Full disclosure: my drive in the Mercedes-AMG GT S consisted of four laps around the high speed bowl at Millbrook – effectively a straight line – at 100mph, at which speed the thing is just drumming its fingers wondering why you’re going so slowly.
And yet that experience was more than enough for the AMG GT to make a big impression. Much like the old SLS AMG, the engine is the centrepiece. The 503bhp, 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 motor fires the car forward with such force that you start to wonder where it’ll end – Mercedes quotes a top speed of 193mph, but I’m sure it’ll pull past 200.
I can’t tell you much about the handling, save that with a few degrees of lock on to aim it around the bowl, it held the line resolutely. You sit almost on top of the back axle and feel every single little detail of what’s going on. But it doesn’t feel nervous or edgy, unlike the old SLS. Even on the bowls’ bumpy concrete surface, stability was absolute.
Problems? Well, I’m not convinced about the interior. It’s beautifully made and the dashboard is well laid out. But the centre console, styled after a NACA duct, is too busy and the gearstick is too far back. There isn’t really anywhere to put anything in the cabin, either, and the boot is quite small. It probably guzzles fuel if you drive it like it wants to be driven, as well.
But it’s amazing to drive, comfortable enough for a very long journey, very pretty and snarls like a particularly cheesed off lion.
The AMG GT S is £20,000 more expensive than the Jaguar F-Type R Coupe – which is more powerful, louder and just as pretty – but the Mercedes is faster, a lot easier to drive quickly and feels so much more special. My money would go on the Merc.
Mercedes-AMG GT S
Engine: 4.0-litre V8 twin-turbo petrol
Transmission: 7-speed dual clutch; rear-wheel-drive
Power/Torque: 503bhp; 479lb/ft
Economy/Emissions: 30.1mpg; 219g/km
0-62mph: 3.8 seconds
Top speed: 193mph
By Only Motors