delivery to break records. The naturally aspirated Aventador SVJ achieved a blistering time of 6:44:97, thanks to some clever aero upgrades evolved from the Huracán Performante.

2 - Nio EP9 - 6:45:90

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When it claimed the electric record, the Nio EP9 also earned first place overall in the all-wheel-drive leaderboard, after having previously been sandwiched between the Lamborghini Aventador SV and Nissan GT-R Nismo in fourth place - but now settles for the silver medal in light of the SVJ's record-smashing time. Four inboard electric motors power all four wheels, and the car's total power output is 1360bhp. Only bespoke tyres used for the attempt kept it off the production car leaderboards, where it would otherwise sit in second place.

3 - Lamborghini Huracán Performante - 6:52:01


It might not have taken the overall road car record of the 'Ring, but the Huracán Performante took the crown as all-wheel-drive record holder before the Nio EP9's second attempt, and is more than 50sec ahead of the Civic Type R's front-wheel-drive record. It's now third overall in the four-wheel-drive category.

4 - Porsche 918 Spyder - 6:57:00


After nearly five years, the Porsche 918 Spyder's reign as all-wheel-drive Nürburgring champ came to an end, before it was bumped down again by the EP9, and then two Lamborghinis. It first set the record in 2012, wearing nothing more extreme than its track-friendly Weissach package and a set of road tyres.

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5 - Lamborghini Aventador SV - 6:59:73


The Lamborghini Aventador SV actually reached a much higher top speed on its 'Ring run than its little brother, the Lamborghini Huracán Performante, reaching 202mph where the Huracán only managed 188, but the smaller car's added agility ultimately helped it to grab the title.

Rear-wheel-drive Nürburgring lap records

1. Porsche 911 GT2 RS - 6:43:30

The Porsche 911 GT2 RS set a new rear-wheel record with a lap of 6 minutes 43.30sec, breaking the Mercedes-Benz’s previous record by 4.747sec. It was equipped with the Manthey Performance Kit, with changes to the chassis, aerodynamics and brakes. It also gained additional flaps on the front spoiler, a carbon underbody and additional air guide elements, with a new spoiler amd diffuser.


2 - Mercedes-AMG GT Black Series - 6:43:62

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The ultimate version of Mercedes-AMG's 720bhp flagship was unmodified from stock bar the addition of the optional Track package. The adjustable aero, camber and suspension were all optimised for the track, but Mercedes claims conditions were "less than ideal" due to low temperatures and some damp patches. 

3 - Porsche 911 GT2 RS - 6:47:30

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Porsche has blasted its 911 GT2 RS around the circuit just shy of a second quicker than long-time champion, the Radical SR8LM. The forced-induction special uses a 3.8-litre twin-turbocharged flat six with 697bhp and is mated to Porsche's seven-speed PDK transmission. With a roof made of magnesium, and a front lid, front and rear wings and boot lid carved out of carbonfibre, it has a claimed net weight of 1470kg. No doubt, this allowed it to achieve a neck-breaking laptime of 6:47:30.

4 - Radical SR8LM - 6:48:28


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Whether or not it counts as a production car given the questions over its UK single-vehicle approval, there's no doubt the Radical's blistering time is impressive. That power is only being sent to the rear wheels makes it all the more so.

5 - Radical SR8 - 6:55:00


In fact, Radical has two cars in the rear-drive top five, the other being the SR8, which won the 2015 Pikes Peak Hill Climb with Dominic Dobson at the wheel. Over in Germany, Michael Vergers took to the driver's seat and set an all-time street-legal lap record which lasted until 29 June 2010, when the LM edition, above, took over.

6 - Porsche 911 GT3 RS (991.2) - 6:56:04

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Porsche's old-school approach to record setting saw few tweaks required to the GT3 RS, with only a racing bucket seat and harness chosen from the options list along with the weight-saving Weissach package.

7 - Mercedes-AMG GT R Pro - 7:04:06

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It may not pack any more power than the standard model, but stiffer suspension and a downforce-enhancing bodykit help the Pro to lap the Nordschleife more than 6sec quicker. 

Electric Nürburgring lap records

1 - Volkswagen ID R - 6:05:336

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Volkswagen's purpose-built ID R racer followed up a historic victory at Pikes Peak by becoming the fastest electric car ever to lap the Green Hell. Driver Romain Dumas took the heavily modified single-seater around the 'Ring 40sec quicker than the previous record holder, and blitzed the historical record set by Porsche's Stefan Bellof in the process. 

2 - Nio EP9 - 6:45:90

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Nio's EP9 stormed into the history books when the electric supercar initially took the electric 'Ring record for the second time, smashing its previous time by almost 20sec. The company has also showcased a more mass-market friendly SUV concept. We doubt it'll match its supercar sibling's Nürburgring time, mind.

3 - Tesla Model S Plaid Track Pack - 7:25.231

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By fitting the venerable Model S with a set of carbon-silicon brakes, Goodyear Supercar 3R tyres and lightweight alloy wheels, Tesla trimmed some 10sec off its record. The Track Pack makes the Model S Plaid the fastest electric production car to lap the ‘Ring, around 8sec faster than the Porsche Taycan Turbo S.

4 - Porsche Taycan Turbo S - 7:33:00

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The Porsche Taycan Turbo S knocked the Model S Plaid off the top spot in August 2022, setting a new lap record for electric production vehicles in the process. It crossed the line in 7min 33sec - 2sec ahead of the Model S - and was equipped with a bespoke performance kit with track-spec tyres and an upgraded dynamic chassis control system, which Porsche says “analyses and synchronises all the chassis systems of the Taycan in real-time”. 

