THE Mercedes-AMG GT R, the most hardcore version of Benz's replacement for the gullwing-doored SLS, has set a blistering 7min 11sec of the world's most punishing test track.
That makes it the fastest rear-driven production car to ever lap the ‘Ring, beaten only by Nissan, Lamborghini and Porsches AWD machines
Its hero colour is painted in deference to the ‘Green Hell’ and now the Mercedes-AMG GT R has lapped the famous Nurburgring Nordschleife circuit in a monstrously quick 7 minutes, 10.92 seconds.
The time was achieved by test driver Christian Gebhardt from German fast-car magazine Sport Auto.
It’s the fastest car the magazine has tested at the ‘Ring – surpassing its run in a Porsche 918 Spyder – and makes it the quickest rear-wheel drive production car to ever set a lap time at the Nurburgring.
On the all-time lapboard for series production models it slots into fourth, excluding the street-legal racing cars from Radical.
The GT R sits behind the Nissan GT-R Nismo (7:08.68 in 2015), Lamborghini Aventador SV (6:59.73 in the same year), while a Porsche 918 Spyder driven its factory racing driver Marc Lieb remains the benchmark with 6:57.00.
Sport Auto notes that the GT R was tested using its standard Michelin Pilot Cup 2 tyres.
The GT R will be released in 2017 as a faster version of the AMG GT supercar, featuring wider tyres, a wider body, and output upgrades of 55kW and 50Nm.
That takes the GT R’s twin-turbocharged 4.0-litre V8 to 430kW and 700Nm, with a 0-100km/h quote of 3.6 seconds.
Slightly amusing on the accompanying YouTube video, though, is watching the GT R actually being overtaken by an AMG GT3 race car (powered by the old 6.2-litre normally aspirated V8).
It’s great driving from Gebhardt, though, and to his credit he holds onto the GT3 for a while before it disappears. He also breaks the 300km/h mark (302km/h) on the super-long straight near the end of the lap.
Mercedes-AMG tested the GT R extensively at the Nurburgring as part of its development, though never declared a lap time.