Mercedes AMG GT has been revealed to the world. This is the second sports car developed completely in-house by Mercedes-Benz’s performance division – AMG – and is the successor to the accomplished and now discontinued SLS AMG. This car will be available in two variants, the GT and GT S. The company says that the car will be launched in April next year, starting with the GT S and followed by the standard GT version. Pricing will be announced in October, most likely during the Paris Motor Show.
The AMG GT is a two-seater, mid-engine, rear wheel drive sports car. Gorden Wagener, VP, Design, Daimler AG, said, “The new Mercedes-AMG GT is a sports car in its purist form.” Well, to me, it’s quite similar to the SLS AMG with the exception of the gullwing doors, which were homage to the iconic 300 SL. The front end retains the mono-slat grille with honeycomb design. This time the LED headlamps are not upright but tend to wrap around a bit. The headlamp assembly also consists of three separate high beam reflectors and LED DRLs resemble an eyebrow. Large air intakes and a long bonnet with prominent power domes and dual louvers for cooling complete the description of the front end. The aerodynamic design seems apparent when the AMG GT is viewed from the side. The long bonnet, short and tapering rear overhang, the dome shaped roof, double-finned fender air outlets and the 10-spoke, 19-inch wheels (20-inch rear wheels on the GT S) all add up beautifully giving the car an aesthetically pleasing and sporty look. The turn indicators are integrated in to the side mirrors and feature 18 individual LEDs which sequentially light up from the inside to the outside depending on the turn taken. The rear is wider than the rest of the car. The tail lights are sleek and narrow in design. The boot lid is home to a discreet rear spoiler which extends when the pace is increased and more down force requirement is sensed by the car. A black diffuser has integrated twin tailpipes with the number plate bracket placed just above it.
Mercedes followed the traditional “aviation design” theme, with the dashboard resembling the wing of an aircraft. The four central spotlight style and turbine style individual vents on either side of the dashboard reinforce that impression. The raised center console with the AMG Drive Unit buttons are laid out in a fashionable manner instantly reminding you of the cylinder placement in a V8 engine. The centrally mounted 8.4 inch optional COMAND screen dominates the dashboard.
The sports seats are upholstered in Artico leather and the entire cabin is done up in materials like aluminum and carbon-fibre, giving the interior its own distinct look. The three-spoke flat bottomed steering wheel is finished in Nape leather with the paddle shifters done in aluminum. The large boot lid opens up to reveal 350litres of storage space, large enough for two golf bags, which make this a car which can also be used for your daily shopping trips.
Engine and Drivetrain:
AMG has developed an all-new unit for the AMG GT codenamed ‘M178’. This engine is a 4.0litre, twin-turbo V8 and will be found in two guises for the upcoming car. In the standard GT, this mill will produce 455.6bhp and 600Nm of torque. In the performance oriented GT S version, this unit produces a whopping 503bhp and a gut wrenching twisting force rated at 650Nm. The performance figures are equally mind numbing. Claimed figures are 0-100kmph (62mph) in just 4.0 seconds for the AMG GT (3.8 for the GT S) and top speed is electronically limited to 189mph (304kmph) for the standard GT and is bumped up to 193mph (310.6kmph) for the GT S. The transmission handling all the punishment is the AMG SPEEDSHIFT dual clutch 7-speed gearbox which directs the power to the rear wheels. Stopping power is just as important and this is provided by 360mm ventilated disc brakes all around with the GT S being endowed with 390mm discs at the front to accommodate the increase in power. An optional ceramic brake package is optional on both models for those who are looking for more bite. Mercedes says that the fuel efficiency in a combined driving cycle hovers at the 12.7kmpl mark which is an increase over its predecessor. The car can also be put in any one of the available four driving modes through AMG Dynamic Select, the modes are: C (Controlled efficiency), S (Sport), S+ (Sport plus) and I (Individual). The GT S also gets the manual ‘RACE’ program which is tailor-made for the race track and increases the shift time and gives better engine response. A unique feature found in the AMG GT is the placement of the turbocharger. Instead of the turbo being placed on the outside of the engine, it is placed between the ‘V’ of the V8. The company calls this “hot inside V” and says that the benefits are a compact engine design and low exhaust gas emission. Centre of gravity is also lowered by using dry sump lubrication.
Handling and Dynamics:
The front mid-engine layout gives this sports car a weight distribution of 47:53 at the front and rear. The ideal weight distribution coupled with the overall weight of 1540kgs (1570kgs for the GT S) make for a great handling car. A mechanical rear-axle locking differential is found in the GT and the GT S gets an electronically controlled version of the same unit. The AMG GT is a race car at heart and this is amply demonstrated by its suspension setup which gets double-wishbones at all four corners. The driver gets good feedback from the road by virtue of the speed-sensitive sports steering with power assistance function. Mercedes says that the steering increases vehicle’s handling and agility at low speeds while maintaining driving safety at higher speeds. This is accomplished by the steering responding to the changes in road speed and lateral acceleration. The GT S variant though, has better dynamics due to the presence of electronically controlled dampers which are standard and can be bought as options on the GT trim. These allow the driver to change the suspension setup depending on their mood. Three modes are available: Comfort, Sport and Sport Plus, at the touch of a button the car can transform itself from being a pliant road car to a hardcore sports car, ready to eat up the track.
The GT S is loaded with performance enhancements but there are always some buyers who will need ‘more’, and for them there is an even more extreme AMG Dynamic Plus package. This package brings dynamic engine and transmission mounts in to the mix. These mounts constantly keep on adjusting their stiffness in tune with road conditions aided by the AMG Chassis Controller (ACC) thereby providing better handling. Comfort is also augmented as noise and vibrations are isolated before they can reach the cabin. Furthering the cause of flickability is the independent nature of the engine and transmission mounts. Inside the Dynamic Plus package makes its presence felt in the form of yellow highlights on the instrument cluster.
The AMG GT is a well-rounded off package but Mercedes has positioned this in an entirely new “super-sports car” segment where it will compete against the legendary Porsche 911. This segment is a highly profitable one as is evident with the 911 being the car which generates the most profit per unit. Mercedes is also looking to improve its image by enticing more young buyers in to its fold and is banking heavily on the AMG GT to do that. Competition will be intense as manufacturers such as McLaren, Aston Martin are also planning to launch their models in the coming future.