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pering about unfair competition, the tire blankets were only used because the temperature outside is extremely low (4 degrees Celsius) for today’s test. Tire blankets were also used for similar reasons before the Supertest lap in the Renault Clio R.S. 220 Trophy with semislicks. Clearly, at outdoor temperatures like these, it’s extremely difficult to bring cup tires up to the proper working temperature. You have to be as careful as possible here. Speaking of cup tires, we are already looking at the second innovation of the top Mercedes-AMG GT model. In addition to the standard MICHELIN Pilot Sport Cup 2 sports tires, the Mercedes- AMG GT R is equipped with even more specialized AMG track tires approved for road use. The latter are also from Michelin and are also called Cup 2. These tires were developed for the Mercedes-AMG GT R and can be ordered through the AMG Performance Studio. Into the new AMG sports seats with their excellent lateral support and lowslung sitting position. Warmup lap — time to introduce the Mercedes-AMG GT R further. Visually, it is reminiscent of its GT3 racing sibling. At the front, the new model is 46 mm wider than the previous Mercedes-AMG GT versions. The rear has grown by 57 mm in width. The fixed rear wing is part of the extensively modified aerodynamics. The Mercedes-AMG GT R, for example, carries an active aerodynamic element on its underbody that automatically extends or retracts depending on speed, and an active air control system in the lower area of the front apron. Behind the new AMG Panamericana grille sits the renowned four-liter biturbo. In the Mercedes-AMG GT R, AMG is firing up a new version of the V8. Thanks to intricate modifications and increased boost pressure, the engine has an output of 585 hp, which is now 75 hp more than in the Mercedes-AMG GT S. In “RACE” mode, the extreme sports car rumbles more thunderously than before on account of its new exhaust system with titanium rear mufflers. Fire away! We launch our attack on the Nordschleife. The 585 horses don’t send Right, left, right – out of the corner of your eye, you see the LED briefly flash white two more times. One last burst of traction control, the final curves, then 2016’s sensation of the year is perfect. The Mercedes-AMG GT R sets down a fabulous lap time of 7’11” on the Nordschleife. This makes it the fastest series production vehicle that sport auto magazine has driven and recorded in its history of testing, which began in 1997. November 4, 2016. Chronology of the test day: The Nordschleife season has almost come to an end. The last scheduling window for industry test drives, after which we would normally drive our timed laps on the circuit, was one week ago. And then, however, we get the possibility to compete with the Mercedes-AMG GT R as part of a testing day for GT3 racing vehicles. As a matter of fact, the plan for this road-oriented sports car was different. Prior to the off-season and months of bad weather, the lap time on the Nordschleife was supposed to be established in advance of the full Supertest in spring 2017. Activate “RACE” mode, deactivate ESP, then click the nine-way adjustable traction control four times. It locks audibly into place. The controller is very reminiscent of the one in the Mercedes- AMG GT3 racing car; bright yellow, it sits visibly underneath the four ventilation nozzles. The traction control feature only works when ESP is completely deactivated. For our hot lap, the AMG TRACTION CONTROL is set at level four — three yellow LEDs and one red now flank the rotary knob. The tire blankets are off, and soon we will be too. Before someone starts whis- The Mercedes- AMG GT R is the fastest series production vehicle that sport auto magazine has ever tested on the Nordschleife. With a lap time of 7’11”, it knocked the Porsche 918 Spyder from the top spot a few months ago. The diary of an ultra-fast testing day. R 126


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