Nurburgring lap records have become a bit of a penis size comparison between carmakers; that meaning it doesn’t quite translate into much in the real world although the one with the biggest, sorry… quickest lap time, will always take every opportunity to exercise his bragging rights.
For a while, the Mercedes-AMG GT Black Series could fling those rights around. Until recently, it was the fastest production car on the Nürburgring-Nordschleife with a lap time of 6:48.047 and also boasted the most powerful AMG V8 engine of all time.
Simply put, it’s the closest thing to a GT3 car you can buy from Mercedes-Benz and probably the closest looking to one among all those for sale to the public.
The chops are real too, seeing as the familiar AMG 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 sporting a dry sump lubrication system and flat-plane crankshaft here in the Black Series. It’s the latter that lends the machine its high-pitched wail when given the full beans.
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Flat-plane crankshafts are referred too as such due to the crankpins of the crankshaft being arranged on the same plane with a 180-degree offset as opposed to the 90 degrees in a conventional cross-plane crank layout.
The benefits are increased response as well as higher torque at low engine speeds with the revised firing order (1-8-2-7-4-5-3-6) that sees ignition jump between cylinder banks. To reduce weight, the exhaust gases exit via a new twin-pipe exhaust system constructed of thin-walled stainless steel that begins from inside the hot internal V of the cylinder banks.
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Of course, to bump up power across the range the camshafts, exhaust manifolds, intercooler and compressor wheels for the turbos have ball been enhanced. It breathes much easier; shifting 1,100 kg of air per hour compared to 900 kg an hour in the GT R. Such are the upgrades that it’s even christened with a new engine code; M178 LS2. Performance figures weigh in at 730 hp and 800 Nm of torque.
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With that 7-speed AMG Speedshift DCT transmission sending power to the sticky Michelin Cup 2R rubbers, the Black Series will hit the century mark in 3.2 seconds and 200 KPH in under 9.0 seconds. Top speed is 325 kph.
The transmission has been beefed up for the extra power and expected circuit use. Cooling was the first step while the ratios were revised as well. To nail those launches the Race Start function kicks off at higher rev.
A key component of the drive train is the “torque tube” that’s a structural component of the transaxle drivetrain. Here, it’s a carbon fibre unit that weighs just 13.9 kg; or around 40 percent lighter than the aluminium unit.
Other pieces constructed from the exotic weaved material include the roof and tailgate, with further dieting measures in the form of the “lightweight thin glass” for the front and rear windscreens. Weight saving continues with the wishbones, steering knuckles and hub carriers constructed from forged aluminium.
The adjustable coilovers from the AMG GT R is paired with AMG Ride Control adaptive damping that is a component of the drive modes via the AMG Dynamic Select system. This extends to the camber and anti-roll bars for track precision.
That yellow knob on the dash controls the AMG Traction Control and has 9 options; with level 9 meaning zero aide.
Being adaptive for track use sees the rear wing being fully adjustable, with a large upper element and a smaller one beneath is. All in, it’s good for over 400 kg of downforce at 250 kph. The manually adjustable flap on the upper blade can be slid up to 20 degrees.
Other enhancements of the aero package include a larger front grille, vented carbon fibre bonnet, a manually adjustable splitter up front, an adjustable diffuser, louvres on the front fenders, larger side sill panels that merge into the side blades, a double rear diffuser and side wheel arch ventilators to reduce turbulent airflow in the wheel wells.
As close as it is to the AMG GT3, this “road-going” take on things is a little more civilised with AMG Performance seats, a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, a 10.25-inch infotainment touchscreen and an AMG Performance steering wheel.
If you opt for the optional AMG Track Package, you’ll get titanium roll bars, four-point safety harnesses and a fire extinguisher.
How much for this former Nurburgring record holder? Frankly it doesn’t really matter. All 13 units allocated for Malaysia are sold so you can keep your RM 3 million for another penile comparison instrument.