Panamera's four-door lap time has been beaten – just as AMG hinted it would
By Sam Sheehan / Wednesday, November 11, 2020
Mercedes-AMG has retaken the lead in the terrifically important Nurburgring leaderboard for executive class cars with a 7.27 lap around the Nordschleife for the AMG GT 63 S. That’s two seconds quicker than the Porsche Panamera Turbo S’s previous benchmark, set only three months ago. AMG’s run was handled by former racer and in-house development engineer, Demian Schaffert, in a car shod with the GT 63 4-door’s optional Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 rubber. The same boots were used by the Panamera, in fact.
The new time is impressive, not least because it ranks ahead of the last recorded time for a McLaren 12C, emphasising just how far car and tyre tech has come in the past few years. The AMG is, let’s not forget, a two-tonne machine, and that additional weight is certainly noticeable in the onboard footage, where Schaffert occasionally makes the car wobble and roll through a bend. But, as we know from first-hand experience, those moments are miniscule and always followed by remarkable composure.
The top-spec four-door AMG uses a 639hp version of the division’s hot-vee twin-turbo V8, with peak output provided from 5,500rpm-6,500rpm. As the film shows, 664lb ft of torque from 2,500rpm has the AMG hauling itself out of bends and very much working both axles of drive. It’s all further evidence that in 2020, if you’ve £135k to spend and the inclination to go looking for it, you can access a plush, practical four-door machine that’s capable of the hardest track work without a break.
“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,” said Schaffert. “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.”
Despite taking back the class crown from its rival, AMG has hinted that there’s more to come from its Panamera rival. It insisted that while most of the circuit was dry for Schaffert’s run, there were damp patches – you can see them on the footage – and the air temperature was 10 degrees Celsius. Of course that claim is partly about rubbing Porsche's face in it. Don't expect it to go unnoticed in Stuttgart.
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