The Mercedes-AMG GT R Just Walloped A Lap Record Held By The Mercedes-AMG GT S
That’s how you smash a lap record, even if it’s one that was previously held by your little brotherby Kirby Garlitos, on
There are records that are broken by the skin of its teeth and there are records that are broken through utter annihilation. The latter scenario played out spectacularly prior to the Bathurst 12 Hours race over the weekend when the Mercedes-AMG GT R obliterated the lap record around Australia’s most famous race circuit when it posted a scintillating time of 2:16.5 to claim the record. To put that time in perspective, the AMG GT R’s new lap record was almost nine seconds quicker than the previous record held by, coincidentally enough, the Mercedes-AMG GT S.
To make the AMG GT R’s lap time more impressive, it managed to lap Bathurst with a time that’s only about 10 seconds slower than a V8 Supercar. Just as important, the range-topping AMG GT’s lap time only ended up being around 15 seconds off the pace of the track’s outright lap record of 2:01.567 that was set by the McLaren 650S GT3 race car back in February 2016.
Five-time Deutsche Touringwagen Masters (DTM) champion and Mercedes factory driver Bernd Schneider piloted the AMG GT R around the track and if not for some traffic around the track, Schneider could have posted an even quicker time that the one he set the record with. That could’ve really put the production lap record in Bathurst well out of reach for future performance cars. Then again, it’s hard to be surprised about the AMG GT R’s overall potency. This is, after all, the same car that went around the Nurburgring, arguably the world’s most famous race track, in just 7:10.92, good enough to place fourth overall, trailing only the Porsche 918 Spyder (the current record holder), the Lamborghini Aventador Superveloce, and the Nissan GT-R. That’s elite company right there.
For now though, the AMG GT R holds the production lap record at Bathurst. That in itself is an achievement that’s worth its weight in the record books.
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The Mercedes-AMG GT R lays down the gauntlet
If there were ever any questions regarding Mercedes’ decision to build an entire family of AMG GT models, the reception towards the range-topping GT R should finally put those doubts to rest. On the surface, the AMG GT R has all the qualities of being a bonafide sports car. It’s got killer looks that’s complemented by a 4.0-liter twin-turbo V-8 engine that produces 577 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque. Those numbers are good enough to propel the car from 0 to 62 mph in just 3.6 seconds on its way to a top speed of 198 mph.
The numbers are definitely there, but what puts the AMG GT R over the top is the engineering behind it, something that a company like Mercedes-AMG is well known for. I do admit that I was caught off guard by how much pace the AMG GT R had over the AMG GT S. I know that the former has 70-plus horsepower over the latter, but still, being nine seconds quicker is pretty eye-opening under the circumstances.
The question now is with this new lap record, how long can the Mercedes-AMG GT R hold on to it before another high-performance sports car takes a crack at it and knocks the AMG GT R off of its throne. We all know that lap records like this are meant to be broken and it’s only going to be a matter of time before that 2:16.5 lap time record is broken. I do hope that this time lasts a little bit longer than the last one because I want some validation to come to Mercedes for going out on a limb by growing the AMG GT family. Not everyone was on board with it in the beginning, but like everything else, Mercedes-AMG is proving that the AMG GT R has earned all of the accomplishments it’s gotten since it stormed into our lives in 2016.
Now how about taking a crack at other track lap records? I’m pretty sure that the Mercedes-AMG GT R is up to the challenge.
Read our full review on the Mercedes-AMG GT R here.