The see-sawing battle for dominance of Germany’s Nurburgring race circuit has taken a new turn, with a Chinese car maker claiming victory for the first time.

Cyan Racing, formerly named Polestar, has broken two Nürburgring lap records during development of the Lynk & Co 03 Cyan Concept, making it the fastest four-door car and fastest front-wheel drive car in the world around the benchmark 21km circuit.

It’s also the first time a Chinese manufacturer has claimed a record on the legendary German circuit with a mass production-based car.

The 394kW Lynk & Co 03 Cyan Concept has lapped the Nürburgring Nordschleife in 7 minutes and 20.143 seconds, averaging 170.4 km/h, with Thed Björk, the 2017 World Champion of touring car racing, behind the wheel.

The 7:20.143 lap record was set using the full 20.8km circuit layout as per the official Nürburgring standard, not the shorter 20.6km version as often used by other manufacturers.

The Lynk & Co 03 Cyan Concept lapped the shorter version of the circuit in 7:15.123.

The previous record was set by the French with a Renault Megane RS Trophy-R back in April, when it clocked 07’45’’389 for the full 20.8km and 07’40’’100 for the the 20.6km. 

The Megane’s time was 3.7 seconds faster than the previous front-wheel drive record set by the Honda Civic Type R in April 2017.

“We continued our development of the car in torrential rain and scorching sunshine on the most fearsome circuit in the world,” WTCR for Lynk & Co Cyan Racing, Thed Björk, said.

“The car is rewarding to drive no matter the conditions, be it the Nürburgring or the autobahn. The record that we achieved here is something I rank on the same level as my racing titles and a highlight in my part of transitioning development from race to road cars.”

The lap time is three seconds faster than the four-door record set by Jaguar, and 25 seconds faster than the front-drive record formerly held by Renault.

The race engineers and drivers of Cyan Racing, the official motorsport partner to Geely Group Motorsport, have developed the Lynk & Co 03 Cyan Concept as a road car version of the race car run by the team in the World Touring Car Cup (WTCR).

The road car is developed by largely the same team that developed the previous concept cars of Cyan Racing, the 336kW Volvo C30 Concept and the 379kW Volvo S60 Concept.

“We continue to push past the boundaries and goals that we have set for the Lynk & Co 03 Cyan Concept, a car that acts as a development platform for future Lynk & Co performance cars and parts,” Head of Automotive R&D at Cyan Racing, Henrik Fries, said.

“While our main purpose for the many laps on the Nürburgring Nordschleife is development, the records that we broke are a true testament to the potential and capabilities of the Lynk & Co platform, as well as our engineering philosophy from more than two decades of motorsport and road car performance.”

Cyan Racing also holds the lap record for the fastest ever front-wheel driven race car with the 2017 World Title-winning Volvo S60 Cyan TC1 — lapping the Nordschleife and GP circuit in 8:34.813, as well as previously holding the lap record for four-door road cars with the Volvo S60 Concept in 2016 with the time 7:51.110 on the 20.8km circuit.

Lynk & Co 03 Cyan Concept – Technical specifications

Engine

4-cylinder
1969cc
Turbo charged

Power

394kW at 7800 rpm
504Nm at 4500-7000 rpm
Max 8000 rpm

Transmission

Front-wheel drive
6-speed gearbox with paddle shifts

Performance

0-100 km/h in 4.4 secs
0-200 km/h in 10 secs
100-0 km/h in 30 metres
Top speed of 310 km/h

Wheels

20 inch forged Cyan wheels
Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 285/30R20 front and rear

Suspension

Öhlins adjustable dampers

Brakes

6-piston calipers with 378 mm ventilated discs front
2-piston calipers with 290 mm ventilated discs rear

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Riley

Chris Riley has been a journalist for almost 40 years. He has spent half of his career as a writer, editor and production editor in newspapers, the rest of the time driving and writing about cars both in print and online. His love affair with cars began as a teenager with the purchase of an old VW Beetle, followed by another Beetle and a string of other cars on which he has wasted too much time and money. A self-confessed geek, he’s not afraid to ask the hard questions - at the risk of sounding silly.