The first Mercedes was a racing car and its most recent successor carries this heritage forward. With the new Mercedes-AMG GT, the Mercedes-AMG sports car brand is moving into a new sports car segment. The GT is the second sports car developed entirely in-house by Mercedes-AMG. Its front mid-engine design with a rear transaxle and use of intelligent aluminum lightweight construction form the basis for a highly dynamic driving experience. Its newly developed AMG 4.0-liter V8 biturbo engine underscores the hallmark of AMG driving performance. The first sports car engine from AMG with internally mounted turbochargers (‘hot inside V’) and dry sump lubrication is configured in two output ratings: as a GT with 456 hp (340 kW) and as a GT S with 503 hp (375 kW). The new GT combines driving dynamics and first-class racetrack performance with superb everyday practicality and efficiency that sets new standards in the segment.
Two models with glorious twin-turbo V8 power. Top speeds that approach 200 mph. Loads of weight-saving aluminum. A racing-inspired gearbox. Right off the bat, the 2016 Mercedes-AMG GT seems like it will be a force to be reckoned with. First and most importantly, the car will come in two flavors. The base one is the AMG GT, and its 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 puts out 456 horsepower and 443 pound-feet of torque. They say it will do zero to 60 mph in 3.9 seconds. If that isn’t disco enough for you, there’s the top-model AMG GT S, which has the same motor but with 503 horsepower and 456 pound-feet of torque. Preliminary estimates indicate that car will do zero to 60 mph in 3.7 seconds, but considering the power difference I bet it will end up quicker than that. Both cars approach 200 mph top speeds. The GT S also gets an electronically controlled rear axle locking differential, among other goodies.
There’s some interesting tech at play here, too. The engine is front-mid mounted for a 47 front/53 rear weight distribution. Power goes solely to the rear wheels via a seven-speed dual clutch gearbox. It has an all-aluminum spaceframe and an aluminum double wishbone suspension. And then there’s that relatively small twin-turbo V8, with displacement at a mere 3982 cc. It’s a direct injection motor, and the turbos are not mounted on the outside of the cylinder banks but rather inside the V configuration. Mercedes calls this a “hot inside V” setup, and while Audi and BMW do that too, they claim theirs is the world’s first sports car engine with ‘hot inside V’ and dry sump lubrication.
Already it sounds like a massively potent sports car, and I’m a fan of the design too, especially after seeing it in more than just that unflattering yellow. It’s got classic sports car proportions and a playful, fun shape. It doesn’t take itself too seriously, and that’s good. No word yet on official pricing, but the AMG GT will go on sale next spring, with the S model coming to the U.S. first and the base car coming the year after next. Will it put a dent in 911 sales?