Czinger 21C breaks Laguna Seca lap record, beats McLaren Senna

The eccentric Czinger 21C hypercar has achieved the fastest production car lap around Laguna Seca ahead of its Monterey car week debut

Up-and-coming supercar manufacturers are not unusual in our contemporary age of electric supercars, but there might be one or two reasons why Czinger, a new Los Angeles-based company, might just shine a little brighter than most. With the start of production on the horizon, the hypercar has recently eclipsed the McLaren Senna’s record at Laguna Seca to become the fastest production car around the world-renowned circuit.

Piloted by US racing driver Joel Miller, the 21C lapped the circuit in an impressive 1:25:44, beating the Senna’s time by 2 seconds – Czinger says it was fitted with road legal (albeit very sticky) Michelin Pilot Sport Cup2R tyres for the attempt.

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Ewan Baldry, Chief Engineer at Czinger, said: ‘It goes without saying that we are delighted with the performance of the car. To be able to achieve this lap time with a car that is going into homologated production is the result of some incredibly hard work from the Czinger team and in particular our ability to exploit the cutting-edge technology that we have access to through our close association with Divergent. The most exciting part is that we know we have more performance to come!’

As McLaren found in the early ’90s, if there’s something that can set you apart from the crowd, an unusual seating arrangement can be it. Designed, engineered, developed and manufactured in the USA, the Czinger 21C differs from almost all other supercars with its tandem seating position, placing the passenger behind the driver. Only seen elsewhere on various cab-leaning contraptions and the non-watertight Renault Twizy, the tandem nature of the 21C is, in Czinger’s words, designed for ‘optimal performance and weight distribution’.

Not only does the 21C differ by its layout, but also the fact this is no electric supercar. Instead it’s powered by a highly strung internal combustion engine connected to a hybrid system consisting of an electric motor and battery pack, for an output of 1233bhp and an 11,000rpm red line.

That figure is generated by the combination of a mid-mounted 2.88-litre, flat-plane crank V8 boosted by a pair of turbochargers and driven through a seven-speed automated manual transmission, along with a pair of electric motors, each powering a front wheel.

As you might expect with such a power output and a dry weight quoted as low as 1151kg (for a 1:1 power ratio, like the eponymous Koenigsegg One:1), performance figures are set to be rather impressive. Top speed is quoted at 281mph when fitted with the optional low drag kit, a figure that would make it faster than the Koenigsegg Agera RS and just 1.9mph off the new top speed record holder, SSC’s Tuatara.

The 0-62mph sprint comes in a quoted 1.9sec, 0-186mph (or 300km/h) and back to zero in 13.8 seconds, and 0-248mph (400km/h) to back to nought in what’s probably quite an exciting 27.1 seconds – that’s a fair bit quicker than the 31.49sec achieved by the Koenigsegg Regera in 2019.

Should downforce be a higher priority, the 21C is said to achieve an incredible 2500kg of downforce at 200mph in its most aggressive configuration, with 615kg of that coming at just 100mph.

Something that Czinger does specify is its use of additive manufacturing and advanced composites, taking full advantage of new-age techniques to make the 21C as rigid and lightweight as possible. Peel back the layers and we can see carbonfibre torsional supports and 3D-printed nodes knitting the structure together in a similar way to a traditional tubular steel space frame.

More than just being a lighter and less time-consuming way of producing these sorts of complex shapes, 3D printing also allows engineers and designers to reduce material in non-critical structural points, lending an organic aesthetic quality to these internal components. Complementing the contemporary structure will be fine, book-matched carbon exterior panels, and a simple interior with a single information display ahead of the driver.

Could Czinger be the next small manufacturer to break into the mainstream like Pagani and Koenigsegg have done before? We’ll get a better idea when the first examples hit the road.

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