A long time ago (well, 55 years is a long time unless your name is Yoda) Lotus founder Colin Chapman said: "If you make a car more powerful it will go faster on the straights; if you make it lighter it will go faster everywhere."
That's still true, as Alfa Romeo proved on 12 September (and has now officially confirmed) by sending its new 4C mini-supercar out on the infamous Nordscheife at the historic Nürburgring in Germany with driver-cum-motoring journalist Horst von Saurma at the wheel.
Noted 'Ring specialist Von Saurma went round the 20.6km circuit, with its unforgiving combination of tight corners and high-speed sweeps, short straights and roller-coaster elevation changes, in 8min04 - a new record for a car with an engine producing less than 185kW.
How'd he do it? With a combination of three factors.
The first was Chapman's mantra: the Alfa 4C has a 1750cc turbopetrol four that delivers 177kW at 6000Nm, but weighs significantly less than a ton, even with enough fuel on board for half an hour (that's three laps, Cyril!) at full tilt boogie.