Mercedes took a pop at the Porsche 911 when it launched the AMG GT back in 2014. But things are about to get really serious with the arrival of the second-generation car, which looks set to be a closer rival than ever to the iconic 911.
The new model shares its platform with the AMG-developed SL, so is now a 2+2 with small rear seats, much like the majority of 911 variants. Merc clearly hopes this additional practicality will give customers one less reason to pick Porsche’s offering.
The overall look is an evolution of the original GT, albeit with a longer-looking wheelbase, a front-end design more in keeping with Merc’s current styling direction and, at the rear, a gently sloping roofline. This helps to deliver respectable rear headroom and a surprisingly large boot with a capacity which exceeds that of most superminis – 321 litres, according to Mercedes, increasing to a maximum of 675 litres. The look is most aggressive from the rear three-quarter angle, which shows off the AMG GT’s muscular rear wheelarches.
There are plenty of aero tricks incorporated into the design, including active airflow elements at the front and a rear spoiler that deploys as the car reaches higher speeds. However, Mercedes will also offer a fixed wing made from plastic or carbon fibre.
The AMG GT is being launched with a choice of twin-turbocharged V8 petrol powerplants, each paired with a nine-speed dual-clutch gearbox (there’s still no manual option) and four-wheel drive. The first version to arrive will be the AMG GT 63 4MATIC+, which has 577bhp and 800Nm of torque – plus launch control – for a 0-62mph time of 3.2 seconds. This will be followed by the AMG GT 53 4MATIC+ with 469bhp and 700Nm. This car will complete the benchmark sprint in 3.9 seconds. Top speeds for the two machines stand at 195mph and 183mph respectively.
Mercedes isn’t holding back on chassis tech with the AMG GT. The car switches from rear-wheel drive to get the latest evolution of AMG’s four-wheel drive system, which has a permanently driven rear axle and a variable split to the front. This means the car can run in rear-drive mode, or offer up to a 50:50 split if the conditions require it.
There are adaptive dampers, along with rear-axle steering, an electronic limited-slip differential and a semi-active hydraulics-based anti-roll bar system that also controls the optional ride-height ‘lifter’. This raises the car by up to 30mm for speed bumps and steeper inclines.
Inside, the AMG GT gets a useful tech boost from elsewhere in the Merc range, with a 12.3-inch digital instrument panel and 12.8-inch, portrait-layout touchscreen infotainment system. An AMG Performance steering wheel will come as standard, but there will be scope for personalisation, including cabin elements such as AMG Performance seats, and chassis upgrades like carbon-ceramic brakes, due in 2024.
Mercedes hasn’t yet issued final specifications, and there’s no word on pricing either. But given the brand’s push upmarket and the greater flexibility offered by the new seating layout, we’d expect a punchy increase over the current figures, with a potential starting price of £125,000.
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Unlike the outgoing AMG GT, there won’t be a Roadster this time around; that role is being filled by the SL. However Mercedes is sure to produce a GT3 racing variant, as well as higher-performance roadgoing versions. These could
potentially include some with hybrid technology that boost the overall power figure to more than 700bhp.
Now read our review of the Mercedes-AMG GT 4-Door 63 S E-Performance…