The Car Connection Mercedes-Benz AMG GT Overview
The Mercedes-Benz AMG GT comes in two distinct flavors. It is simply the GT, a two-door, high-performance luxury coupe or convertible and 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 are the 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 2018 Mercedes-Benz AMG GT review
The AMG GT 4-Door Coupe is new for 2019. Its structure 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 in three models: 53, 63 and 63 S. The 53 features a 429-hp twin-turbo 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 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. For 2019, the GT C receive heated and cooled seats.