The Nurburgring Nordschleife has long been considered as a benchmark for performance in the automotive world. Because of its complicated course, carmakers and tuners have been trying to prove the worth of their creation by driving through the so-called Green Hell. Now, Mercedes-AMG could try to prove the performance of its Project One hypercar by challenging the Nurburgring.
In an interview with Autocar, Mercedes-AMG chief executive Tobias Moers remarked that it was "reasonable to speculate" that the new Project One hypercar would challenge the lap time record at the fabled Nurburgring lap time record. Right now, the lap time record for the Nurburgring for a production car is being held by a Porsche 911 GT2 RS (991) driven by Larns Kern. With a lap time of six minutes 47.30 seconds, this Porsche 911 GT2 RS had set a new record at this challenging course.
Interestingly, Moers is looking beyond the lap time record by a production car at Nurburgring. The AMG Project One will also try to challenge the overall lap time record at the Green Hell. This means that the AMG Project One will aim not just at becoming the fastest production car at this circuit, but also set the target of becoming the fastest among all cars that ever set their tracks on this road.
But it would be a tall order for AMG if it tries to become the fastest car on the Green Hell. After all, the lap time record at Nurburgring has been unbroken for around 35 years, and even the fastest cars of the decade have failed to go faster than the current record holder. This record has been on the plate of another Porsche car – a Porsche 956 driven by Stefan Bellof. He drove the Porsche 956 around the Nurburgring circuit within just six minutes and 11.1 seconds during the qualifying stage of the 1,000-km race back then. This means that the AMG Project One would need to go faster than this record to wrestle the crown away from the Porsche 956.
It would take more than just technical specs to beat the Porsche 956. The crucial element to breaking the record as the fastest car at the Nurburgring goes beyond the machine as it heavily relies on its human driver. The challenging twists, straights, ups and downs of the Nurburgring require a very capable driver – a hard truth recognized by Moers. AMG’s big boss admitted that the biggest challenge he faced for the feat would be “finding the right driver” for the Project One.
The Project One definitely has what it takes to break the record at Nurburgring, like its aerodynamic downforce of around 675 kg. Moers has confirmed that the Project One – with a weight of between 1,300 kg and 1,400 kg – would be able to generate a downforce that’s around half of its own weight. If there is a car that could challenge the Project One, it would be the newly unveiled McLaren Senna, which could generate 800 kg of downforce.
Moers disclosed that AMG has already received around 1,100 customer requests for the Project One, which has a selling price of around £2.4 million. However, AMG will only accept orders for 275 examples, which is the production limit for the hypercar.