Other sports cars... beware the Black Series!
It's been a long time since Mercedes-AMG released a new hardcore Black Series model, but it was worth the wait. The 2021 Mercedes-AMG GT Black Series arrived back in the summer, ready to smash Nurburgring track records. AMG already scored a big victory this month when the GT 4-Door beat the Porsche Panamera's record for executive saloons. Now, the company has announced an even more monumental accomplishment: the AMG GT Black Series is officially the fastest production car around the Nurburgring-Nordschleife.
Driven by GT3 driver Maro Engel on the track's North Loop, the Black Series set an officially measured, notarized and certified time of 6:43.616. For those keeping track, this lap time squeaks past the former record holder, the Lamborghini Aventador SVJ, which set a time of 6:44.97. Lamborghini has held the record since 2018. It now belongs to AMG.
It isn't difficult to see how the GT Black Series could conquer the Aventador's time. The car packs a 4.0-liter twin-turbocharged flat-plane crank V8 engine, producing a staggering 720 horsepower and 590 lb-ft of torque. There are other adjustable race-bread goodies, including a carbon-fiber front splitter, rear spoiler, AMG coilover suspension with adaptive damping, anti-roll bars, and nine-stage traction control.
For the record-setting lap, Engel extended the splitter to its "Race" position, adjusted the upper wing blades of the rear spoiler into their middle position, lowered the suspension by 0.2 inches at the front and 0.1 inches in at the rear, set the camber to their maximum possible values, and opted for the hardest anti-roll bar settings. Engel then switched between positions six and seven on the traction control system, depending on the track section.
It is worth pointing out that the 6:43.616 time was set on the 12.8-mile circuit, which has been the measure used by most automakers since 1997. In 2019, the official Nurburgring lap was added with a 12.944-mile lap. The GT Black Series also set a lap in this configuration, posting a time of 6:48.047.
"That was a really impressive ride," said Maro Engel after achieving the record lap. "With speeds of up to almost 168 mph in the Kesselchen section of the track and well over 186 mph on the long Dottinger Hohe straight, the AMG GT Black Series is significantly faster than my GT3 race car. To finally drive around the Nordschleife in 6:48.047 minutes (for the 12.944 mi total track) with a production road car in these track conditions is really awesome. Like my GT3 race car, the AMG GT Black Series offers a lot of adjustment possibilities, all of which enabled me to create a setup that was tailor-made for me."
"It's really impressive how much downforce the Black Series generates and how confident and reliably it can be driven, even at the absolute limit. My hat is off to the developers from Affalterbach for what they have put on wheels here. And I'm very pleased that I was able to demonstrate these fascinating engineering skills with this great lap time," Engel added.
As with the GT 4-Door lap record, which was set on the same day, the time was recorded by neutral experts from Wige Solutions. An independent notary also certified the measurements, and a full video of the lap is available for viewers to dissect.