TopGear.com20 June 2013

Tuners break Top Gear ‘Ring record

Revo beats Sabine Schmitz’s time in a pimped T5 van

Remember when Sabine Schmitz got a standard Ford Transit, took everything (including Hammond) out, then drove around the Nurburgring in 10:08? You should, because she set an unofficial record for the fastest commercial vehicle...

Unfortunately for us, the spoilsports at Volkswagen pimpsmiths, Revo, decided to build a van with the solitary purpose of trampling over our fine and noble achievement. Which it did, by setting an equally unofficial 9:57.36 time in its modded VW.

So, the van. It started life as a 2.0-litre twin-turbo diesel VW T5 with 80,000 on the clock. Then the tuners went straight to the heavy-breathing section of its parts catalogue and popped on a turbo-back exhaust system, bespoke ECU remap, uprated intercooler/oil cooler combination, and, of course, some BIG SHOUTY STICKERS. This lot (mainly the stickers) boosted power to 220bhp and increased the torque figure to what Revo described as a ‘very healthy' number. Underneath, the only mods were a set of coilovers and some lightweight alloys fitted with sticky track tyres.

Just as we roped in Sabine, Revo recruited seasoned Nordschleifist, Dale Lomas, who managed a full lap (about a mile longer than our bridge-to-gantry lap), complete with the same traffic we were faced with, in 9:57.36 seconds. Not bad, especially considering the company drove the full 580-mile journey from their HQ to the ‘Ring - complete with all of the crew's kit and gear in the back - in the T5.

Dale says: "The thing is an absolute hoot, and surprisingly nimble and compliant. I'm delighted that we managed a full lap of the Nordschleife in under 10 minutes. I'd love to see what we could do on a clear track."

Your move, Sabine...

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