There was a time when we used to think there was no place for SUVs at the Nürburgring or on any other track for that matter, but not anymore. The attached video of the GLC 63 S record car used by Mercedes-AMG to claim the title for the fastest SUV at the ‘Ring demonstrates that even a tall and heavy vehicle can be agile and nimble when being pushed hard through the corners.
Don’t get us wrong – it’s no Miata – but the GLC 63 S goes to show how far SUVs have come in the last few years in terms of handling despite the obvious downsides of the body style. The soundtrack provided by the twin-turbo 4.0-liter V8 engine is also an asset, with the 503-horsepower beast delivering an alluring tone while the vehicle was getting absolutely trashed around the Nordschleife.
Some might be tempted to assume Mercedes modified the GLC 63 S to increase its chances of beating the Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio’s lap record by more than two seconds, but the SUV was the series production model you’ll find at the dealership. The time itself – 7 minutes and 49.369 seconds – is quite the feat considering the vehicle weighs a little over two metric tons (4,400 pounds).
It seems highly unlikely the record will last for a long time since SUV-loving fans with generous bank accounts have even hotter models to choose from. Take for example the Lamborghini Urus, which by the way will spawn a race-ready version in 2020 that will shave off a quarter of the weight for added performance.
Other speedy SUV that might have the GLC 63 S’ record in their crosshairs are unreleased models – the Porsche Cayenne Turbo S E-Hybrid, Ferrari Purosangue, and the Aston Martin DBX.
Do these ephemeral Nürburgring track records really matter? Perhaps not, but it’s a bragging right that likely lures in more buyers – that is until a rival model comes along to improve the record.
Video: Automotive Mike / YouTube