The press release for the Mercedes-AMG GT R is over 6000 words long. Which tells you this is a car with a big spec that very possibly adds up to the closest challenger the Porsche 911 GT3 RS has yet faced.
Under the bonnet, the changes are simple but effective, new turbos and mapping turning the 4.0-litre V8’s wick up to 577bhp and 516lb/ft of torque. Driving the rear wheels via a seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox as per usual, that’s enough for a 0-62mph time of 3.6secs and a top speed of 198mph.
The bodywork is pumped up with big wheelarches, gaping air intakes, big rear spoiler and a double diffuser. There are active aero elements too, all producing real downforce. The new front grille is the only biy that doesn’t really serve any purpose, but it is modelled on the original 300SL racing car, which is a nice touch.
Serious chassis upgrades compliment the increased aero, starting with a wider track that fills out the ‘arches and plants the GT R more firmly on the road. The suspension itself is made from lightweight forged aluminium and is manually adjustable. Or you can toggle through the settings for the electronic dampers if you don’t want to risk making the thing undriveable.
But that’s only the start. There are three settings for the stability control and the traction control is switchable through nine levels of intervention. And yes, both can be turned off completely if you’re talented/mad enough.
Plus there’s four-wheel-steering which points the rear wheels in the opposite direction to the front at speeds below 62mph to increase maneuverability, or in the same direction at higher speed for better stability.
It almost goes without saying the GT R was developed at the Nurburgring, but with so much adjustability built into it, it should deliver a pretty senior driving experience literally anywhere. And if all else fails, there’s 390mm front and 360mm rear composite brakes to fall back on. Or 402mm ceramic items if you stump up a no-doubt considerable amount extra.
With all the extra stuff on board the GT R, AMG’s engineers have had to work hard to extract weight from the car and get it down to 1630kg, 15kg less than a standard GT S. The standard-fit carbonfibre roof panel in the most obvious contributor to that, plus there’s really nerdy stuff like composite wheel-catch struts and a carbon tunnel cross, neither of which I’d heard of before. That tunnel cross also adds a claimed 7.5% extra torsional rigidity, which is a lot.
The finishing touch is a titanium exhaust with three tailpipes from the centre and sides of the rear bumper – the latter have carbonfibre tips to protect the diffuser from their high temperature. The volume is ‘infintely adjustable’ via the active flaps, too. Personally, I’d have it permanently set to ‘anti-social’.
The Mercedes-AMG GT R is expected to launch early next year. Pricing will be announced nearer the time; expect it to cost considerably more than the £110,000 of a GT S.
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By Only Motors