Mercedes-AMG GT R sets new sports car record at the Nürburgring

New Nürburgring time beats other rear-drive sports cars including the Dodge Viper ACR and Lexus LFA

Mercedes-AMG has lain claim to a new Nürburgring lap record with the AMG GT R, the 'Green Hell Magno'-coloured car setting a time around the Green Hell of 7:10.9.

That time makes it the fastest rear-wheel drive sports car yet - ahead of the 7:12.13 of a Dodge Viper ACR, and the 7:14.64 of a Lexus LFA Nürburgring Package.

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While there's very little regulation to how lap times are set at the 'Ring, Mercedes' time also puts it near the top of the overall rankings for production road cars - still topped by the 6:57 set by Marc Lieb in a Porsche 918 Spyder Weissach Package.

Both times were overseen by Germany's Sport Auto magazine, which has conducted or overseen several 'Ring records. One that wasn't was the time set by the regular AMG GT S - 7:35, over 24 seconds adrift of the GT R.

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The difference is courtesy of an extensive range of changes between the conventional GTs and the R version. The 4-litre, dry-sumped V8 gets a power boost to 577bhp with 516lb ft of torque, altered gear ratios and a lighter flywheel.

The car as a whole is lighter by 15kg, while the aero kit produces up to 155kg of downforce, and the traction control system features settings derived from that of the GT3 race car. There's rear-wheel steering too, for tighter cornering below 62mph and greater stability above it.

Priced at £143,245, the AMG GT R goes on sale in 2017. You can read our full preview here.

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