It has been reported that Mercedes-AMG’s upcoming Project One will break the six-minute barrier at the Nurburgring.

We need to start out with a disclaimer that none of this information is reliable, so please find a grain of salt big enough to melt the iceberg that sank the Titanic. With that out of the way, let’s look at the rumor and what it might mean.

The news was posted up at the MB World Forum, and they are quick to dismiss the idea. They rightfully point out that no Mercedes prototypes have been seen at the Nurburgring, and it’s hard to set a track record when you aren’t at the track. And then there is the fact that breaking six minutes would make Project One almost a minute faster than the current production car record of 6:52.01 set by Lamborghini. But let’s move away from production records and talk about the actual fastest lap ever set on the Nurburgring. That honor belongs to the Porsche 956 racer, a car that took every podium spot at Le Mans in 1982. That lap record sits at 6:11.13.

Is Mercedes Going To Set The Fastest Ever Nurburgring Record?
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That honor belongs to the Porsche 956 racer, a car that took every podium spot at Le Mans in 1982

Comparing an unhinged Group C race car from the 1980s to a new Mercedes Road car may seem asinine, but give us a second. Let’s start with what the Project One actually is. Mercedes is building this thing as a road car, but make no doubt about it, this car is a street legal version of a Formula One car.

Mercedes is using an engine derived directly from their F1 car, and it’s said to produce more than 1000 horsepower. Weight is also going to be kept to a bare minimum, with a Miata-beating 2,200 lbs appearing on the scale. Weight regulations for F1 put a car’s minimum weight around 1600 pounds, and horsepower figures are likely in the 900 pony range.

Is Mercedes Going To Set The Fastest Ever Nurburgring Record?
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The 2006 BMW-Sauber F1 car should be able to cut a 5:15 around the ‘Ring

So to really see how the Mercedes would handle The Green Hell we need to look at F1 lap times, not road cars. Except there are no F1 lap times, because F1 cars don’t race on the proper Nordschleife. Thankfully, we do have simulation data from some BMW engineers back in 2006. According to their calculations, the 2006 BMW-Sauber F1 car should be able to cut a 5:15 around the ‘Ring. Suddenly a sub six-minute time doesn’t sound so crazy when you think that a 10-year old F1 car could nearly break five minutes.

So where does that leave us? Well… nowhere really. Until Mercedes officially unveils the new supercar next week, and actually puts the thing on the Nurburging, we will have no way of knowing. But here is what we can say. A sub six-minute ring time will be very difficult, and it will require a perfect drive, from a perfect driver, in perfect circumstances. That said, we don’t think Mercedes will have any trouble breaking Lamborghini’s 6:52 record.

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References

Mercedes-AMG Project One

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Read our full review on the Mercedes-AMG Project One.

Lamborghini Huracan Performante

2017 Lamborghini Huracan Perfomante High Resolution Exterior
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Read our full review on the Lamborghini Huracan Performante

Bugatti Chiron

2018 Bugatti Chiron High Resolution Exterior
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Read our full review on the Bugatti Chiron.

Aston Martin Valkyrie

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Read our full review on the Aston Martin Valkyrie.

Ferrari LaFerrari

2014 Ferrari LaFerrari Exterior AutoShow
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Read our full review on the Ferrari LaFerrari.

Mercedes-Benz 300 SL

1957 - 1962 Mercedes 300SL Gullwing (W194)
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Read our full review on the Mercedes-Benz 300 SL.

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