Mercedes-Benz is hunting for Nürburgring records. The automaker recently claimed a Nordschleife title with its four-door GT63 S as the quickest “luxury class” vehicle, though it’s certainly a vague grab at glory since the four-door Jaguar XE Project 8 is still quicker. However, there’s nothing vague about this latest record which crowns the Mercedes-AMG GT Black Series as the ultimate ‘Ring king for production cars.
Admittedly, it’s a close margin. The Lamborghini Aventador SVJ ran 6:44.97 for its record run in late 2018. The new AMG GT Black Series went 6:43.61 – a difference of just 1.36 seconds but still more than enough to garner an overall production car record. And the car is indeed production-spec without any special tweaks that Black Series owners can’t do themselves.
That’s notable, because the AMG GT Black Series offers prolific settings for the suspension. To make this run, Mercedes-AMG engineers dialed in the adjustable coilovers with a 0.2-inch drop in the front and 0.1 inches as the back. 3.8 degrees of negative camber was set at the front with 3.0 degrees at the back, and the adjustable sway bars were set for the hardest settings. Additionally, the driver made use of AMG’s nine-stage traction control settings, switching between the sixth and seventh positions depending on the section of the track. Yes, some people might say electronic assist is cheating, but it’s part of the production car.
As for tires, the record run was made using Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 MO tires, which are standard equipment for the Black Series. The twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V8 engine was also completely stock, though with 720 horsepower (530 kilowatts) going to the rear tires, the Black Series definitely isn’t hurting for power. Interestingly, the mightly Merc has a listed top speed of 202 mph but settings of the aero package kept the maximum speed on the Nordschleife’s massive Döttinger Höhe straight to “well over 186 mph.” Obviously some flat-out speed was traded for grip in high-speed corners.
The record is even more impressive when you consider the AMG GT’s front-engine architecture. In this case, the Black Series is punching way above its category in a sea of mid- and rear-engined competitors. It’s the only front-engined production car to break the six-minute barrier, besting the Dodge Viper ACR and its 7:01 time by nearly 20 seconds.