Welcome to the latest rendition of the already impressive Mercedes AMG GT. It’s the new, track-focused AMG GT R.
Usually, the logical place to start when writing about an AMG would be underneath the bonnet but, for once, that isn’t the case this time. That’s because, for the first time, Mercedes have used a four-wheel steering system. Operating by wire, rather than mechanically, the two electro-mechanical actuators located on the rear axle, in place of conventional control arms, allow the rear wheels to turn up to 1.5-degrees. This system aids handling in two ways. At low speeds (up to 62mph), the rear wheels turn in the opposite direction to the fronts to make cornering more agile, and at high speeds, stability is increased by the rear wheels turning in the same direction as the fronts.
Now we can talk about what is under the bonnet. The AMG GT R’s 4.0-litre V8 gets new turbochargers increasing boost pressure from 1.2 to 1.35bar. Power is up to 577bhp, an increase of 74bhp from the GT S, and torque is up to 516lb ft, an increase of 37lb ft. This extra power has seen the 0-62mph time come down to 3.6-seconds and the top speed rise to 198mph. Throttle response should be impressive as the R’s two-mass flywheel is 0.7kg lighter.
A lot of work has gone into the R’s aero, too. Overall, downforce has been increased by 155kg compared to the AMG GT S. Aerodynamic gains at the front have been made by a carbon flap that drops down underneath the car when you reach 80kp/h, and also by tbe less-subtle front splitter. The manually adjustable rear wing provides the extra downforce at the back.
The AMG GT R sits on a coilover suspension and comes with a composite brake set up, 390mm discs at the front and 360mm at the rear. If you want to spend a few extra pennies, you can opt for a ceramic setup with 402mm front discs, which should be plenty big enough. This combined with the aerodynamic developments, 15kg weight loss and the car’s four-wheel steering, I’d imagine this thing is very capable round corners.
Not only is the AMG GT R a performer, it’s a looker, too. The striking green body paint is called ‘AMG Green Hell Magno’, which alludes to the R’s Nordschleife background. The new grille, featuring 15 vertical chrome fins, pays homage to the 300 SL which won the famous Panamerica road race in 1952. The GT R gets a new bodykit including carbonfibre wheel arches that are 46mm wider at the front and 57m wider at the back. There is also a lightweight magnesium front deck. The wheels are ten-spoke forged items and they will be shod, as standard with Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tyres – 275/35 ZR 19 at the front and 325/30 ZR 20 at the rear.
There is also a new titanium exhaust system with active flaps that are ‘infinitely adjustable’ and create an ’emotive sound composition’. Basically, it’s really bloody loud. It’s an AMG – what else would you expect?
The AMG GT R made it’s debut at this weekend’s Goodwood Festival of Speed, which is still ongoing. Sales begin in November and the car launches in March 2017. Pricing hasn’t been confirmed as of yet, but expect it to exceed the £110,000 price tag on the GT S.