The Car Connection Mercedes-Benz AMG GT Overview
The Mercedes-Benz AMG GT—shortened to Mercedes-AMG GT by the automaker—is a two-door, high-performance luxury coupe and convertible range that succeeded the SLS AMG as the automaker's halo car.
However, Mercedes doesn't consider it a direct successor. Though the GT uses some of the SLS's structure, it is shorter overall, drops that model's gullwing doors, and costs less.
The AMG GT is the second car built by the AMG brand on its own without a Mercedes-Benz production car as its basis and it's gunning straight at the Porsche 911.
For 2018, the Mercedes-Benz AMG GT adds to its roster a more powerful GT C coupe and the blisteringly fast GT R.
MORE: Read our 2018 Mercedes-Benz AMG GT review
The first AMG GT models arrived in 2015 for the 2016 model year. With similar proportions to the SLS, the AMG GT comes off as prettier, and one of the most attractive Mercedes designs in a long time. The interior adopts an aviation-influenced concept, with just enough buttons on the center console to control all of the car's mechanical systems—no need to dig through pages of menus, which is much appreciated in the heat of the moment.
Under its hood, the AMG GT offers a twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V-8 engine in two states of tune, one for each of a pair of variants of the car: the AMG GT and AMG GT S. The GT is the entry point to the range, offering 456 horsepower and 443 pound-feet of torque. The car can dash from 0 to 60 mph in 3.9 seconds and hit an electronically limited top speed of 189 mph. The more potent GT S is rated at 503 hp and 479 lb-ft, reducing the 0-to-60-mph sprint to 3.7 seconds and with an electronically limited top speed of 193 mph. Both versions of the car use the same 7-speed dual-clutch gearbox, which is carried over from the SLS AMG. The GT S was offered in the first year of production, including a special Launch series, with the GT added for subsequent model years.
The AMG GT offers a unique engine configuration—one it claims to be a world first in a sports car: the combination of dry-sump lubrication with a “hot vee” turbocharger layout. The dry-sump lubrication system means the AMG GT dispenses with the bulky oil pan below the engine, instead relying on a remote reservoir and pump, allowing for lower mounting and a correspondingly lower center of gravity for the car. The “hot vee” layout means the AMG GT’s intake and exhaust manifolds flow in the reverse direction of a typical engine, allowing for the turbochargers to be placed in the engine's valley, which creates a more compact and thermodynamically efficient package of the whole unit.
Built of aluminum, the AMG GT promises to be especially light; the space frame itself weighs just 509 pounds. AMG was able to shed mass compared to the SLS by using conventional doors instead of the gullwings of the prior model, which required extra strengthening. This also allowed the designers to pen a curved roof rather than the flat top needed for the gullwings to work. The shorter overall length also contributed to the weight reduction.
In addition to the high-performance hardware, the AMG GT offers some interesting performance-enhancing electronics. The drive-select system offers C, S, and S+ modes for progressively sportier responses, affecting the shift characteristics, throttle response, and dynamic adaptive dampers; the GT S model offers an additional RACE mode to better suit track use. An available set of active powertrain mounts stiffens the connection between engine and transaxle and body when necessary to help transfer loads at just the right time, and can do so independently at each point for properly timed reactions to body movements. The AMG GT can also factor in lateral acceleration load (cornering force) to help adjust the amount of power sent to the rear wheels when the driver applies the throttle. This system is meant to improve both cornering stability and corner-exit traction.
For more details on the 2016 Mercedes-AMG GT and GT S, read the first drive review at Motor Authority.
For the 2017 model year, the AMG GT lineup grew to include a base model—and in 2018, it'll gain two more. For 2017, the lineup includes the AMG GT S and base GT. Both have the same 4.0-liter twin-turbo V-8, but the base GT makes 456 hp (versus 503) and 443 lb-ft of torque (versus 479). A 7-speed dual-clutch AMG SpeedShift gearbox also comes standard, but the base GT does without the GT S model's AMG Adaptive suspension, AMG Adaptive exhaust, and "Race" mode for its Dynamic Select system.
For 2018, the AMG GT lineup grew to include a GT roadster, a GT C roadster, and the GT R. The Roadsters share most of the specs of the GT and GT S coupes; the GT R gets a litany of changes, from active rear steering to exotic Michelin tires to a high-output version of the twin-turbo V-8. Read Motor Authority's first drive review here.