The Mercedes-AMG performance sub-brand has expanded its range, premiering the spectacular new GT 4-Door Coupe – that’s its name, not our terminology – at this week’s Geneva motor show.
Based on last year's concept of the same name, the new, more practical offering will sit alongside the Mercedes-AMG GT two-door. The obvious rival is Porsche’s new Panamera, just as the GT two-door’s nemesis is the 911.
“Systematic expansion of the AMG GT family… opens up the sports car segment to those looking for a vehicle for day-to-day use, but unwilling to go without the unparalleled performance of Mercedes-AMG,” the company claims.
In other words, if the Mercedes-AMG GT isn’t practical enough for your tastes, the S-Class and E-Class are too dull or old-man-focused, and the CLS isn’t sufficiently fast or dynamic, this is the car for you.
Available in four- or five seat configurations, the MRA-based GT 4-door’s cabin sports a similar screen array to the CLS, with driver’s digital instruments and the centre screen embedded in a single piece.
Though the GT is really a go-fast limo, you can look up precise data on almost every aspect of the vehicle’s performance on road or track. Back seat passengers also have an optional screen to monitor their driver, too.
Other touches to carry over from the new CLS include the turbine-like air vents that change from blue to red as you adjust the temperature.
The steering wheel controls are like the new S-Class’, but the rim comes in a suede and carbon-fibre finish. There are changeable LED ambient light colours throughout.
Running along the transmission tunnel are a series of eight buttons to adjust the driving mode, exhaust level, ESC, damper tune and idle-stop system. But these aren’t regular buttons — they’re screens that change when you cycle through them. Ditto the circular screens below the steering wheel spokes.
Mercedes' classic rotary dial to control infotainment is gone, replaced by a trackpad with haptic feedback. The buttons on the fascia work likewise.
Surface trims vary from carbon-fibre to aluminium, leather with contrast stitching and suede. We actually sat in one ahead of the reveal and it feels like a clear step-change from the CLS, and marks a performance-focused counterpoint to the S-Class flagship.
Three versions of the four-door will be available, headlined by the Mercedes-AMG GT 63 S, sporting a twin-turbocharged 4.0-litre V8 engine with 470kW of power and a massive 900Nm of torque from 2500rpm, up 200Nm over the Mercedes-AMG GT R two-door.
The drivetrain includes the company’s 4Matic + permanent AWD system with variable torque distribution and a drift mode that relaxes the ESC parameters, plus an AMG Speedshift nine-speed MCT gearbox.
The claimed 0-100km/h time is only 3.2 seconds, the same as a Mclaren F1 and four tenths faster than a Panamera Turbo, and top speed is 315km/h. Fuel economy is a claimed 11.2L/100km. Keep in mind this thing weighs 2120kg!
The S sits above the Mercedes-AMG GT 63, with the same engine scaled back to 430kW and 800Nm, the drift mode removed, the 0-100km/h time two-tenths slower and the top speed 5km/h lower.
Opening the range is the AWD Mercedes-AMG GT 53, which sports the same setup as the new range-topping third-generation CLS. It has a 3.0-litre inline six with one exhaust gas turbocharger and one electric auxiliary compressor, akin to an electric turbo.
The engine’s outputs are 320kW and 520Nm, with the onboard EQ Boost offering an extra 16kW/250Nm for a brief period, and the 48V power supply handling all other ancillaries, negating the need for belt drives.
This version's 0-100km/h time is a more prosaic 4.5sec, though fuel use can be as low as 9.1L/100km.
Daimler AG boss Dieter Zetsche also dropped a bomb at the reveal, telling the world a full plug-in hybrid version will be launched (we understand it'll be in 2020).
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