Wow, what’s this?
You might remember AMG as a tuning company whose high-performance versions of Mercedes-Benz models have amused for decades with their combination of pumped-up family car looks and supercar performance.
If you’re a little older, you’ll remember them as a racing team too.
Now though, the brand has been taken fully in-house to become Mercedes-AMG and this is their first product, the Mercedes-AMG GT.
What powers it?
A V8, of course. Although AMG has used four-cylinder engines (in the A45 and CLA45), V6s and V12s over the years too, it’s always been none-too-shy of cramming V8s into Mercedes products, from a ‘dinky’ 5.4-litre up to a 6.2 that can be found in the C63 and SLS, although neither for much longer.
The GT’s unit is a pint pot by comparison. It may only be a 4.0 V8, but there’s a pair of turbochargers crammed in the middle, so it produces up to 503hp in the GT S. This might seem like a bit of a shortfall next to the SLS’s 563hp, but the GT weighs much less so power-to-weight ratio is actually very little different. Performance figures? 3.8s to 60mph at a top speed limited to 193mph from the GT S.
The lower power and lighter weight also means fuel economy is up, though this might not be the number one concern of Mercedes-AMG buyers. Still, 30.1mpg is a not inconsiderable improvement, and 219g/km means it amazingly doesn’t bother the top tax brackets – £280/year.
How much will it cost me?
UK prices haven’t been announced yet, but if you’re car shopping on the continent, the lower power (456hp) GT will set you back €115,000, with the full-fat GT S coming in at €134,000. There’s already a tuning package announced, including a fixed rear wing, dubbed “Edition 1″, at €14,000 atop the GT S model’s price.
At current exchange rates, this translates to £90,000, £105,000 and £116,000 respectively – a huge undercut of the SLS’s steep £165k sticker price.
Well, there’s two big rivals that’ll get mentioned in any comparison with the AMG GT – Porsche’s 911 and the Jaguar F-Type in top V8 R spec. Once these are out of the way, there’s still the Aston Martin V8 Vantage to consider, along with the Maserati Gran Turismo – some of the bigger budget magazines and TV shows will have fun with group tests, that’s for sure.
Speaking of Gran Turismo, the Nissan GT-R is an on-paper rival too. Even if it doesn’t quite meet the ethos of the V8, RWD sports GT, it’ll do the job of covering long distances really alarmingly quickly and in £120k NISMO spec it’ll give much of the same sense of theatre, if a little down on cabin opulence.
In a line…
A more precision tool than the SLS’s blunt instrument – one to watch for 2015.