Last month, the person behind a YouTube Nürburgring channel caught the 2021 Mercedes-AMG GT Black Series running at the famous racetrack, and estimated that it had set a new record time. And that estimate was nearly spot-on. The German automaker announced today that it had indeed captured the production car lap record with a time of 6:43.616 for the traditional 12.8-mile stretch of the track.
That time edges out the Lamborghini Aventador SVJ by 1.35 seconds, in a car with 40 fewer horsepower and a front-engine placement. Mercedes also set a time for the slightly longer, full-length stretch of 12.944 miles established by the racetrack management in 2019. That time was 6:48.047. As Mercedes explains, the 12.8-mile measurement that has been used by automakers so far has been a few hundred feet short of a complete lap, and was based on a magazine's test criteria.
Mercedes also took measures to provide transparency for the run. The times were independently certified by a company called Wige Solutions, which provides timing, video and other services to various industries, including motorsports. Mercedes even gave the specific setup for the record-setting car. It used the standard factory tires. The front splitter was extended to its longest setting, the rear wing was in the middle position. The adjustable suspension was set 0.2 inch lower up front and 0.1 inch lower at the rear. Front camber was negative 3.8 degrees and rear was negative 3. The anti-roll bars were put on the stiffest setting, and the adjustable traction control was set between 6 and 7 (out of 9 levels), depending on the section of the track. All of these settings are adjustable in the same ways on the customer cars right off the factory floor.
While Mercedes didn't say explicitly, the company seemingly suggested that they could go faster. The company noted in the press release that the lap time was set when conditions were "not quite ideal." The track temperature was about 50 degrees with some damp areas and ambient temperature was 44.6 degrees. So perhaps Mercedes will need to try again on a warmer, drier day for a yet faster time next year.
This follows Mercedes' announcement last week that the Black Series' less powerful four-door brother, the 2021 Mercedes-AMG GT 63 S, had reclaimed the title of fastest luxury sedan around the Nürburgring, blitzing around the circuit in 7:27.800.