A tiny Fomula Ford single seater has achieved the impossible - beating some of the world's quickest supercars around the famed Nurburgring Nordschleife.
Powered by Ford's little one-litre EcoBoost engine, the car lapped in just 7 minutes, 22 seconds - the eleventh fastest lap ever, and ahead of the Lamborghini Aventador and Ferrari Enzo, amongst many, many others.
Aside from the clever EcoBoost engine - available in Focus and soon in Fiesta, just not in New Zealand - the wee racecar has been modified for the road with lights, 'bumpers' and indicators helping it gain legal status.
Staggeringly, the three-cylinder turbo machine makes 150kW and pushes the Formula Ford's frame to a top speed of over 255km/h, with a 0-100km/h sprint time of under four seconds.
"This little engine has people rubbing their eyes in disbelief," said driver Nick Tandy. "It's simply astonishing that a 3-cylinder, one-litre engine can deliver that kind of performance."
The project team fitted the car our for road use by adding wheel covers, front and rear lights and indicators, aerodynamically designed wing mirrors and a horn. It runs a six-speed manual gearbox, and completed its Nurburgring run on road-legal tyres.
"We wanted to prove that size doesn't matter by showing everyone what an amazingly capable engine we have developed in the 1.0-litre EcoBoost," said Roelant de Waard, marketing exec at Ford of Europe.
"What better way than by beating some of the best supercars in the world on the Nordschleife, while using a fraction of the fuel."
Testing showed the modified one-litre EcoBoost, recently awarded International Engine of the Year, was delivering just 2.4L/100km at 56km/h and 5L/100km at 120km/h.
A spokesman for Ford New Zealand said that we will be seeing the two-litre EcoBoost (already in a Ford Falcon XT model here) in the Focus ST next year. The Fiesta sporting the one-litre version is also on the cards, and the company is investigating whether the one-litre Focus would sell in New Zealand.