With the Mercedes-Benz AMG GT Daimler obviously aims at the competition in Zuffenhausen. However, it’s not the Porsche Boxster or the Cayman that is targeted, but directly the mighty Porsche 911.
Previously Porsche had crossed with the Panamera into Mercedes territory. Now Mercedes is shooting back with a thoroughbred sports car from AMG in Affalterbach. With the AMG GT, the brand with the star on the radiator grille is launching the successor to the Mercedes SLS.
The front design of the Mercedes-Benz AMG GT contains many elements from racing that make a dynamic impression. LED high-performance headlights with stylized “eyebrows” give the front of the car the characteristic look. The long bonnet with its pronounced domes sets the direction. Flowing shapes and curves, which are increasingly being used by more modern material processing in the automotive sector, create a trend-setting design. Typical for Mercedes is the sporty front bumper with large air intakes and upright diamond grill with central star. In the course of a facelift, the old diamond grill (picture) was replaced by the Panamericana grill from the Mercedes-AMG GT 3 customer sport racing car. In addition, the GT has active aerodynamics, which is called by Mercedes “Airpanel”. Depending on the cooling requirements, the air is allowed to pass through the lamellae to the cooling surface, or diverted towards the underbody.
Although the AMG GT is seen as the successor of the SLS, it has no gullwing doors. These were among the most prominent main features of the Mercedes SLS.
Mercedes M 178 Engine
The 510hp (375kW) strong Mercedes M178 4.0-liter V8 twin-turbo under the long hood of the AMG GT S catapults the 1645kg car in just 3.8 seconds to 100km/h. The engine transfers 650 Newton meters between 1,750-4,750 rpm to the crankshaft.
What looks like a normal front-engine layout from the outside is technically a front mid-engine, because the entire engine block is located behind the front axle. The engine block and the cylinder heads are made of light metal. Two chain driven adjustable camshafts control two intake and exhaust valves per combustion chamber. For a narrower overall design, the two turbochargers are not located as usual on the outer cylinder banks, but are mounted in the inner V of the cylinder. This promises, in addition to the lower mounting position, a more optimized fresh air guidance, since the turbochargers are more centrally in the air flow. Two charge air coolers ensure that the charge air heated by the turbochargers is cooled to a maximum of 25 ° C above ambient temperature before entering the combustion chambers.
Dry sump lubrication enables a low positioning of the Mercedes M178 engine with a low center of gravity. This is especially advantageous for the oil supply of sports cars with high lateral acceleration due to the direct extraction of engine oil from the crankcases.
With its acceleration, the GT S is 0.2 seconds faster than the base model GT with ‘only’ 462hp. The top speed is electrically sealed at 310 km/h.
In the course of a facelift, the old diamond grill (picture) was replaced by the Panamericana grill from the GT R model.
The seven-speed double-clutch gearbox of the AMG GT S, which is mounted directly on the rear axle in transaxle design, has been tuned much better than the older one of the Mercedes SLS. The newer AMG gearbox picks up the shift commands significantly faster when the speed limit is reached. During downshifting, the inter-gas function stabilizes the vehicle and minimizes unwanted load change reactions. The clutch also provides an efficient sailing function when removing the foot from the gas. By decoupling from the drive train, the engine speed is lowered which saves fuel. Thanks to the advantageous positioning of the gearbox on the rear axle, there is also a beneficial weight distribution of 47:53.
The AMG 7-speed dual-clutch transmission (Source: Manufacturer)
The chassis of the GT comes from the SLS. The double wishbone concept is good for lateral acceleration, and provides driving stability at high speeds.
As standard, the Mercedes-AMG GT S rolls on vanadium silver painted alloy wheels. Excellent deceleration is provided by large-dimensioned brake discs, which are ventilated and perforated all around. The composite technology increases stability and reduces weight. The entire AMG brake system offers braking performance as in motorsport.
The AMG rear-axle steering, which is an option on the GT S, makes the vehicle easier to handle and increases driving stability. At speeds below 100km / h it provides an opposite steering of the front and rear wheels. At speeds over 100 km / h the steering of the rear wheels adjust to the same direction as the front wheels. In addition, the electronically regulated rear-axle locking differential ensures improved traction and steering response.
AMG rear axle steering (Source: Manufacturer)
Interior with Aviation Flair
The interior of the AMG GT can impress with the well-known Mercedes quality. Also in that point Mercedes has made great progress since the SLS AMG, whose interior seemed a lot cheaper with some plastic components. The AMG performance steering wheel and the instrument cluster give the AMG GT S a sporty look. The design and arrangement of the switches on the center console with the AMG driving unit symbolically represent the V8 biturbo. As a nice additional detail, the AMG crest is embossed into the armrest of the center console. Everything in the interior adds up to the Mercedes-Benz sports car typical “aviation design”.
The center console has four controls on both sides, which is design-related to the cylinder arrangement of the V8 engine.
The rear lights of the Mercedes-Benz AMG GT S are each equipped with 18 bright LEDs per side.
AMG GT S
In the course of the facelift, the performance of the AMG GT S was increased from 510 hp to 522 hp, which also means an increase in torque by 20 Nm to a maximum of 670 Nm.
AMG GT C
The Mercedes AMG GT C comes as a coupe, as well as a roadster with fabric top.
AMG GT R
The striking Panamericana grille was initially installed on the AMG GT R before it was introduced to the sibling models.
Driving the Mercedes-Benz AMG GT S
I got into the drivers seat of the AMG GT S without paying much attention to the technical data. Considering that it is the top of the sports-car line for Mercedes, my expectations were accordingly high. The proud ‘V8 BITURBO’ inscription in the lateral gills is hard to miss while entering the car. Inside you have the feeling of sitting in a slightly wilder Mercedes. I must say that I imagine a comfortable and luxurious car under a Mercedes. The AMG sport seats of the Mercedes-AMG GT S give the driver good lateral support at higher lateral accelerations while providing high seating comfort. The steering is not quite as direct as I would have liked. The difference to the other cars with the star on the hood and the three letters on the rear becomes clear as soon as you press the accelerator unrestrained. The ‘somewhat wild Mercedes’ turns into a beast and beats the rising pulse of the V8 engine with the entry of the turbos into the drivers back. The brute power of the GT S leaves nothing to be desired.
The Mercedes-Benz AMG GT definitely does justice to the GT-designation (Italian: Gran Turismo), and is suitable as a comfortable and well-motorized sports car for long-distance races. The powerful Mercedes M178 engine provides the AMG GT with enough power to show the taillights to many other cars on the racetrack. Compared to the Porsche 911, the AMG definitely needs a bit more time to get used to. Of course it has its own attraction to tame such a beast. As soon as you have mastered the long hood in front of you, the GT S can be precisely controlled.
A comparison with the 911 is not really suitable in other respects, because both cars are quite different. Furthermore, the Mercedes AMG GT S does not really need to prove itself. It is important that Daimler has made great progress since the SLR and the SLS to deliver such a car. Since the SL with its luxurious equipment could never properly adopt the image of a real sports car, the Mercedes AMG GT opens new ways for Daimler. With the right continuity, a new star could shine in the future on the sky next to the Porsche 911.