Mercedes-AMG GT S – A Star is born!
The Mercedes-AMG GT and GT-S have broken cover in South Africa. This is the car that has had the motoring world anxious, excited and completely impatient for some time now. Has it been worth the wait? The short answer is: Absolutely!
Just look at it. Whilst beauty can be subjective, arguing this car’s aesthetics would be short-lived. It has oodles of charm to burn and a charisma that radiates off it like a heatwave.
The Mercedes-AMG is presented in no less than eleven metallic and non-metallic colours, including the highly marketed and popular AMG Solar Beam ‘yellow’ splashed across these pages.
The car is only the second fully constructed vehicle to come from the AMG factory in Affalterbach, Germany after the brute gullwing SLS AMG. It’s important to note that this is NOT a follow up to the SLS… a newer version perhaps? – NO. This is a completely new Sports Coupe and though it shares some of its front suspension components with the SLS, that is where the similarities end.
It is propelled by a brilliant 4.0 litre twin-turbo V8 that is capable of producing magical performance. The engine is seated atop dynamic engine mounts that adjust the characteristics of the engine dampening depending on the driving need, and reduce NVH levels when you truly just want to eat up the kilometres of the open road in Mercedes Benz comfort. It’s truly optimized for daily enjoyment AND sporty dynamics. With the launch-control activated, the full-bore drag races we did, confirmed the incredible 3,7 second 0 – 100km/h figures.
In stark contrast to the mesmerizing acceleration, the brakes provide stopping power in equally good measure. Mercedes-AMG claim a stopping power of 52 metres from 100km/h to standstill. As an option on the AMG GT & (S), carbon ceramics brakes can be employed to give you endless hours of driving enjoyment lap after lap of your racing circuit of choice. As with everything in this car, the brakes are incredibly responsive. Whilst you can slightly feel the body weight transfer when you plant your foot on the brakes, the car slows incredibly quickly and with a remarkable ease and predictability. I found I always knew where the weight was, and exactly how settled/unsettled the car was when doing some enthusiastic driving.
The hardworking Mercedes-AMG marketing department dubbed the slogan ‘Handcrafted By racers’ for the AMG GT. Many a sports car employs this strategy when building a performance machine, but none have shouted it from the rooftops as Merc-AMG has. Thankfully, I had the opportunity to test the AMG GT S where it’s done a lot of development – the racetrack. It’s here that the Mercedes-AMG really moved me. From the signature AMG symphony to the unwavering acceleration, the GT S is absolutely brilliant. It slices through corners with a razor sharp precision and responds to steering, braking and throttle inputs with immediate and rewarding effect. Scrolling through the drive modes unsheathes more and more capability and dynamic enjoyment in equal measure. It’s a car that will excite all manner of drivers, from the totally novice right up to race pedigreed customers.
Interior appointments are markedly AMG with a mix of leather, carbon fibre, aluminium materials, infused with a sporty mix of graphics and lighting elements to complement what is a sporty but classy cabin. My only niggle with the ergonomics of the AMG-GT was the slightly aft positioning of the gear selector, which was awkward to use especially when negotiating a creative parking maneuver.
The Mercedes-AMG GT will indeed garner many passionate and happy owners. Some of which will come from the already burgeoning AMG customer base but some, I believe from some strong competitor brands who have been in this Sport Coupe game for a little longer.
When asked about the initial decision to start the AMG GT Project, Mercedes-AMG CEO Tobias Moers said “…When we finally got the go-ahead, it was a bit like finding out you’re going to be a father – it was simply phenomenal.”
And now that the car is born, from my initial impressions, a three-pointed star has truly been born.
Specifications: AMG GT AMG GT S
Power: 340kW 375kW
Torque: 600Nm 650Nm
CO2 Tax: R10 157 R10 157
Price: R1 642 000 R1 981 000