Mercedes-AMG continues to grow and is expanding the top end of its product range with the introduction of the new AMG GT R. The new Mercedes-AMG GT R, the hardest cored, most track-focused version of the GT sports car yet.
“With the new AMG GT R, we have reached the next level of driving performance. This road-going sports car with motor-racing genes and innovative technical solutions offers an ultimate driving experience that allows people to feel our motorsport origins in every fiber. It combines the driving dynamics of our AMG GT3 racing car with the everyday practicality of the AMG GT. Those with petrol in their veins will be thrilled by the radical longitudinal and lateral acceleration, the precise turn-in, and the sensational grip. We have modified all performance-relevant components and linked them together intelligently for maximum driving dynamics,” says Tobias Moers, CEO of Mercedes‑AMG GmbH.
The R uses the same basic 4.0-liter twin-turbocharged V8 as other GTs; here it makes 577 horsepower and 516 lb-ft of torque here, up from 503 hp and 479 lb-ft in the GT S and 456 hp and 443 lb-ft in the GT. The extra power comes from a combination of new turbos, modified software, reshaped exhaust ports, and a different compression ratio. Max boost is now 19.6 psi versus 17.4. Engine response is improved through a dual-mass flywheel that’s 1.5 pounds lighter than the one in the GT S’s engine. The AMG Speedshift DCT seven-speed transmission was modified for the R with a taller first gear and shorter ratios for seventh and the final-drive. Transmission cooling also got an upgrade. The dynamic engine and transmission mounts from the other AMG GTs carry over. To get the power from the engine to the transaxle, the GT R uses a 30-pound carbon-fiber torque tube that is about 40 percent lighter than the aluminum piece used on the regular GT. The R takes a claimed 3.5 seconds to hit 60 mph, two tenths quicker than AMG claims for the GT S
The suspension also got a full rework for the GT R, including forged aluminum wishbones, knuckles, and hub carriers front and rear. It has a manually adjustable coil-over suspension with AMG Ride Control adjustable adaptive dampers. There is also a rear-steering system, a new thing for AMG, that can adjust rear toe angle by up to 1.5 degrees to steer with or opposite the front wheels; at speeds up to 62 mph, the rear wheels move in the opposite direction of the fronts, which effectively shortens the wheelbase and reduces the turning radius at low speeds. Above 62 mph, the system moves the rear wheels in the same direction as the fronts, improving stability.
There are some obvious visual differences on the R, such as the big fixed wing, the show-car grille and some that are more subtle. For instance, the front and rear fenders have been widened to allow for a wider track. The front fenders are made of carbon fiber, which you can’t see, as is the roof, which you can because it’s finished in clear coat. In the rear, which is 2.2 inches wider, there’s a big center exhaust wrapped in a huge double diffuser and a vent below the hatch opening to expel heat from the exhaust
Then there’s all of the stuff under the skin you don’t see. An active aero piece at the front drops down to create a Venturi effect, pulling the car toward to the road; the 4.4-pound carbon piece lowers at speeds above 50 mph when the car is in Race mode. There are also active grille louvers that only open when cooling air is needed in the engine bay, keeping the aerodynamics cleaner the rest of the time. An undertray works to move air to the rear diffuser. All of the aero upgrades provide 342 pounds of extra downforce at top speed compared to a regular GT, and the coefficient of drag is also lower than the base car’s. The grille design is borrowed from the AMG GT3 racecar and inspired by the 300SL Panamericana; it’s surrounded by a new front fascia with lots of openings to let the car breathe.
Special lightweight wheels wear Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires measuring 19 inches up front and 20 in the rear, and they’re about a foot wide in back. Big brakes are standard with 390mm discs at the front, 360mm rear, and an upgrade to ceramic discs will be available. The AMG GT R comes exclusively in AMG Green Hell Magno, and its name is a nod to the Nurburgring Nordschleife, where the car was developed.
The Mercedes-AMG GT R made its public debut at the Goodwood Festival of Speed. Sales begin in November, with the car launching in March 2017. Expect a firmer idea of pricing then, but a comfortable premium over the AMG GT S is assured.