Mercedes AMG GT R review
To create the Mercedes-AMG GT R, the company takes the standard model and updates it to make it even more capable around a racetrack – but it isn’t a cheap process.
What's not so good
Find out more about the Mercedes AMG GT R
The Mercedes-AMG GT R is a lighter, more track-focused version of Mercedes’ latest sports car. Alternatives you might consider include the Porsche 911 GT3 RS and Aston Martin Vantage GT8.
This limited-edition model stands out from the other versions of the AMG GT thanks to various aerodynamic upgrades (the extra wings and wider bodywork you can see in the photos are just the start) and its rather more in-your-face colour scheme. In case you were in any doubt as to what this GT R is all about, the paint rejoices in the name of ‘Green Hell Magno’ – a none too subtle reference to the Nurburgring circuit in Germany, where the GT R was developed.
The lack of subtlety continues inside, with lightweight, race-inspired bucket seats and, to match the flamboyant determination of the exterior, the option to specify yellow gauges, seat belts and trim pieces.
Otherwise, the cabin is identical to the regular car’s, which means it feels suitably special. The fit and finish are excellent, there’s an appropriately high standard of materials used throughout, and the seating position is as low-slung as you would expect of a sports car. Just as it is in the standard car, the boot is a little small, but this is more racecar for the road than grand tourer, so that’s probably not such a big problem.
Never mind how fast this car can go and what it looks like – which is tough, given that super-green paintwork – what will sell it to you is how it sounds: awesome
Naturally, the big difference between this and the standard car is how fast it can go – and that starts with the engine. The 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 unit has been tuned to produce 585hp – 75hp more than even the potent AMG GT S. As a result, this GT R accelerates from 0-62mph in just 3.6 seconds and tops out at just shy of 200mph. Oh, and it sounds fantastic, too.
Straight-line speed is only half the story, because the extra grip provided by its active aerodynamics, adjustable suspension, huge boot-mounted spoiler and rear-wheel steering system means the GT R also corners faster than the standard car.
As you would probably only expect, a car this fast and this focused has a fairly firm suspension set-up, but it’s not unbearable. In fact, it’s quite surprising how well it deals with rough roads, despite the fact that its most natural home is on a race track – where it is very, very quick, if not quite as involving as the Porsche 911 GT3.
Overall, though, that’s the only real issue with the GT R. It’s even quicker and more dramatic than the standard car – which is quite an achievement.