Everyone at Performance Car of the Year 2021 expected the Mercedes-AMG GT R Pro to be fast.
What we didn’t expect, was for it to be the fastest production car to ever lap Winton Raceway’s 3.0km layout.
Driven by ace driver Karl Reindler, the AMG GT R Pro decimated everything else on the MOTOR Shootout leader board.
The time? 1:29.3. Bang.
As a result, the Pro is the new leader, dethroning the Audi R8, by more than three seconds. Oh, it also reset the production car lap record for the circuit.
The blistering lap time was achieved without the help of any electronic aids. While the nine-stage traction control is a boon for amateurs, it was unnecessary for Reindler, allowing him to demonstrate the vehicles raw capabilities in isolation.
Prior to this year’s PCOTY, the fastest car MOTOR had timed at Winton was a Nissan GT-R Nismo, driven by David Reynolds at our 2018 event, which put down a 1:30.0 lap.
The Pro was the second-to-last car to complete its timed laps during PCOTY testing, with the judges and crew of helpers eagerly watching as Reindler completed his two hot laps.
Upon hearing the final time the pit lane erupted.
“Let me take a breath, that is some car!” Reindler exclaimed following his record-breaking lap.
“It is barely a road car, the way that it behaves on track, it’s just incredible.
“For the first time today I’m a little lost for words.”
Once he had regained his usually unflappable composure, Reindler explained in finer detail exactly what made the Pro such a compelling – and rewarding – track weapon.
“Everything is so crisp and sharp. You throw the bucket seat into the mix, with the harness, and you just feel so connected to this thing. You become one with the car,” he said.
“The gearbox does everything right. That was everything switched off then as well, no aids, and it’s just so predictable and so forgiving. It just gives you confidence and it’s just begging you to push it harder”
That last point is at the core of what makes the Pro so impressive. You don’t need to be a Karl Reindler professional to be inspired to push harder and faster.
“Even the engine mapping is so refined, you come off the corner nice and progressive and there’s nothing untoward that happens, nothing unpredictable, it just drives off as you want it to,” Reindler added.
“It puts the power down well considering it’s rear-wheel drive, crazy amount of rear traction off the corners”
To contextualise how potent the Pro is on track, we need to talk (briefly) about straight-line performance.
The Pro was the fourth quickest car at PCOTY from both 0-100km/h and over a quarter mile. Not entirely surprising when you consider the power being deployed by other contenders, and not a slight at the Pro at all. What it shows is that outright speed in a straight line isn’t the name of the game.
Interestingly though, the Pro laid claim to the highest terminal velocity during hot laps, exemplifying its ability to not only carry more speed through the bends, but deploy its power earlier and more completely on corner exit.
Make sure to check the MOTOR Shootout leaderboard regularly, as we post a new hot lap video every week!
How are you finding our new site design? Tell us in the comments below or send us your thoughts at email@example.com.
The world's most thrilling performance car magazine. Delivered to your door each month.
2021 Toyota GR Yaris unleashed on the MOTOR Shootout
It’s the car of the moment, but how does Toyota’s star athlete handle the track?
2021 Porsche 911 Turbo S takes on the MOTOR Shootout
Can the quickest car we’ve ever timed in a straight line also make an impression on track? We strap Karl Reindler into the hot seat to find out
How to watch the Performance Car of the Year announcement
Make sure you don't miss the big reveal