Nurburgring lap times are not particularly (if at all) significant in our part of the world. But for car manufacturers, particularly brands with sports cars, a quick Nordschleife lap time is one great bragging point as a measure of ultimate performance of machine... and the man behind the wheel, of course.
The ultimate Nurburgring lap record is currently held by the Porsche 919 of Le Mans fame; an all-out race car. But there are still plenty of good records up for grabs for production, street-legal models; that's why brands such as Porsche, Audi, BMW, Nissan, Honda, Lamborghini and many more attack the 22 kilometer track to make their mark. And they can pick different classes to try and set a record.
Lately, it was Mercedes-Benz -specifically Mercedes-AMG- that attacked the Nordschleife, and they did it with a 4-door “coupe” version called the GT 63 S. And they claim they set the lap record for the fastest production four-seater on the Nurburgring with a lap time of 7:25.41.
Packing 639 PS from its bi-turbo V8, the GT 63 S roared through the straights at a terminal velocity of 298 km/h. For the most part, the car was going over 250 km/h, suggesting this is the "de-restricted" version. It was also clinging onto corners at 200 km/h on some of the tougher bends, showing the car's handling prowess.
Mercedes-AMG insists that the car used for the record run was fully standard, albeit sporting the optional Michelin Pilot Sport Cup2 tires. The suspension settings were put in their most aggressive, meaning more response from the throttle and the active suspension working overtime. Further helping the GT 63 achieve its record lap is the electronic differential, sport-tuned all-wheel drive system, and rear-wheel steering.
But there's something quite wrong with 4-Mercedes-AMG's official claim and press release that the GT 63 S 4MATIC+ is “the world's fastest series production four-seater” on the Nurburgring.
At 7:25.41, the “record-setting” AMG GT 63 S is markedly slower than the lap time set by other series production four-seaters such as the Nissan GT-R in 2011 (7:24.22 by Nissan) and even the Porsche 911 Carrera GTS in 2017 (7:24 by Sport Auto). It can be argued that the lap times of the Nissan and the Porsche are invalid in this sense given that they are considered to be 2+2 cars, but that's beside the point: they can seat 4 people.
Not very well, but they can.