On the same day Mercedes-Benz retook the crown for the fastest executive sedan around the green hell, the German carmaker also sent their race car for the road, the Mercedes-AMG GT Black Series, out for a run around the Nordschleife. And what do you know, it came back with a lap time of 6:43.616 around the “traditional” 20.6 km layout, claiming the title of the fastest car around the Nurburgring.
The new fastest time edges out the previous record of 6:44.97 by 1.35 seconds, held by the Lamborghini Aventador SVJ – In a car that’s 40 hp lower in output, and have the engine placement in the “wrong” place, mind you!
The shorter layout without the T13 straight was used by the industry at large previously, but since 2019, Nurburgring track officials have established their own official lap time leaderboard that includes the small stretch of tarmac, bringing the total track length to 20.832 km.
For the full-track, the Mercedes-AMG GT Black Series set a time of 6:48.047, making it the first car to be officially recognised by Nurburgring in the “Sports Cars” category, and also the fastest road-legal car to officially lap the ‘ring. You can check the official leaderboards, once it’s updated, here on the Nurburgring’s website.
For the lap time to be officially recognised by Nurburgring, there are a couple of criteria that need to be met. These include professional timing done by a neutral party, videographic evidence of the full run, as well as a third-party notary on site to validate the vehicle and results. No additional modifications – including tyres – are allowed on the cars to be qualified for the official leaderboard.
The GT Black Series, featuring a 720 hp 4.0-litre bi-turbo flat-plane-crank V8 engine – the most powerful production AMG engine to ever come out from Affalterbach, was driven by factory GT3 racing driver Maro Engel. For the run, the car’s adjustable carbon front splitter was set to the ‘Race’ position, while the rear wings were adjusted to the middle position for a balanced downforce/straight-line speed ratio.
The car’s adjustable coilovers were also lowered, the adjustable anti-roll bars set to the hardest setting, and the wheel cambers were adjusted to maximum negative values – all of these adjustments are also available to customers who bought the car, straight out of the factory. The super-sticky Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 R tyres used for the run are also standard items on customer cars.
After the run, Engel even said that the GT Black Series was “significantly faster than my GT3 race car”, reaching speeds of up to 270 km/h in the Kesselchen section of the track, and well over 300 km/h on the long Döttinger Höhe straight.
Here’s another fun fact: the 35-year-old driver was switching between position six and seven on the nine-way adjustable traction control knob – depending where he is on the track. Pros will be pros, as if there weren’t enough evidence to suggest that already.
While Mercedes didn’t say it explicitly, the company strongly suggested in the press release that the GT Black Series could still go faster around the Nurburgring Nordschleife, noting that the conditions when the lap times were set were “not quite ideal.” The release noted that the track temperature was only about 10 degrees celcius with some damp areas, while the ambient temperature was hovering around the seven-degrees mark.
As we all know, tyres need temperature to get up to speed, so perhaps Mercedes could still set a faster lap time when the track is dryer and warmer – that’s if they’re going to bother doing another official run, now that they’re already the record holder.