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It's a hard knock life for a N"urburgring rental car

Wed, 12 Dec 2012 10:15:00 EST Rental cars get no respect. They're abused, misused and flogged mercilessly as athletes in Rental Car Olympics. And that's just at your everyday airport rental counter. The torture gets extreme for rental cars thrashed around Germany's infamous Nürburgring.

Rent4Ring expects its customers to drive its cars around the 'Ring with enthusiasm and, in some cases, less skill than the pros. Rent4Ring just recently retired its Suzuki Swift Sport from its fleet and shared the car's two-year-plus lifetime highlights.

The little hatchback made more than 2,800 laps of the 'Ring over three seasons amounting to more than 310,000 miles driven by 457 different drivers. "Some were fast, some were slow. Some were nice to the car, a few were frankly awful," says a Rent4Ring rep.

One of those drivers pegged the tachometer at a record (for this Swift, at least) 8761 rpm. The car did about 600 hours of spirited driving, and endured 168,000 gear changes for 180 million engine revolutions.

All that lead-foot levity came at the cost of only two clutches, 27 front brake pads, three brake fluid flushes, a new wheel bearing, a new alternator and battery, 52 Toyo 888 tires and four Goodyear Eagle F1s. About 1,847 gallons of 98-octane go juice.

To the Suzuki's credit, Rent4Ring says the car was never mechanically broken or crashed. Not only does it still drive like new, it still dyno's at 133bhp. The car isn't being scrapped or stuck on a used car lot somewhere but instead was bought by a Rent4Ring customer and should get several more Nürburgring laps before it goes to that big garage in the sky.

By Chris Tutor

See also: American Suzuki gets $100M in financing to go out of business... buy more cars?, Incentives aid smooth Suzuki wind down, Suzuki Samurai lives on with new Jimny facelift.