Mercedes-AMG's most powerful series-production model, the GT Black Series, has broken the overall lap record for production cars around the Nurburgring Nordschleife.
Recording a time of 6 minutes, 43.616 seconds around the 20.6km layout of the iconic German circuit, the GT Black Series beats the 6-minute 44.97-second time set by the previous record-holder, the Lamborghini Aventador SVJ, by 1.354 seconds.
It also represents a significant 21.016-second improvement over the 7-minute 04.632-second lap time posted by the previous flagship AMG GT model, the GT R Pro.
The record-breaking car, driven by GT3 racing driver Maro Engel, recorded its time in standard, showroom-ready trim, with no additional, non-factory modifications. However, it was equipped with the Track Package, which adds a roll cage and four-point racing harnesses.
Mercedes-AMG engineers performed a range of setup tweaks to tailor the flagship AMG GT for the unique surface of the Nordschleife: the front splitter was extended to its 'Race' position, the lower and upper blades of the rear spoiler were placed in their 'middle' positions, and the anti-roll bars were tweaked into their stiffest of three settings.
The car's coilover suspension was adjusted to deliver a lower ride height by 5mm up front and 3mm at the rear, with negative camber also adjusted to 3.8 degrees and 3.0 degrees at the front and rear respectively.
Engel switched the nine-stage traction control system between positions six and seven, depending on the section of track being driven on.
It's worth noting the 6:43.616 record time detailed above was recorded around the 20.6km layout of the Nordschleife, as used for lap records prior to 2019, including the previous timesheet leader, the Lamborghini Aventador SVJ.
Around the longer 20.832km layout of the circuit, which has been used for official lap record attempts since 2019 and includes an additional 232m of straight after the last corner, the GT Black Series posted a time of 6 minutes, 48.047 seconds.
However, as the Aventador never recorded a time around the longer layout, the AMG becomes the new, official record holder, despite a numerically-slower time.
Eagle-eyed Nurburgring fans will also note the Porsche 911 GT2 RS MR, a modified version of the 991.2-generation 911 GT2 RS built by Porsche tuners Manthey Racing, set a 6-minute 40.6-second time around the 20.6km Nordschleife layout in late 2018.
However, while the MR remains the fastest road-legal vehicle around the Nurburgring even despite the GT Black Series' time, the Porsche's modifications make it ineligible for the series-production car record.
"With speeds of up to almost 270km/h in the Kesselchen section of the track or well over 300km/h on the long Döttinger Höhe straight, the AMG GT Black Series is significantly faster than my GT3 race car", said GT Black Series record driver, Maro Engel.
"To finally drive around the Nordschleife in 6:48.047 minutes 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", he added.
Today's announcement comes exactly a week after another GT-badged Mercedes-AMG vehicle, the 2021 GT 63 S 4-Door liftback, set a lap record for 'executive cars' around the 'Ring, with a time of 7 minutes, 27.80 seconds.
Powering the GT Black Series is a new 4.0-litre, twin-turbocharged, flat-plane-crank V8, developing 537kW of power and 800Nm of torque. Drive is sent to the rear wheels through a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission.
The 2021 Mercedes-AMG GT Black Series goes on sale in Australia in the second quarter of 2021.