2021 Mercedes-AMG GT Black Series revealed: price, specs and release date
Mercedes has revealed the ultimate incarnation of its AMG GT sportscar. Called the Black Series, this new track-focused special is faster, more exclusive and comes with new tech lifted from Mercedes’ GT3 racing car.
- Most powerful AMG ever
- New flat-plane crank V8
- 730hp and 800Nm
- 0-60 in 3.2 seconds
- 202mph top speed
- Active aerodynamics
- Optional Track Package
New Mercedes-AMG GT Black Series Styling
The new AMG GT Black Series borrows loads of aero bits from Mercedes’ GT3 racing car, so it looks much more aggressive than the regular GT. The front grille is absolutely massive and there are numerous new air intakes to funnel air to the engine, brakes and radiator.
The bonnet and front wings have more holes in them than a piece of Swiss cheese and the Black Series gets a pair of huge vents behind the front wheels to suck hot air away from the engine and brakes.
Things get even madder ‘round the back. Just check out that wing – it looks like AMG couldn’t decide what type of spoiler to use so they just fitted every sort they had available. The bumper is wider than the standard car’s. But the Black Series’ four exhaust pipes look a bit conventional compared with the weird triple-exhaust setup you get on an AMG GT R Pro.
New Mercedes-AMG GT Black Series engine
The new Black Series uses a similar 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 to the regular GT, but it’s been given loads of upgrades. So many in fact, that AMG’s given it a new name – it’s now called the M178 LS2 in case you were wondering.
The biggest change is its new flat-plane crank instead of a cross-plane crank like the regular AMG GT. Basically, this means the parts of the crankshaft that the pistons are attached to are separated by 180-degrees instead of 90-degrees. It means the engine doesn’t produce as much low-down torque, but it does love to rev and makes more top-end power.
The Black Series has bigger compressor wheels in its turbos than the standard GT, along with a set of larger intercoolers, new exhaust manifolds and new camshafts. All this helps it produce 730hp and 800Nm of torque. Now it’s the most powerful V8 engine AMG has ever put in a road car.
New Mercedes-AMG GT Black Series aerodynamics
The new AMG GT Black Series doesn’t just get a load of bonkers wings and splitters to look cool. These actually use tech borrowed from the AMG GT3 racing cars to produce actual, meaningful downforce.
If you’re handy with a spanner you can manually adjust the angle of the front splitter from Street setting (that’ll actually get over speed bumps) to a more aggressive Race angle. This splitter even lowers itself slightly at high speed to produce even more downforce to help you stick to the road in fast corners.
The rear wing is also adjustable, but this can be done manually or electronically. You can tweak the angle of the whole wing if you want, but there’s also a centre section that can lift itself automatically by up to 20 degrees while you’re driving.
In the most hard-core ‘Master’ driving mode this flap stays up until you hit 155mph. Go any faster and it hunkers down to reduce drag. Hit the brakes or suddenly turn the wheel and it’ll pop back up to give you more downforce. All these aero bits work together to produce 400kg of downforce at 155mph. That’s like carrying a large calf on your roof.
New Mercedes-AMG GT Black Series performance and specs
The new AMG GT Black Series will do 0-60 in less than 3.2 seconds. That’s exactly the same as the AMG GT 63 S four-door – and that has four-wheel drive.
Even more amazing is the fact that the Black Series will do 0-120mph in less than 9 seconds. That’s almost as fast as you can say “Hmmmm, I really hope that there aren’t any speed cameras on this nice empty bit of road…” If you can find a race track with a long enough straight, or you’re feeling particularly brave on the Autobahn, it’ll max out at a whopping 202mph.
|Engine||Twin-turbo 4.0L V8|
|0-60mph||Sub 3.2 seconds|
|Fuel Economy||22mpg (combined)|
New Mercedes-AMG GT Black Series suspension
The AMG GT Black Series gets similar racing-car suspension to the AMG GT R Pro, so you can manually adjust lots of the suspension geometry to suit whichever race track you happen to be at.
It also gets Mercedes’ adaptive dampers as standard that let you choose from Comfort, Sport and Sport Plus settings. Sport Plus is really only designed to be used on racetracks, but it has a clever feature that can measure the smoothness of the track surface and tweak its settings to maximise grip.
New Mercedes-AMG GT Black Series traction control
The AMG GT Black Series gets a special nine-stage system lifted straight from the AMG GT3 race car. This works completely separately to the car’s ESP system so you can precisely control how much wheel slip you want without the brakes getting involved like they do in the regular GT.
The best bit is that it comes with a special orange dial right in the middle of the dashboard so you don’t have to go fiddling through some on-screen menus when you fancy some spur-of-the-moment wheelspin.
New Mercedes-AMG GT Black Series gearbox
The GT Black Series gets a rear-mounted 7-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox like the standard GT, but AMG’s beefed it up to handle the massive 800Nm of torque coming from its upgraded engine. They’ve also made it more responsive and changed the gear ratios slightly to work alongside the new flat-plane V8 engine’s different powerband.
The standard GT’s dual-clutch gearbox made it a bit tricky to get off the line, but AMG’s given the new GT Black Series a revamped launch control system. This can use more revs to hurl it at the horizon than the standard GT because the Black Series gets some special Pilot Sport Cup 2 R MO tyres as standard. These were specially developed for the Black Series by Michelin and should be super sticky.
AMG’s also added some extra cooling to make sure the gearbox doesn’t go bang after a few hard launches.
New Mercedes-AMG GT Black Series interior
The AMG GT Black Series gets a similar interior to other hard-core versions of the GT, such as the GT R Pro. For a start, there’s a set of really supportive bucket seats as standard, a flat-bottomed steering wheel and the same centre console with buttons laid out to look like cylinders in a V8 engine.
You also get a 12-inch driver’s display and a 10-inch central infotainment screen as standard. And, just like in the GT R Pro, you get special display modes specifically for use on racetracks – G meters and shift lights to tell you when to change gear, that sort of thing.
The AMG GT Black Series also comes with exclusive orange stitching that you don’t get on any other AMG GT. And you also get lighter fabric pull loops instead of solid grab-handles. Although, how much weight has that really saved? You could undo all AMG’s good work just by having a burger for lunch…
New Mercedes-AMG GT Black Series track package
You can get the AMG GT Black Series with an optional Track Package. This adds a titanium roll bar, four-point harnesses and a fire extinguisher in the cabin – all stuff that’ll keep you safe should the worst happen.
Although, Mercedes has said that you can’t get this upgrade in the USA, Canada or China. This is because cars in those countries get less sporty seats which leave more space for your backside, but less room for a roll bar or a four-point harness.
New Mercedes-AMG GT Black Series price and release date
Mercedes hasn’t said how much the new AMG GT Black Series will cost, but all Black Series cars are expensive and very exclusive, so you can bet it’ll cost significantly more than the £190,000 GT R Pro. But, if you’re wealthy enough to afford one, it’ll probably hold on to its value pretty well over the years.