Replacement for the SLS AMG. A Porsche 911, Audi R8 and Jaguar F-Type rival. Or, simply a fast, expensive toy. Call it what you will, but the new Mercedes AMG GT is one fantastically quick, physically demanding and tremendously fun to drive sports car. Launched in India in November of 2015, we have only just managed to get our hands on it, and boy, has it been worth the wait. Here's what it is all about…
The Mercedes AMG GT carries the same design philosophy as the SLS AMG, only it is a little softer. It still has a gigantic hood, muscular fenders, huge wheels and little front overhang. It also gets a buff nose like the SLS but one with a handsome carbon splitter and gaping air intakes for the intercoolers. The headlamps though are a lot softer compared to its predecessor.
But, what makes the AMG GT individualistic is its glass house. It doesn’t get gullwing doors, so the drama of the SLS is clearly missing, but the GT’s cabin seems to have drifted right back. It’s also well rounded and the overall look of the car now takes you back to the 1960s. Its classic sports car stuff, this. However, the rear of the GT does remind one of the 911 with its slim tail lamps and a curvy behind.
For those who love weight saving tech, the AMG GT is aluminium intensive, sure, but it also gets its share of carbon fibre sprinkling. The splitter, the ORVM covers, the fender fins as well as some garnishing on the doorsills and the interior trimming is all carbon fibre.
This one's a two seater with really low seating and wide door sills; both of which demand that you better be physically fit if you don't want to look clumsy getting in and out of the Mercedes AMG GT. Otherwise, it's a luxury car cabin. There's quality leather, rich looking black glossy plastic, satin metal finishes, and of course a healthy spread of carbon fibre.
It's got all the luxury billings too. Dual zone climate control, electric seats with memory, a detailed multimedia system, electric adjust for the steering, parking sensors with a camera and some usable storage space too. The AMG GT wasn’t designed solely for driving fast; it is also suppose to behave like a normal car – or at least as close to a normal car as a near Rs 2.5 crore, 4-sec (0-100kmph), V8 monster can be. No surprise then, it gets a boot; a boot wherein you can throw in carry-on luggage, backpacks, and for golf aficionados, a set of golf clubs as well.
Performance is what truly defines the AMG GT. Performance from the engine, performance from its chassis, and performance from its truly outstanding brakes.
First the engine.
The GT gets a 4-litre, V8, direct injection, twin turbo, and all aluminum motor. As you can tell by the previous sentence, this one is one high tech car. And I still haven’t mentioned the 7-speed Directshift DCT rear mounted transaxle which connects to the engine via a carbon fibre driveshaft. Phew, this is intensive. Not to forget, this drivetrain also gets four driving modes – Comfort, Sport, Sport+ and Race. And for those who are choosier still, there’s an Individual mode wherein one can choose various setups from the stock modes and create an all-new one.
On the road, the best way to enjoy the AMG GT is to select the Individual mode. Turn the drivetrain and exhaust to Sport+, the dampers to Comfort, and do leave the ESP ON! Then, it's just a matter of how much gas you give. Floor it in a straight line and the AMG GT shocks you with the amount of grip it possess. It catapults off the line and just goes on building momentum relentlessly, gear after gear, revving effortlessly to 7,000rpm, and sounding great all the while.
Chances are you will run out of road or courage before the GT runs out of acceleration.
Floor it around bends, and again, a little twitch later, the GT is back doing what it does best - chasing the horizon with utmost ferocity. It is here that one appreciates leaving the ESP on because the engine's grunt easily overwhelms the rear tyres. Leave it off and if you have a lead right foot and a hand-eye co-ordination of a baby – like me – you will scare yourself silly every corner.
Now I drove the AMG GT with all systems on full alert for most of the time and not once did I end up cursing the electronic nannies. Mostly, they don’t kick in for the car is setup so beautifully for handling. The turn in from that front end is phenomenal; it almost gives you the feel of driving a car with four-wheel steer or a shockingly small wheelbase. The hydraulic steering, though light at slow speeds, is still pretty communicative. But its highlight is the way its rack is geared. It’s sharp, it’s precise and it still isn’t oversensitive to light inputs. So, it never feels nervous.
Furthermore, numbers are an equally important part of a sportcar’s charm. So, here goes…whet your appetite. The AMG GT goes from 0-100kmph in 4.2s, and takes another 8 seconds to cross 200kmph. And its top speed is an equally sensational 300kmph plus. But, the properly shocking figures are the kickdown numbers; numbers that tell you how easy it is to overtake. A great number for the 20-80kmph kickdown test is around 6 seconds and that for the 40-100kmph run is around 6.5sec. The GT dispatches both runs in under 2.5 seconds! That’s astonishingly fast!
There’s one dampener to the package, though, and one I know won’t matter to many. The ride quality on the AMG GT is terrible. It’s stiff, it’s noisy and it’s back breaking. It reminded me of a full-blown rally car I had been driven in once. The ride does get better but only at speeds one would deem illegal. So when driving in the city, you better be prepared.
|Engine Capacity||4.0-litre V8|
|Max. Power (bhp@rpm)||503 @ 6250|
|Max. torque (Nm@rpm)||650 @ 1750|
|Fuel Capacity (in litres)||75|
|Tyre size||265/35 ZR19(front) and 295/30 ZR20 (rear)|
|ESP with traction control||Yes|
|ABS with EBD||Yes|
|Adjustable ride height||Yes|
|Electrically adjustable sunroof||Yes|
Competition All Specs
|Engine Capacity||5.0-litre V8||3.4-litre||4.0-litre V8|
|Max. Power (bhp@rpm)||542bhp @ 6500||400 @ 7400||503 @ 6250|
|Max. torque (Nm@rpm)||680 @ 2500||440 @ 5600||650 @ 1750|
|Fuel Capacity (in litres)||72||64||75|
|Tyre size||255 / 35 R20||245/ 35 R20 (Front Tyre) 295/30 R20 (rear tyre)||265/35 ZR19(front) and 295/30 ZR20 (rear)|
The Mercedes AMG GT is priced at Rs 2.4 crore, ex-showroom. So, it’s not value for money by any stretch. What it is is a sterling example of beautiful engineering. The shape is classic but underneath, with all that aluminium and magnesium, not to forget cutting edge engine and chassis tech, it is an outstanding sportscar to drive. But, it’s not just about speed and fast lap times, it’s also pretty up-to-date with many a bells and whistles for comfort and safety inside the cabin. So, as a car to own and drive, the GT works perfectly. Just make sure you avoid broken roads, potholes, speedbreakers, bumps, road joints, pebbles, re-layered tarmac, and everything else that isn’t as smooth as glass…
Photo Courtesy By : Ameya Dandekar