The Formula 1-engined Mercedes-AMG One has set a new record around the Nürburgring Nordschleife, with a time of 6:35.183. A properly incredible achievement for Mercedes-AMG’s troubled hypercar, beating the Manthey Racing-prepared Porsche 911 GT2 RS, which previously held the record, by a full eight seconds.
Video: Mercedes‑AMG One smashes Nürburgring road car record
The car, driven by Maro Enge, uses a fettled 1.6-litre turbocharged V6 very close in relation to those used in Lewis Hamilton’s F1 cars, in combination with a hybrid system, for a total 1,063PS (782kW) output. The record time was achieved by Enge during his final attempt, taking his chance quite literally in the final few seconds, given his 17:14:31 departure time was precisely 29 seconds prior to when the circuit should have officially closed.
Yet even as late as the car’s dynamic UK debut at this year’s Goodwood Festival of Speed presented by Mastercard, there were doubts about whether the performance of this relatively heavy hybrid would live up to the promise of a next-generation hypercar. Clearly, with this ‘Ring time, it does.
“That was really an unforgettable experience,” said Maro Engel after completing the record lap.
“I didn’t expect that we would be able to set such a lap time with these track conditions. In some crucial areas of the track, it hadn’t dried completely yet and was therefore tricky. That was a special challenge. We tried to find the optimal deployment strategy during the pre-tests. Like Lewis Hamilton and George Russell on their race weekends, I also had to deploy the electrical energy of the hybrid drive in the best possible way. That’s not easy, especially with this length of track.
“In addition, the DRS function had to be used optimally. But that’s also a real Formula 1 feeling. I would like to thank you for this opportunity and the trust you’ve placed in me. It was definitely something very special to drive this incredible car on the Ring.”
It’s no small feat to have harranged all 1,695kg of AMG One around the ‘Ring in this time, though it has more than F1 power in its performance arsenal. Absolutely key to the attempt will have been the car’s ‘Race Plus’ driving programme, which puts all the car’s movable aero devices – its wings, flaps, and vents – in maximum attack, while lowering the car 30mm at the rear and 37mm at the front. As above, his command over the deployment systems for the hybrid power and drag reduction had to be perfect, too.
It’s the first time such an envelope-pushing machine has officially been put to the test on the ‘Ring since Porsche claimed the record in its hybrid 918 Spyder back in 2013. Its time was a full 22 seconds behind that of today’s AMG One, though it was almost a decade ago. The gauntlet has been thrown down: over to you, Aston Martin…
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