Björn Lagercrantz and Peter Ternström set a new lap record on the Nürburgring. The vehicle in question is exotic, at least for Europeans. It is even rarer considering that it’s not even sold in Europe.
Perhaps the closest cousin it has in the region is a Piaggio, and to us, it’s closest kin is our humble tricycle. Ladies and gentlemen we present to you the overall record holder for the fastest lap on the Nürburgring in the tuk-tuk class: A Tuk-tuk.
The vehicle was imported by the pair for the specific purpose of setting a lap record on the german track. It took three years to bring the trike over to Germany and it lapped the Nürburgring in a record 31 minutes, 49 seconds, 46miliseconds (31:46.46). To give some context, a Honda Civic Type R laps the green hell in 7:40.80, a record holder for front-wheel drive cars, but was recently dethroned. To give further context the fastest street-legal production vehicle to lap the track as of writing is the Lamborghini Aventador LP770-4 SVJ with a record of 6:44.97.
So, it isn’t fast, it’s slow, but they did break a non-existent record. If you’re the first to set the record, then that puts you in first right? By no means is this a fast lap time but what if one of our trikes were to go on the Nürburgring? Would it be faster or slower? We believe that it would be slower. Here’s why:
There were instances on track where this three wheeler went on two wheels. Some corners were enough to shift the weight of the vehicle all the way to one side resulting in some very hairy situations. Considering that a tuk-tuk has symmetry on its side, if our trikes were to turn right really quickly, the driver will find himself tipped over. Also when braking, the trike might just veer to the left because there may be a wheel on the other side doesn’t usually have a rotor or drum, or even a couple of pads to balance the force trying to stop the wheel.
Another note is that the tuk-tuk felt flimsy as said by the Swedish pair themselves. Rigidity plays a part in keeping a vehicle able to corner at higher speeds. Knowing that a trike and a tuk-tuk is a mode of transportation that is often an assembly of parts and sheet metal, it comes as no surprise that cornering ability was laughable.
At less than 200cc of displacement, the motors work extra hard. Considering that the two Swedes and their anonymous racing driver were on the tuktuk it made for painfully slow acceleration times and limited top speeds. Our trikes fair no better.
So there you have it, until someone actually brings over one of our trikes to the Nürburgring, then this Tuk tuk is the king.