When the Mercedes Benz AMG GT first debut we proclaimed it’s real competitor was not the Porsche 911. And I still believe that. But now Mercedes Benz is back with their latest flavor of the AMG GT — the AMG GT-R, and boy do they mean business. It’s an exhibition of everything learned from the road going models and their racing program. Let’s take a closer look.
The Power Plant
We’ll start under the hood because everybody wants to know what’s different and how much power the AMG GT-R brings to the table. Well folks, the AMG GT-R’s hand-built 4.0 liter V8 produces an extra 74 horsepower and 37 lb-ft over the GT-S model, bringing the total tally to 577 horsepower thanks to two turbos producing just shy of 20 psi pushed through liquid-to-air intercoolers.
Power still goes through a 7-speed dual clutch transmission however gearing has been tweaked. First gear now has a longer ratio while the seventh gear is shorter to enable better acceleration.
The AMG GT-R is a track oriented machine and to prove it, the GT-R is the first in their line-up to include a dry-sump oil system that ensures proper lubrication during extreme cornering. And corner this will.
Aero and Other Bits
Don’t think AMG just pumped a little adrenaline into an already monstrous V8 and called it a day. They took what they’ve learned from the last years of motorsport and applied it to the GT-R.
Fender are now made of carbon fiber and widened 1.8 inches and the front fascia modified to allow greater airflow for better cooling. A wider front splitter has been fitted and the large wing on the rear provides much needed downforce.
Tucked behind the massive 19 inch front and 20 inch rear wheels are 15.4-inch front and 14.2-inch rear perforated steel rotors. And if that just isn’t going to cut it, opt for the carbon ceramic 15.8-inch front and 14.2-inch rear rotors. Rubber selection is an unsurprising Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 measuring 275/35/19 at the front and 325/30/20 rear.
Looking underneath, you’ll still find forged aluminum control arms with adjustable coil-overs that still use AMG Ride Control active damping. Another first for the AMG GT line-up is the addition of active steering. This offers up to 1.5 degrees of adjustment to the rear wheels to increase rotation at low speeds and stability at high speeds for maximum maneuverability. It’s also getting an upgraded carbon-fiber torque tube which is 40% lighter, tipping the scales at just 30.6 lbs.
And it doesn’t stop there. Active carbon components under the vehicle lower 1.6 inches in RACE mode at speeds above 50 MPH for additional airflow. The sound track goes full BEAST MODE thanks to a revised exhaust system that cuts 13 lbs off the GT-S version.
Add it all up and the 2018 AMG GT-R sheds 200 lbs off the GT-S, tipping the scales at 3,428 pounds. It’s not a lightweight vehicle but overall this is a massive improvement that results in better performance everywhere.
Open the door and step, or slide into the cabin, and find the GT-R sports AMG performance seats wrapped in Nappa leather and DINAMICA microfiber as standard equipment. Tick a few boxes on the order sheet and you can get yellow highlights throughout via seatbelts, instrument cluster dials and contrast stitching along the dash.
Look. The 2018 Mercedes Benz AMG GT-R is no joke. Add up all of the improvements and weight reduction and increased power and we get a claimed 60 MPH sprint in just 3.5 seconds. Keep that right foot down and the 2018 AMG GT-R should top out just of 200 MPH. Being a turbo car, and we all know how easy it is to extract more power from those, cracking the double century mark will be a breeze.
Expect to see the AMG GT-R on the streets come summer of 2017. While pricing hasn’t yet been announced but we estimate a starting price of $175,000 given that the AMG GT-S starts at $130,825.
This is one Benz I won’t claim as a Type-F competitor (but boy would I love to see a Jaguar response). Oh, no. Mercedes Benz has gone straight for Stuttgart’s throat this time looking to take aim at would-be 911 Turbo owners. Look out, world!
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