Mercedes-AMG GT R Dominates Car and Driver’s Lighting Lap

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Mercedes’ newest sports car is one of the fastest machines ever tested at Virginia International Raceway event.

If you wanted to go fast on a track in America, the best tool for the job was the Dodge Viper ACR. It owns multiple track records around the country, and it was top of the pile in Car and Driver’s 2016 iteration of the Lightning Lap test at Virginia International Raceway. But now Germany has come knocking, and the Dodge looks downright sluggish compared to the new Mercedes-AMG GT R.

2018 Mercedes-AMG GT R

At the 2017 running of the Lightning Lap, the GT R managed to be the fastest car of the year, and third fastest car ever tested. It sits behind the Porsche 918 Spyder and the Lexus RC F GT Concept. In the course of 11 years of Lightning Lap events, with 220 cars tested, the only thing Car and Driver drove that is faster than the new Mercedes is a million-dollar hypercar and a concept race car.

The AMG’s 2:43.4 lap means that it’s just 0.3 seconds off of the pace set by the Porsche. It also makes it nearly a full-second quicker than the Viper’s 2:44.2 lap.  Just for fun, here are some other cars that have been slower in Lightning Lap testing: Ferrari 488 GTB, McLaren 650S Spider, Porsche 911 GT3 RS, Nissan GT-R Nismo, and the Lamborghini Huracán.


ALSO SEE: What the Forum Has to Say About this Blistering Performance


That is quite a list, but we think the most impressive lap time comparison is against the AMG GT S. In 2016, the Mercedes-AMG GT S only managed a lap time of 2:51.0, making the new R model an astonishing 6.6 seconds faster.

That makes the story pretty clear to us. The new GT R is one of the fastest cars ever produced by Mercedes and AMG, and it’s easily one of the most capable road cars in the world today. If AMG can do this with the GT, what is the upcoming Mercedes Project One going to be capable of?

Christian Moe contributes to many of Internet Brands' Auto blogs, including Corvette Forum, Club Lexus and Rennlist.

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