Car and Driver’s Lightning Lap Winner is the Fastest and Least Reliable Supercar

The Mercedes-AMG GT Black Series is not a typical supercar. It is a full-bore track weapon that borrows a lot of technology and equipment from Mercedes’ GT3 program. The GT Black Series isn’t for showing up outside a nightclub; it is for obliterating lap times. It is a race car with a license plate.

Car and Driver recently conducted their annual Lightning Lap review at Virginia International Raceway, and the AMG GT Black Series thundered to an astonishing lap time of 2:37.0. That is the second-fastest time ever recorded by Car and Driver. All of that speed, power, and corner-destroying grip comes at a cost, and that is reliability.

2022 Mercedes-AMG GT Black Series – here’s what makes this car so special

Before we dive into why this car gets the crown for the least reliable supercar, let’s first look at why this German beast is so unique. 

First introduced in 2021, the GT Black Series is the fastest car Mercedes and AMG have produced, if we don’t count the upcoming AMG ONE hypercar and Lewis Hamilton’s F1 car. Powered by a twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V8, the GT Black Series makes 720 horsepower and 590 pound-feet of torque. The GT accelerates like a fighter jet with the afterburners on and can hit 60 mph from a standstill in 3.1 seconds and reach a top speed of 202 mph.

More impressive than the horsepower and acceleration is the handling. The GT Black Series uses suspension components designed for the GT3 race car and aerodynamics that can generate up to 1,764 pounds of downforce. Both the suspension and aero are fully adjustable, meaning that the car can be optimized for maximum performance at any race track. Pair all of the racing technology with sticky Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 track tires, and the GT Black Series begins to challenge what you think is possible from a car.

None of this performance is what we might call budget-friendly, and the starting price is $327,000 before adding options and customization.

The AMG GT Black Series’ Achilles Heel, reliability

A 3/4 front view of an orange and black 2021 Mercedes-AMG GT Black Series car parked on pavement.
2021 Mercedes-AMG GT Black Series | Mercedes-AMG

Recently, we reported on the Lamborghini Huracan being the most reliable supercar on the market. The opposite end of the spectrum is where the Mercedes-AMG GT lives. According to USwitch, the front-engine AMG supercar scores the worst in reliability of the 25 cars surveyed.

USwitch collected MOT inspection pass rate data and correlated that with the number of recalls a specific model had, as well as the average review score. Putting all of that data together gives an overall score and a glimpse at how reliable supercars are.

The Mercedes-AMG GT had a 92.8% MOT pass rate but was let down by the 18 recalls that have occurred during its production run. Auto reviewers generally liked the GT, and gave it an average rating of 4.1 out of 5. All factors considered, the AMG GT scored a dismal 3.22 out of 10 in the reliability ratings.

AMG GT problems and recalls

A profile view of an orange and black 2021 Mercedes-AMG GT Black Series car driving around a banked corner at a race track.
2021 Mercedes-AMG GT Black Series | Mercedes-AMG

Most of the AMG GT’s problems and complaints are related to the recalls. In total, there have been 18 recalls of the model since it debuted in 2016.

The most serious recalls are related to airbags and seatbelts. Other recalls target driveshaft failures, electrical system issues, and wheel speed sensors. Cars.com has the complete list of recalls for each model year.

Is a supercar still worth it if it’s unreliable?

Yes, of course, it’s still worth it. Sports cars, supercars, and track cars are all about one thing, putting a big grin on your face. That is ultimately what the AMG GT Black Series is for. Supercars tend to have worse reliability than regular cars due to their low production numbers, complicated technology, and high-strung drivetrains. That is part of the ownership experience and probably why we don’t see many Ferraris and Lamborghinis with 200,000 miles.

Like regular cars, a supercar will be happiest with regular maintenance and care. These cars push the limits of automotive engineering and will require more frequent maintenance and servicing than a daily-driven Honda Accord. If you are considering a supercar, keep in mind that high costs don’t end when you leave the dealership. You’ll want to have a healthy bank account to handle regular maintenance, and in the case of the Mercedes-AMG GT Black Series, plenty of budget for track day fees.

RELATED: Why Does the 2021 Mercedes-Amg GT Black Series Cost $389,000?