Watch a Massive 38,000-LB Tractor Flex All of Its 500 HP to Set a Nürburgring Lap Record

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The Nürburgring’s infamously difficult Nordschleife course is where the world’s fastest vehicles go to prove it. The 12.9-mile loop through the Eifel Mountains can take a lifetime to master, and many claim that you never really do.


Close walls. Steep hills. Blind corners. That one parking lot-adjacent section where everyone shows off (and doesn’t always make it) for YouTube. That’s why I’m enamored with the Claas Xerion 5000 VC, the new Nürburgring record holder…for a tractor.


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[Note: There are English subtitles if you need them.]
Auto Motor und Sport put racing driver Christian Menzel behind the most powerful tractor sold in Germany, the Claas Xerion 5000 VC. The “VC” stands for “Variable Cab,” which they show off by turning the cab completely around in the opposite direction before setting off for the lap record. Its 12.8-liter six-cylinder engine produces over 500 horsepower and 1,918 pound-feet of torque.


Sure, it weighs 38,470 pounds according to Claas-enough to set Menzel off on a brief balance of performance rant as every sports car racer on earth is prone to do-but who’s counting? With a top speed of just over 31 mph, I don’t think he’ll be competing with GT3 race cars with this one.


“Acceleration (0-50 km / h): Yes,” Auto Motor und Sport wrote in the video description.


This is a serious lap record, so they posted the entire thing to quell most doubts, albeit not as one continuous in-tractor feed. I’m sure we’ll still get the usual internet debate until AMuS gives into internet pressure and posts that.


Menzel plays it by the rules, keeping the racing line and resisting the urge to straight-line Adenauer Forst through the grass. An especially bumpy ride through the Karussell gets a cry of “Nein! Nein! Nein! Nein!” He even exceeds the top speed on a downhill section, reaching an absolutely mind-blowing 36 mph.


The final lap time? 24 minutes and 50.57 seconds. That’s an absolutely blistering speed right there, especially if your shoes are a bit loose in that bouncing cabin. It is safe to call the Claas Xerion 5000 VC the Porsche 919 Hybrid of tractors now. After all, both are available as Lego sets. It even beat the Tuk Tuk’s lap time!
New ‘Ring tractor lap record holder Christian Menzel is no stranger to the marque that holds the all-time overall Nürburgring record. His family owned a two-cylinder, 25-hp Porsche Standard tractor, which he said he started driving at eight or nine years old.


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