5 - Tesla Model S Plaid - 7:35:91

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Elon Musk is never one to pass up on an opportunity for some publicity, so the Tesla CEO took to the digital airwaves to proclaim the Model S Plaid the EV production lap record holder. According to Musk on twitter, the new 1006bhp range-topper lapped the 12.8-mile Nordschleife circuit in 7mins 35.909sec - 12sec quicker than the previous record lap set by the Porsche Taycan Turbo in 2019. The Tesla's average speed was 103mph. 

6 - Toyota TMG EV P001 - 7:47:79

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It was way back in 2011 when Toyota claimed the 'Ring record with the TMG EV P001, but its record stuck until just a few months ago. The car's 800lb ft certainly helped it attain the title, and what's more, it managed to claim the crown in road-legal tyres. 

7 - Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Electric Drive - 7:56:23

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Mercedes' electric blue SLS AMG Electric Drive is hard to miss, and so was its Nürburgring record in 2013; it walked all over the Audi R8 E-tron's lap time, trouncing it by more than 12sec. Its 740bhp and 737lb ft certainly gave it the required shove.

8 - Audi R8 E-tron - 8:09:09

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The Audi R8 E-tron held first place on the electric 'Ring record charts for almost a year before Mercedes' SLS AMG Electric Drive came along; the R8 set its 8:09:09 time in July 2012. It had around half the power of the Mercedes, at 376bhp, but had less of a torque deficit, producing 605lb ft. 

Fastest-ever recorded Nürburgring laps

1 - Porsche 919 Hybrid Evo - 5:19:546


When it derestricted its Le Mans-winning 919 Hybrid prototype racer and sent it on a farewell tour of iconic race tracks before pulling out of endurance racing, smashing the all-time fastest lap of the Nordschleife was all Porsche had in mind.

The car was 39kg lighter than its race spec, with radically reworked aerodynamics that improved downforce by 53%. The 2.0-litre V4 hybrid powertrain was tuned to produce 710bhp, with an additional 433bhp coming from an electric motor.

With Porsche works driver Timo Bernhard behind the wheel, the 919 Evo proceded to obliterate the all-time lap record, first setting a 5:24:375 in practice and then a 5:19:546 in an official run.

2 - Volkswagen ID R - 6:05:336


It's a real achivement that Volkswagen has not only managed to claim the fastest lap time in an electric car with its ID R programme, but also place among the fastest-ever recorded. It has subsequently gone on to set records at the Goodwood Festival of Speed hillclimb and China's Tianmen Shan Big Gate Road, while the technology it pioneered will go on to influence R division's electric road cars.

3 - Porsche 956 - 6:11:13


Previously the absolute Nürburgring lap record holder, the Porsche 956, driven by the late Stefan Bellof in qualifying for the 1983 1000km Nürburgring race, set a target that would hold for more than three decades. Due to construction of the Nürburgring's Formula 1 circuit, that race was the only time top-level Le Mans sports cars race on the 12.9-mile Nordschleife layout.

The 956 driven by Bellof, then 25, was powered by a 2.65-litre flat six that produced more than 620bhp and featured a ground effect downforce-producing underbody.

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In qualifying, Bellof's goal was to beat fellow Porsche driver Jochen Mass's best lap (see below). Aided by new 13in front wheels, he flew, despite claiming he made two mistakes and was baulked at one point by a lower-class Porsche 911. His average speed was more than 125mph.

Bellof continued to demonstrate his pace during the actual race, pulling a 36-second lead on Mass in the opening six laps. That didn't entirely please his team, who had been urging him to save fuel. After his car's lead was reduced during team-mate Derek Bell's stint, Bellof continued his tear on his second stint - until losing control and crashing at Pfianzgarten at 160mph. He escaped unhurt.

It remains the fastest car to lap the Nürburgring solely on combustion power.

4 - Porsche 956 - 6:16:85

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The 956 holds the fourth-fastest overall time too, although this time with Jacky Ickx behind the wheel. It was at the very same 1000km Nürburgring as Bellof's all-time record lap, although Ickx was almost 6sec off Bellof's blistering pace. 

5 - Porsche 956 - 6:25:91


Just to drive the point home, the 956 also set the fifth-fastest time and, yes, this too was at the 1983 1000km Nürburgring. It was Bellof this time (again), mind.  


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Jonathan Bryce

Jonathan Bryce
Title: Editorial Assistant

Jonathan is an editorial assistant working with Autocar. He has held this position since March 2024, having previously studied at the University of Glasgow before moving to London to become an editorial apprentice and pursue a career in motoring journalism. 

His role at work involves writing news stories, travelling to launch events and interviewing some of the industry's most influential executives, writing used car reviews and used car advice articles, updating and uploading articles for the Autocar website and making sure they are optimised for search engines, and regularly appearing on Autocar's social media channels including Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube.

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Peter Cavellini 23 August 2023

But ultimately these records are on a Track, no driver in his right mind would drive them on Highways and other public at these speeds,amazing though they are that's all they do, what's their daily drive?, a humble Ferrari a Porsche maybe, and to get back to Track records, anyone know if McMurty have any plans to have a go at the "Green hell" .

Saucerer 22 August 2023

Such a blistering time that it's a massive 30 secs off the pace of the AMG One. Yes, EV's are quick in a straight line but that's about as far as their performance superiority extends to. 

xxxx 3 January 2024

Wonder what the budget was for the Mercedes AMG One

289 22 August 2023

In the real world....who gives a damn...