The official time, the fastest ever recorded by German publication “sport auto” when testing a genuine road-going sports car on the notorious track, also ranks as the seventh fastest in history around the infamous 20km circuit.
To put its time, also confirmed as the fasted achieved by a rear-wheel drive only car, into some sort of perspective, the much more potent 488 GTB needed 7 minutes and 21.6 seconds to get all the way around the circuit.
Yet the GT-R, on paper, shouldn’t be so rapid. Its bi-turbo V8 engine outputs 585hp and 700Nm of torque and can accelerate from 0-100km/h in 3.6 seconds. The Ferrari 488 serves up 661bhp and can race to 100km/h in 3.0 seconds.
But unlike the 448, this Mercedes lived at the Nurburgring during its development. And it was on that track that the company’s engineers and technicians attempted to transfer as much current generation racing technology derived from Formula 1 and GT3 competition as possible into the car.
“With the new AMG GT R, we have reached the next level of driving performance. This road-going sports car with motor-racing genes and innovative technical solutions offers an ultimate driving experience that allows people to feel our motorsport origins in every fibre,” said Tobias Moers, CEO of Mercedes‑AMG GmbH.
It boasts innovations such as active aerodynamics that make the car slippery when going in a straight line or massively increase downforce when cornering at speed. In this regard it’s the first road-going car to use an active under-floor panel that moves back and forward to channel how air flows under the car at different speeds.
“Our sports-car and performance brand AMG has its roots in motorsport and, ever since its formation, has repeatedly faced up to the competition on the racetrack,” said Prof. Thomas Weber, Member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG, responsible for Group Research and Mercedes‑Benz Cars Development. “[This] new top-of-the-range model is proof of the close collaboration between our constructors of racing cars and road-going vehicles.”
The record time comes just as the GT-R officially goes on sale. The first deliveries are expected in March and, unlike the equivalent Ferrari, Mercedes has no plans to cap production numbers, meaning that anyone with around $200,000 can have one.