Following from the success of the SLS AMG released four years ago, the more compact Mercedes-AMG GT (as it's now known, replacing the Mercedes-Benz AMG convention) also shares its platform and proportions (long-nose, short rear overhangs) with its discontinued bigger brother.
The headlights appear like those from the SL convertible only with a grille that could be from an A250 Sport. It’s mounted low enough to emphasise the wide front haunches, however, which sit high towards the outside of the body then dramatically swoop to a lower bonnet line.
The two-seater’s arching roofline could be a version of a 911’s when viewed from certain angles, and it tapers to meet similarly flared wheelarches with width emphasised by incredibly thin LED tail-lights and wide-mounted quad exhausts. A liftback opens to reveal a small hatchback-rivalling 350-litre boot.
The AMG GT also weighs around 125 kilograms less than the SLS AMG, yet can match its 3.8 second 0-100km/h claim.
Two AMG GT versions will be available utilising the same 4.0-litre V8 engine, which has two turbochargers mounted inside the valley and a dry sump.
It is hand-built at AMG headquarters in Affalterbach, Germany, and shares with the 2.0-litre four-cylinder A45/CLA45/GLA45 engines the same bore and stroke and technology including piezo direct injection.
As with the SLS AMG, the front-mid-engined Mercedes-AMG GT features an automatic seven-speed dual-clutch transmission mounted inside a rear transaxle, driving the rear wheels.
The 1540kg GT delivers 340kW of power at 6000rpm and 600Nm of torque at 1600-5000rpm, while the 1570kg GT S boasts 375kW at 6250rpm and 650Nm at 1750-4750rpm.
The GT is a couple of tenths slower to the 100km/h benchmark, and using 9.3 litres per 100 kilometres on the combined cycle slurps 0.1L less. It also has a nominally lower (by 6km/h) top speed at 304km/h.
By comparison a $249k Porsche 911 Carrera S – which Mercedes-Benz Australia says will be an indicated starting price for the two-tier range – claims a 4.2 second 0-100km/h and 8.7L/100km.
Both the Mercedes-AMG GT and GT S have a spaceframe constructed of up to 90 per cent aluminium, contributing to a body weight of 231 kilograms. The double wishbones of the front and rear suspension, in addition to steering knuckles and hub carriers, are all made up of forged aluminium to reduce unsprung mass.
Weight distribution is 53 per cent rear/47 per cent front. The GT comes standard with 19-inch tyres (255mm-wide front/295mm rear), while the GT S scores 19s on the front (265mm) and 20-inch rims on the rear (with 295mm tyres).
All-round 360mm ventilated brake discs on the GT rise to 390mm fronts on the GT S, which also has the option of carbon ceramic disc brakes with the front again enlarged to a massive 402mm.
A limited-slip differential is standard, but the GT S exclusively scores an electronically controlled version of the same mechanical system, with a complete lock-up function.
Both models get an AMG Drive Unit function to tailor response from the throttle, transmission and variable-ratio steering between Controlled Efficiency, Sport, Sport Plus, and – new to AMG – Individual modes, while there’s also three-mode stability control (on, Sport and off).
Only the GT S gets a Race mode for the transmission, AMG Ride Control adaptive suspension which changes damping between modes, and a fully variable sports exhaust with a duo of quieter and louder settings.
Only the GT S is optionally available with an AMG Dynamic Plus package incorporating tauter suspension, more negative camber at the front axle, a sportier steering set-up and dynamic engine and transmission mounts – which based on feedback from the chassis electronics can independently soften each mount for comfortable cruising or harden each to improve handling agility.
Buyers of the AMG Dynamic Plus package can then go a step further by optioning racing-optimised Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tyres.
The AMG Dynamic Plus package also adds unique steering wheel trim and yellow highlights in the instrument cluster inside.
That’s in addition to the GT S interior changes over the GT, including a 360km/h speedometer (up from 320km/h), Nappa leather/microfibre steering wheel, AMG emblem embossed centre armrest and Artico leather/microfibre seats.
A Comand media system borrowed from the C-Class is standard, the buttons of which are centrally mounted on the broad console that rises sharply towards the dashboard.
Overseas a 7.0-inch screen is standard, but expect the optional 8.4-inch screen to be standard in Australia, along with Comand Online and technology such as adaptive high-beam, semi-automatic parking, reverse-view camera, and lane keeping and blind-spot assistance.
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