At a glance, the 2019 Mercedes-AMG GT63 S 4-Door Coupe looks like a longer version of the German marque’s flagship sports car.
However, hidden underneath the sleek bodywork is the regular – if that’s the word – E63 sports sedan, itself already a force to be reckoned with.
Presumably because it can, Mercedes has added a large helping of extra power, given the body a slightly bigger footprint, and created a posher interior.
That’ll be $100,000 thank you, just sign here. That amount is not for the car. That’s the price premium over the Mercedes-AMG E63 S sedan on which it’s based.
You’ll need to max out the black Amex at $350,000 plus on-road costs for one of these. Options and stamp duty push the price beyond $400,000 by the time you’re in the traffic. And for that you get to arrive in style, or make a hasty exit.
Its twin under the skin, the Mercedes-AMG E63 S sedan, completes the industry benchmark 0–100km/h dash in 3.4 seconds, faster than most Porsches. If that’s not quite quick enough for you, the GT 4-Door can trim 0.2 of a second off that.So, this is also clearly a car for the time poor.
The GT 4-Door also has the title of the world’s fastest mass-produced sedan around Germany’s Nürburgring 21km road circuit. If you don’t know what the Nürburgring is, it’s similar to about four Bathurst tracks linked end-to-end.
The Nürburgring is the high temple of horsepower, and carmakers from around the world have engineering centres based there because, unlike most racetracks, the surface is bumpy and undulating, just like real roads. It’s also comparatively narrow and perilous – and likely would not be approved if conceived today.
But the GT 4-Door has conquered it, which is why it is not an exaggeration to refer to this machine as Benz’s supercar sedan.
Equipped with precision timing equipment, we tested the 0–100km/h claim. After plucking my head from the sports seat’s leather headrest, I was able to confirm that it indeed does what it says on the packet: 0–100km/h in 3.2 seconds.
Press a button to put it in the correct mode, put your left foot firmly on the brake, then floor the throttle with your right foot and, when you’re ready, release the brake pedal – then hang on and allow the all-wheel-drive grip to catapult you.It’s what I imagine it would be like to fall down a lift shaft, but horizontally.
The sound from the twin-turbo 4.0-litre V8 is a blend of muscle car meets supercar. Mercedes clearly knows its target audience: cashed-up baby boomers and what the car industry calls, er, new money. People who deal a lot. In cash. And aren’t afraid to flaunt it.
Car enthusiasts tend to get fanatical about power output, but it’s an engine’s torque (its ability to overcome resistance) that really counts. The GT 4-Door has among the most power (470kW) and torque (900Nm) of any car in the performance world.
What’s fascinating about this slingshot acceleration is that it is even possible despite the fact that the GT 4-Door is heavier than the E63 S sedan sibling. It’s an engineering feat to move more than 2000kg at such a rapid velocity in such a short amount of time. This thing is almost as heavy as a Toyota HiLux ute.
But it feels as nimble as a sports car. The wonders of suspension set-ups and tyre technology clearly play a big role here. The sleeker body also provides a lower centre of gravity, which also helps it feel secure in corners.
The other surprising thing about the GT 4-Door is that it’s not bone-jarring over bumps. Customarily, grip and handling come at the cost of comfort, but not so with the GT 4-Door, even in 'sports' mode.
The interior is available in four-seater or five-seater configuration. It's no Holden Caprice in the back, but there's still plenty of space.
The highlights are the front sports seats, the high-resolution digital widescreen dash, mood lighting in any number of colours, and the smell and feel of the high-end materials. It feels like what I imagine a private jet might be like, but without the sick bags.
Downsides? Visibility over the shoulder, such as when parking or changing lanes, isn’t ideal due to the thick roof pillars at the rear. Although, 360-degree cameras and blind-zone warning lamps remove some of the guesswork.
The nine-speed auto can be a bit grumpy in low-speed stop-start traffic, until it cleverly figures out you’re no longer trying to set a lap record on the Nürburgring.
The engine requires 98 premium unleaded and is thirsty once you explore its potential (you can double the fuel rating average of 11.3L/100km without much effort), but that’s the cost of doing business in any performance car these days. The tyres are a bit noisy – the trade-off for having epic grip.
The GT 4-Door's boot capacity (461 litres) is smaller than the E63 sedan's (540 litres), although it's more than most performance cars – and even some hatchbacks.
And the options list is extensive and expensive. Although, for these buyers, paying $18,000 for a set of carbon-ceramic brakes is probably like you and I selecting window tint on a $15,000 hatchback.
The above quibbles will likely matter not a jot to the dozens of buyers lining up to buy one of these.
Australia has the highest uptake of AMG models than any other Mercedes market in the world. Twenty per cent of people who walk into a Benz showroom drive out in a fast one. Nowhere else has quite the same appetite.
As long as Mercedes keeps turning out cars like this, the queue isn’t likely to get any shorter.