The Mercedes-AMG GT R is all about the Nurburgring. It was exhaustively tested at the legendary German racetrack, and even has a paint color named after it. So it would be pretty embarrassing if the AMG GT R didn’t post an impressive lap time.
Mercedes brass have nothing to worry about, though. In the hands of German car magazine Sport Auto, which routinely tests cars at the track, an AMG GT R completed a lap in 7:10.92. That puts this Mercedes in some pretty elite company.
The AMG GT R left elite performance cars like the Porsche 911 GT3 RS and Lamborghini Huracán LP610-4 in its wake. The Porsche recorded a 7:20 time, while the Lambo could only muster 7:28. The Mercedes also beat the 7:11.57 time set by the insane Gumpert Apollo supercar in 2009, which was the overall lap record for several years. The current lap record is 6:57, set by Porsche factory racing driver Marc Lieb in 2013, in a 918 Spyder.
The Nürburging has become an obsession for carmakers, both for its utility as a testing ground and the bragging rights fast lap times bring. Everything from exotic supercars to ordinary SUVs can be seen testing there, and it seems no self-respecting performance car can go on sale without posting a lap time. That’s largely down to the track’s reputation. It’s known as the “Green Hell” because of its difficulty and length (it’s over 10 miles long).
On paper, the AMG GT R appears just as formidable as the track that inspired it. Under the hood sits the same 4.0-liter twin-turbocharged V8 used in the lesser AMG GT and GT S, but tuned to produce 577 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque. Mercedes says the GT R will do 0 to 60 mph in 3.5 seconds, and reach a top speed of 198 mph. It also features upgraded aerodynamics aids, adaptive suspension, and a rear-wheel steering system.
If all of that sounds good to you, get ready to pull out your checkbook this summer, when the AMG GT R goes on sale in the U.S.