There is a new GT R on the block, and it’s not from Nissan but from the Germans, specifically from Mercedes-AMG. What you’re looking at here is the most powerful form that the Mercedes-AMG GT has ever been cast in – welcome, the AMG GT R.
It would suffice to say that this is the road-going version of Mercedes’ Nurburgring 24-hour winning racer, the Mercedes-AMG GT3. It also carries over several design and technical titbits from its racing cousin, one of them is the broad Panamericana grille that was until now a feature only seen on the GT3. The exterior design is all about aerodynamic efficiency with wider front and rear as well as the large aerofoil (wing) at the back. Apart from the non-active elements such as air curtains, air outlets on the front fender and double diffuser at the rear, there are active elements at play as well. These are found in the lower part of the face and in the underbody, helping the car reduce front-axle lift by as much as 40kg at 250kph; total downforce is bettered by 155kg compared to the GT S. Not to mention, the added directional stability and higher cornering speeds. Oh, and in case you missed it (which I don’t think anyone will) there is an all-new body colour called “AMG Green Hell Magno”, that signifies the important role the famous Nurburgring race track has had on the development of the GT R.
Reducing weight is an important aspect for any supercar that lays claim to the tag of high performance, and the GT R is no different. Mercedes says that their latest creation is made from an intelligent mix of materials – aluminium alloys for the chassis, steel for the boot lid and magnesium for the front portion. The driveshaft is not made from aluminium (like that in the AMG GT), but from carbon fibre, meaning that it is 40 per cent lighter than its counterpart. Factoring in the forged wheels, lesser sound deadening materials and a titanium silencer, the overall weight advantages comes up to 15kg over the already lithe GT S variant.
The beating heart of the AMG GT R is the AMG 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8, with the turbos fitted inside the ‘V’, aiding a compact design and improving response. Power, as expected, is up over the GT S by 75bhp and 50Nm for a total output of 585bhp and 700Nm. The drive is sent to the rear wheels through a seven-speed dual clutch transmission that has been reworked for a longer first gear ratio and a shorter final drive. Using the AMG Dynamic Select controller, users can sift through five settings namely: comfort, sport, sport plus, individual and if you want to go all out, ‘Race’ mode. Ah yes, the all-important numbers. The fastest production variant of the AMG GT will complete the 0-100kph drill in a claimed 3.6sec with the top whack being a respectable 318kph.
It’s not all about just power and speed, there’s handling too. And to that end, this supercar is loaded with AMG coil-suspension, AMG ride control (adaptive damping system with three modes), electronically-controlled limited slip differential, speed sensitive sports steering and for the first time in any AMG model a ”by-wire” rear wheel steering. But unlike the system found in the Ferrari F12tdf, the rear wheels turn in the opposite direction than that of the front wheels up to 100kph, and once it crosses that threshold, they turn in the same direction as the front ones (by a maximum angle of 1.5 degrees). Mercedes explains that this increases agility, reduces effort and shortens the turning radius. And we believe them.
The interior, as the rest of the car, takes inspiration from motorsports. The dashboard still bears the aviation design theme with the centre console mimicking a NACA intake by housing four central AC vents. The AMG Drive Unit takes the sportiness to another level by virtue of the arrangement of its controls that are laid out like the eight cylinder pattern in a V8 engine. The light and adjustable bucket seats are covered in Nappa leather and Dinamica microfiber as standard; for those who prefer the AMG tag a bit more, AMG performance seats can be ordered from the options list at no extra cost.
This was just an unveil so the prices aren’t out yet. For that, we will have to wait till November 21, 2016. Does the Porsche 911 GT3 RS have something to worry about? We will have to wait to find that out too.