For economy cars, it's fuel efficiency. For SUVs, it's wading capacity. But for high-performance cars, it's Nurburgring lap times. For the past two decades, a lap around the demanding circuit has become a bit of a marketing tool. Since then, every manufacturer has been trying to best each other in every category.
Mercedes-AMG and Porsche are fighting for sport sedan supremacy this past couple of months. Two years ago, the AMG GT 63 held the title for the fastest sedan around the Nurburgring. But shortly after that, Porsche took the crown from them. Of course, the folks at Mercedes-AMG didn't take that sitting down. Their time to beat was 7:29.81 set by the Porsche Panamera Turbo S back in September.
After a few chassis tweaks to the super sedan, Mercedes-AMG went back to the grueling Nordschliefe track to take the honor back to Affalterbach. The car they used was a bone-stock GT 63 S with the aero package and optional Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires. It's not short on power either thanks to its 4.0-liter Bi-Turbo V8 engine. It's good for 639 PS and a neck-snapping 900 Nm of torque. Keeping all that power on the road is a tweaked version of Mercedes-Benz's all-wheel-drive system, 4Matic.
The result? It lapped the Nurburgring in 7:27.80, which is a hair over two seconds faster than Porsche's time. It may not sound like a big deal but squeezing out two seconds is a tough ask in the bumpy, tough circuit. What makes this feat even more impressive is the fact that the track was damp in several corners. If it were dry that day, the GT 63 S could have been three, or even four seconds faster than the previous record.
With that, we're expecting Porsche to go back to the Nurburgring soon to try and beat AMG's record. Can Porsche do it, or will a different manufacturer grab the title from AMG? BMW has been quiet recently, so they might come out of nowhere to grab that record. But for as long as the Nurburgring is around, we'll see all automakers try and smash each other's records for many more years to come.