The Mercedes-AMG GT 63 S is heading into the 2021 model year with yet another trophy in its collection of stats, after a setting a record for the luxury class category around the Nordschleife. AMG development engineer Demian Schaffert set the record (while besting his own previous record in the process by 2.3 seconds), flying the four-door coupe around the ‘ring in some pretty chilly temperatures that don’t favor traction.
The official record for this category now stands at 7 minutes and 27.800 seconds for the 12.944-mile-long version of the track, with straight-line measurement for track section T13, and 7 minutes and 23.009 seconds for the 12.8-mile-long version of the track, without straight-line measurement for track section T13.
“Even though I’ve been accompanying our GT 63 through its development for several years now, it’s always impressive to see the wide spread we have been able to achieve with this exclusive vehicle,” Schaffert commented. “This is especially true after the recent slight revision. On the one hand, the four-door coupe is comfortable and equipped with many intelligent safety features for everyday driving, and on the other hand it offers this extremely high level of driving dynamics and precision, which we have now been able to demonstrate once again on the demanding Nordschleife.”
What car did the Mercedes-AMG GT 63 S dethrone to get its record status back?
Well, there aren’t that many usual suspects, so if you guessed Porsche Panamera Turbo S give yourself a pat on the back. The big four-door from Zuffenhausen took that record away from the GT 63 S itself earlier, posting a 7 minute, 29.81 second lap on the longer version of the ‘ring, after the AMG model had earlier recorded a 7 minute, 30.11 second lap at the time. That’s right: The Panamera Turbo S had earlier beat the AMG four-door by 0.3 seconds.
A couple months ago Mercedes-AMG had foreshadowed it wanted to get this record back with a post on social media aimed at Porsche.
“Our record lap was the best of its class and only 0.3 seconds off of a recent record time you may have heard about. Maybe, it’s high time to hit the track again…”
What made the difference this time?
AMG credits a few suspension tweaks for the GT’s performance, now standard on the production vehicle for the 2021 model year. But it was really a team effort, with the “team” comprised of active rear-axle steering, fully variable AMG Performance 4Matic+ all-wheel drive, AMG Dynamics agility program, the aerodynamics package, electronically controlled rear-axle limited-slip differential and the optional Michelin Pilot Sport Cup2 tires. So the car as it polished the Nordschleife in record time is what you get in the 2021 model if you order it with these options at your local dealership.
Is Porsche just going to sit there and take this?
We have our doubts, but the margin of victory here is a pretty healthy one by ‘ring standards, as cars usually duke it out by stealing half a second here and half a second there from each other. Still, it’s within a margin that could perhaps be closed with some daring driving versus actually changing something under the skin.
Can Porsche get this record back with another attempt, as is, or will it need to tweak something to close this two-second gap?
AMG pointed out that during its record run conditions were not great: It was 44.6 degrees Fahrenheit outside and the asphalt temperature was 50 degrees, limiting grip, and sections of the track were even wet. So Porsche might be thinking about giving this another try in the spring on a dry and warm day.
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