Czinger 21C hypercar smashes Laguna Seca lap record
Californian hypercar company Czinger has its sights set on a swag of lap records worldwide, and its innovative 21C hybrid hypercar got its first taste of blood last month on home court, slashing more than two seconds off the Laguna Seca lap record held by McLaren.
The 21C is a wild creation, taking an extreme approach to everything from its 1,250-horsepower hybrid powertrain, to its featherweight 3D-printed spaceframe, to its bizarre tandem seating arrangement. Its V8 combustion engine displaces just 2.88 liters, but with 21 psi of boost from two huge turbos and a sky-high 11,000 rpm rev limit, it makes an astonishing 947.5 horses even before the axial flow electric motors kick in an additional 200-odd horses and 370 Nm (273 lb-ft) of instant torque.
Lugging more horsepower than kilograms, the Czinger is capable of a scorching 8.1-second quarter mile, and a 1.9-second sprint from 0-100 km/h (0-62 mph). Hold the go pedal down for 21.3 seconds from a standstill and you'll see 400 km/h (248 mph) flash past on your speedo. So yeah, it's fast, light and powerful, but you need all that plus a pinch of fairy dust in the handling to start handing McLaren Sennas their own tail wings on the track.
Two seconds is a pretty epic bite to take out of a lap the McLaren made in 1:27.62, but Czinger driver Joel Miller dipped under the record three times during the day, finally bagging "a multi-GPS verified time of 1:25:44."
Now, when Randy Probst set that time in the McLaren Senna in 2019, he was driving an "unmodified" production car that had previously been crashed by journalists and field-repaired by the McLaren team. Deliveries on the Czinger haven't started yet, so while this is a "production spec" car, it's unclear how official this record might be.
Things have progressed a fair bit since the prototype first revealed 18 months ago. "It's about eight inches wider," says founder and CEO Kevin Czinger. "We've switched over our battery cells to an F1 battery cell, the aero is now 3.5 to 1. So this is like a real GT3 car-plus in terms of being glued to the track." "From the mechanical side," says Ewan Baldry, Chief engineer who is indeed bald, "the main thing there is the MGU. We've moved to a gear drive now."
The company's new powertrain engineer, fresh out of the Mercedes F1 team, was on site making tweaks to the boost control, ignition cuts for gearshifts, and other bits and pieces.
Whether this goes down as an official production car record or not is up for debate; perhaps the customer car will benefit from all this testing and go significantly faster again. Either way, it's the start of what Kevin Czinger expects will be a global assault on lap records, and that sort of thing's got to be good for the segment. Bring on the Nurburgring!
Oh, and in case you're wondering what the outright lap record is around Laguna Seca, well, Marc Gené took one of Ferrari's 2003-model Formula One cars out in 2012, tooling about at a rather decent 1:05.786. And MotoGP star Jorge Lorenzo managed to get his Yamaha race bike around in a none-too-shabby 1:20.554, despite only having about a credit card-sized amount of rubber touching the road.
Enjoy the Czinger's lap in the video below.
Note: This piece has been updated to reflect contributions from Kevin Czinger in the comments below.