The Car Connection Mercedes-Benz AMG GT Overview
The Mercedes-Benz AMG GT comes in two distinct flavors. One is simply the GT, a two-door, high-performance luxury coupe or roadster and the other is the GT 4-Door Coupe, a four-door, four seat hatchback aimed at the best-performing sedans in the world. Sometimes called the "Mercedes-AMG GT," we'd prefer to shorten the name to just "fast." The GT coupe and roadster assume the role of successor to the SLS AMG as the top sports car in Mercedes' lineup.
However, Mercedes doesn't consider the GT 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.
The AMG GT 4-Door Coupe is the third car built by AMG and it has the likes of the Porsche Panamera, Audi S7/RS 7, and BMW M5 in its sights.
MORE: Read our 2020 Mercedes-Benz AMG GT review
The AMG GT 4-Door Coupe was new for 2019 and the 2020 changes are minor. A panoramic roof is now available for all versions and the GT 63 S now offers a carbon-fiber roof. The AMG Performance Exhaust becomes standard on the GT 63 model.
The structure of the AMT GT 4-Door Coupe is shared with the E-Class, CLS-Class, and even the C-Class, but AMG engineers reinforced it in several ways and lengthened the wheelbase over the two larger cars. The closest of those is the CLS, which is also marketed as a coupe, but the CLS is actually a sedan while the GT 4-Door Coupe is a hatchback or fastback. Mercedes offers the the GT four-door as a 53 model as well as the 63 and 63 S. The 53 features a 429-hp twin-turbo 3.0-liter inline-6 with a 48-volt mild hybrid system that adds power and runs the air conditioning and water pump. Both of the 63 models get a twin-turbo 4.0-liter V-8 that makes 570 hp in the 63 and 630 hp in the 63 S. The 0-60-mph time passes in as little as 3.1 seconds and the top speed is as high as 195 mph.
The first AMG GT coupe and roadster get more extensive changes for 2020. The lineup adds the GT Pro coupe and the GT R roadster while dropping the GT S coupe. The GT Pro is limited to 150 cars and the GT R roadster is limited to 750 units. Mercedes updates the design of all models with new LED headlights and taillights, a revised rear diffuser, new exhaust tips that change by model, and new wheel designs. Inside, the cars feature a new 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, a new 10.3-inch center screen, capacitive touch buttons on the center console, revised steering wheels, the AMG Track Pace application within the infotainment system, and standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. AMG Track Pace lets drivers define a track, measure track time, and evaluate driving technique based on telemetry.
The AMG GT Pro coupe is the line-topper with a price right around $200,000. Over and above the GT R it features standard carbon-ceramic brakes, unique stripes, functional aerodynamic front fender gills, a carbon-fiber roof, a reinforced front splitter fro more downforce, an adjustable carbon-fiber front sway bar, an interior crossbar, and matte carbon-fiber interior trim.
The AMG GT coupe 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 in three two states of tune. The GT is the entry point to the range, offering 469 horsepower and 465 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 C is rated at 550 hp and 502 lb-ft, reducing the 0-to-60-mph sprint to 367 seconds and with an electronically limited top speed of 196 mph. AMG GT R and GT Pro models up the output to 577 hp and 516 lb-ft of torque. They can reach 60 mph in 3.5 seconds and top out at 198 mph. All versions of the car use the same 7-speed dual-clutch gearbox, which is carried over from the SLS AMG. The GT S, which made 503 hp and 479 lb-ft, was offered in the first year of production, including a special Launch series, with the GT added for subsequent model years. The S didn't return after 2019.
The AMG GT offers a unique engine configuration: 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.
Built from aluminum with some carbon fiber body parts on the GT R and GT Pro models, the AMG GT coupe weighs less than 3,700 pounds and the roadster less than 3,800 pounds; 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, S+, and Race modes for progressively sportier responses, affecting the shift characteristics, throttle response, and dynamic adaptive dampers. An available set of active powertrain mounts stiffens the connection between engine, 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, which lacks the adaptive suspension, adaptive exhaust, and Race mode available on other models.
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 coupes. The GT R features a litany of updrades, from active rear steering to exotic Michelin tires to a active aerodynamics. Motor Authority's first drive review here.
For 2019, the GT C received heated and cooled seats.