Rodrez: It's the measuring stick that offers as much speculation and attempts to discredit driver achievement as it does real-world data and raw, obsessively focused attempts to chip away at the clock. The Nurburgring serves as a standard by which most automakers set their sights. It arms internet debate specialists with numbers and comparisons by which they sound that much more informed.
Recently, Mercedes let loose and picked up a pair of record laps that they're undoubtedly ecstatic about, and for good reason. The company they keep at the top of the food chain is rabid, and walking away as top dog, even for a limited amount of time, is a huge deal for automakers. Here's a rundown of exactly what happened with the brand's GT Black Series sports coupe.
Nick Yekikian: Just a week after Mercedes-AMG announced its GT 63 S 4-Door (once again) became the quickest executive car around the N rburgring, the brand shared its GT Black Series sports coupe is now the fastest road-legal production car around the famed German track. GT3 driver Maro Engel set an officially certified time of six minutes and 43.616 seconds around the nearly 13-mile-long version circuit.
The record was set the same day Mercedes went to the track with the record-setting GT 63 S 4-Door, which overtook the time set by the 2021 Porsche Panamera Turbo S. Track conditions weren't perfect for Engel, with cold air temperatures and a damp tarmac threatening to limit the tires' grip and thus the car's performance potential. Even so, Engel snagged the record by more than a second. You can go ahead and be amazed by the lap right here.
For a little reference, the Black Series coupe's time around the 'Ring is notably quicker than that of the Lamborghini Aventador SVJ, which ran a 12.8-mile variant of the track in six minutes and 44.9 seconds. In other words, the AMG is bonkers quick.
According to Mercedes, the record-breaking GT Black Series was completely stock. That said, it was set up with as much track optimization as the model allows. As such, the front splitter was extended to its "race" position, 3.8 degrees of negative camber were added to the front wheels and 3.0 degrees were added to the rears, and thanks to its adjustable dampers, the car was lowered by 0.2 inches at the front and 0.1 inches at the rear.
Here's a video on their preparation during the record-setting event:
The rear wing blades were all set to the middle position and Engel opted to have the nine-stage traction control system set at positions seven and eight— switching the system's intrusion as he entered different parts of the track. Tires were the same Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 R MO rubber that Mercedes fits on customer-owned GT Black Series cars.
For a stock road car you can buy, the GT Black Series' time around the 'Ring is a seriously impressive feat. Especially when you consider the next two fastest cars, the aforementioned Lamborghini and the Porsche 911 GT2 RS, fit their engines behind the passenger compartment. It looks like the onus is now on Porsche or Lamborghini to snatch the title back from Mercedes.