So, Mercedes-Benz GT or Porsche 911?
This will be one of the great showdowns of 2015, when the circa-$250K coupes go head-to-head in comparison tests the world over on the road and on the track. But while the 650Nm 4.0-litre twin-turbo, 3.8-sec 0-100km/h, rear-driven coupe may have all the numbers on its side, is it really a looker?
That’s the question that has danced around the CarAdvice office since its reveal today, so let’s find a verdict – and feel free to agree, disagree and argue away.
Dan DeGasperi, who is on the international reveal launch and has seen the car in person: Hit
The Mercedes-AMG GT is likely to divide people into two camps – those with a love of proportion and detail, and those for whom distinctively daring and sporty facades rules. I think the GT nails the former, but is let down by the latter.
A mini-SLS with extra curves and normal, but still sexy, frameless doors is always going to be a win for me. The long bonnet and bum-on-axle stance, the high beltline and shallow glasshouse with a neat Cayman-like rear liftback all works.
The problem is the headlights are derivative of the Benz SL and the front grille reminds me of an A250 Sport. Well, those would be problems if it weren’t for the sinewy detail like the really high front guard ‘hips’ that plunge down towards a low bonnet line. The headlights sit well above the really low set grille, giving it a wide and tough stance supported by long and slim tail-lights at the rear.
It looks even better in the metal. While the front is generic, the detail gets it across the line for me. GT or 911? Bring on 2015!
Jez Spinks: Hit
Looks like a natural successor to the SLS with its cartoon-like long-bonnet-cab-rearward stance.
For me, the new AMG GT isn’t as instantly beautiful to the eye as a Porsche 911, Ferrari 458 or Audi R8, but I’m glad it doesn’t look any of them. It’s classic Mercedes, respecting the lineage of the 300SL with obvious visual references while looking suitably modern.
And it will still turn heads even without gullwing doors, while the interior looks as though it could feel more special than the SLS’s.
Alborz Fallah: Hit
Wow! That’s almost all I really need to write. But seriously, how good is this?
I couldn’t disagree more with Matt (below) who reckons it has some 911 elements, such as the rear lights, but this looks like what Satan would drive if he was to start the reckoning.
Massive hit for me, absolutely love its dimensions and style.
Matt Campbell: Miss
“Wow, this thing looks good. Oh, wait, no it doesn’t. It looks like a Porsche with Mercedes-Benz bits tacked on the ends.”
That was my thought process as I perused these initial images of the new AMG-GT. My issue with its design stems, essentially, from the roofline of this new sports car, which – if you place your hand along the line that runs from the front to rear wheel arches – looks too much like a Porsche Cayman. Bigger, obviously – but still a bit copycattish.
I don’t get Benz’s current fascination with slim tail-lights, which in this case make the car look cheap. Oh, they manage to do that on the S-Class Coupe, too. And those headlights, air intakes and smooth bumper surfacing just don’t mesh to my eye, particularly combined with that enormous bonnet and front overhang. Even the wheels are a bit Porsche-y.
Look, I get this car. I know what the designers wanted to achieve, and there’s no doubt in my mind that some people will consider it the most attractive car they’ve seen in years. But it’s a miss for me, because I think it lacks the inherent ballsiness of the car it replaces, the daftly impractical, ragingly rambunctious and ludicrously large SLS AMG.
Mike Costello: Hit
Hmm. Now that’s a long bonnet. Yeah yeah, I realise that’s a somewhat trite first observation, but it’s the first thing I noticed. Proportionally, this thing is a reborn Benz 300 SLR all over, isn’t it? There are worse things to modernise. In fact, potentially none better.
There are certainly some Porsche elements, although much of this is surely to do with the pursuit of aero-dynamism more than plagiarism. And those side vents could come from no brand other than the Three-Pointed Star from Stuttgart.
The front three-quarter view is its best angle, with a hint of retro and a whole lot of macho. I really like that rear end as well, the slim lights are clean and cohesive. In fact, that whole car has the look of being carved out of a single piece of steel. Neat trick, that.
Tim Beissmann: Hit
They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, and based on that I think Porsche should be pretty proud of itself following the unveiling of the Mercedes-AMG GT.
While the three-point star-adorned nose and five kilometres of bonnet are unmistably Benz, the curvaceous back half with its seamless, flowing tailgate and piercing, horizontal tail-lights unashamedly scream 911.
The cabin is one of Affalterbach’s finest, to my eye – the raked centre console looks dynamic, clean and classy, and the quad air vents bold, while the Essendon tragic in me is loving the red and black leather.
Anthony Crawford: Hit
That’s a huge hit for me.
Finally, Benz has produced a bona fide Porsche 911 rival that looks as good as we hope it goes.
It’s looks superb from every angle and seems better proportioned than the outgoing (and more expensive) SLS supercar, which means it should be a highly sought after sports car based on looks and price alone.
Armed with a front-mid mounted bi-turbo 4.0-litre V8, the AMG GT should also sound a whole lot better than the Porsche’s rear-engine flat six unit.
Overall verdict: 5 to 1 in favour of a Hit.
Now for your views…
In the meantime, tell us if you consider it to be a Hit or a Miss below. Go on.