Mercedes AMG GT – The Beast of the Green Hell

March, 2019

When the first Mercedes-AMG GT rolled off the production line in 2015, it signified a bold move, with Mercedes knowingly inserting itself into just about the most competitive section of the sports car market. Willingly, the Mercedes-AMG GT was attempting to go head-to-head with the iconic Porsche 911 and the newcomer Jaguar F-Type.

Four years on and Mercedes-AMG’s decision has proven to be a good one. Drawing from their gt racing championship-winning expertise, they’ve created a fantastic driver’s car. Despite the name, the AMG GT is not a car set out in the true Grand Tourer mould. With a stiff suspension, little cargo space, a humongous bonnet and glorious exhaust note, the AMG GT is as close to a modern hot rod as you’ll find.

Mercedes AMG GT Review

Mercedes AMG GT Review

No matter which myriad variants you choose, gt coupe or roadster, Mercedes-AMG performance is impressive across the range thanks to the mighty engine at the heart of every model - the fantastic turbocharged 4.0-litre V8 unit.

In standard form, this is a car with 476bhp and - perhaps most impressively - a huge power band, with 600Nm of torque available from 1,600rpm to 5,000rpm. Not only will it speed you from 0-62mph in just four seconds, but it’ll also give you bundles of flexibility in-gear; negating the need to constantly swap gears in search of peak power.

That’s not to say that you won’t find yourself constantly changing gears though, because you will. Just not in search of performance. You’ll be doing so in search of one of the most rewarding sounds in the whole automotive stratosphere because the AMG GT produces an audible reward like few others. With its phenomenal engine, the Mercedes AMG is also featured in the list of our favourite V8 engine supercars

Keep the hand-built V8 engine going past 5,000rpm and you’ll be greeted with a spectacular soundtrack involving an unsynthesised (unlike some of its rivals), old-school V8 rumble. This soundtrack only improves when you lift off the throttle and let the revs die; lift off being greeted with a cacophony of pops and bangs from the dual exhausts.

The best all-around model from the range, for drivers who are looking primarily for on-road performance as opposed to track-day fun, is the Mercedes-AMG GT C Coupe. With 557bhp and torque of 680Nm, the GT C covers 0-62mph in 3.8 seconds and offers the most flexible driving experience. The AMG GT R, branded by Mercedes as a “racing car for road use”, is a complete hoot on the track, but a little too sensitive and responsive for potholed, public roads.

Regardless of power output, the AMG GT has only one gearbox option, the familiar seven-speed dual-clutch automatic used in a variety of AMG models. On the whole, it’s a smooth unit that can be a little bit slower than desired when shifting under manual inputs. For faster shifts, just turn to the AMG Dynamic Select system. With a range of programs - Comfort, Sport, Sport + and Race from GT S upwards - the system adapts engine and transmission responsiveness, as well as steering characteristics, suspension settings, and even the exhaust valves, to deliver a specific performance dynamic.

Dynamic Handling

AMG GT up close

The Mercedes-AMG GT is a car that is all about dynamic handling, due to a variety of factors. The suspension, whilst adjustable via the AMG Dynamic Select technology, is stiff no matter what setting you select. So whilst motorway driving and pottering around town isn’t as comfortable as it could be, hit a twisty back road and you’ll receive a suitable payoff. Body-roll is pretty much non-existent and the AMG GT feels a lot more nimble than a car of its size and weight has any right to.

Another aspect of the supreme handling is the vehicle’s weight distribution. The AMG GT is supremely balanced, with the engine set back behind the front axle, in what is to all intents and purposes a mid-engine configuration. For added stability and predictability, Mercedes-AMG has thrown in a locking rear differential, a three-stage stability control system which allows varying levels of wheel-spin before intervening electronically, and carbon ceramic brakes.

Turn off the stability aides and the AMG GT becomes an unruly, tyre-smoking beast. The GTR, in particular, is an absolute weapon on track. With all the systems dialled back it’s a tail-happy challenge that should be accepted by only the most capable of drivers.

Mercedes AMG GT Specs

Mercedes AMG GT Review

Sitting above the base GT that produces 476bhp and beneath the GT C with its 557bhp unit is the GT S trim which produces 510bhp, an official 0-62mph time of 3.8 seconds and a 193mph electronically limited top speed. At the top of the GT tree is the 577bhp GT R, capable of dashing from 0-62mph in 3.6 seconds and reaching a top speed of 198mph.

Whilst all versions have a locking differential on the rear axle, the standard GT uses a mechanical differential, whereas from GT S upwards you’ll find an electronic unit instead. Also from the GT S model upwards there’s the option of a dynamic engine and transmission mounts that counteract the movement of components during high-speed cornering and keep unexpected weight transfer to a minimum. Rear-wheel steering is optional on the AMG GT S and standard on C and R to further assist with stability when cornering.

The specs of the Mercedes AMG GT are able to compete with any other car on a list of must drive supercars.

Mercedes AMG GT Interior

Mercedes AMG GT Interior

The first thing you notice when settling into the AMG GT is the seating position. It’s like a giant go-kart, as you sit low, with your feet stretched out in front of you and the steering wheel positioned ideally in front of you. The windscreen is upright and wide. The view provided to you dominated by the seemingly unending bonnet that stretches out before you. This is no luxury tourer, this is a high-performance sports car.

Seated just forward of the rear axle, and feeling cocooned into your side of the cabin by the high and wide transmission tunnel that passes down the centre of the car, you feel engulfed. At one with the vehicle, your position allows you to intuitively judge the forces being exerted on the AMG GT and the extent of the grip levels available to you. The seats are surprisingly comfortable given their bucket style appearance and can be adjusted electronically.

The interior as a whole is very modern and sleek, with overall quality high. The two banks of four round buttons on the centre console very cleverly resembling the layout of a V8 engine. Storage space in the cabin is adequate, but as mentioned, this is no true Grand Tourer and you’ll struggle to fit much into the shallow boot space above the gearbox.

Mercedes’ infotainment system is one of the better examples out there. It’s not as intuitive as offerings from Audi and BMW, but it is easy to navigate and the 8.4-inch tablet-style screen looks great and is well positioned. There are bundles of Alcantara and leather too that helps add to the very premium feel of the GT’s cabin

Mercedes AMG GT Price

Mercedes AMG GT

Buying new, without options, you can expect to pay over £102,000 for a standard GT in coupe form and over £113,000 for the drop top roadster. The best all-round model in the range, the GT C is available for £130,000 as a coupe and over £140,000 for the roadster version. Whilst in the all-powerful GT R trim, the car will set you back at least £144,000 new.

If you’d like to pick up a used AMG GT you’re looking at anywhere between £135,000 and £160,000 for a year old model with limited mileage, depending on the extent of the options fitted to the vehicle. A used GT C roadster will set you back upwards of £110,000.

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