Nurburg, Germany – The iconic ‘Nordschleife’ (‘northern loop’) of the Nurburgring racing circuit in the Eiffel mountains, 20 kilometres of twists and turns with ever-changing cambers, bumps in all the wrong places and roller-coaster changes of elevation, remains the yardstick by which performance cars are measured.
Which is why it is also where many carmakers – including Mercedes-Benz – go to develop and refine new models, and it is where German magazine “sport auto” test driver Christian Gebhardt does performance testing of new models.
And on 7 December he posted the quickest time ever recorded in a “sport auto” test of a road-going sports-car, with a blistering 7m10.92s in an exclusive first test of the Mercedes-AMG GT R.The 430kW GT R, indeed, spent much of its development time on the ‘Ring, and its uprated suspension, smoothed-out aero kit and active rear-wheel steering are almost purpose-built for this, the world’s most demanding race track. Nevertheless, Gebhardt’s record lap is a phenomenal achievement for a street-legal production car. Respect.