Mercedes-AMG GT review
The Mercedes-AMG has the Porsche 911 in its sights with sleek styling, storming V8 performance and plenty of tech
The Mercedes AMG GT is undoubtedly one of Porsche's biggest headaches. It follows on from the dramatic SLS, doing without the gullwing doors, but lowering weight and increasing performance.
It’s one of the most expensive and powerful Mercedes you can buy; and, its two-door, two-seater layout, coupled with sharp, engaging handling and a thundering V8 engine, put it firmly in 911 territory.
The base 516bhp model is a fun car, but those after a track-biased weapon will want the storming GT R - it's got 577bhp, a more focused chassis setup and technology to help flatter the driver and set blistering lap times.
Mercedes has also introduced the standalone 720bhp GT Black Series, which comes with the added kudos of being the world’s fastest production car around a lap of the Nurburgring. What isn't so impressive is the price - at £335,000 it takes the AMG GT into a seriously different league.
Perhaps the best compromise for customers is the 549bhp GT C Roadster. It's faster than the regular model and a more agile and engaging driver's car, yet it's more set up for the road than the GT R.
All except the GT R make surprisingly good cruisers, though. Because the suspension isn’t too firm, the AMG GT is comfortable enough on long, lazy journeys. It's a pity the steering isn't as natural and communicative as the Porsche – the set-up in the GT R is the best of the range – while some may find the interior ergonomics aren't that intuitive.
Car group tests
The AMG GT's price – and the AMG GT roadster prices – show the model family was conceived with one primary mission: to give the Mercedes family a sporting rival to the omnipotent Porsche 911. Targeting the 911 means potential buyers may also consider the Aston Martin Vantage, Audi R8 or even the Jaguar F-Type R. If you’re fortunate enough to be able to consider the hottest AMG GT R model, you could also be thinking about the fabulous McLaren 570S or 570GT as possible alternatives.
The Mercedes-AMG GT model lineup is pretty straightforward, with the entry-level versions available in either Coupe or open-top Roadster forms. You can also upgrade to the Night Edition variants which offer plenty of moody black trim and various cosmetic tweaks.
The GT C, which arrived soon after the GT R, is a bit of a performance compromise - featuring more power than the entry model, plus details such as the wider rear track and suspension setup largely borrowed from the GT R. Ultimately, it's designed as a road-biased sports car, with enough comfort and refinement to be used daily.
All the AMG GT models share versions of the same 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 that now appears elsewhere in the AMG line-up. The motor is mounted ahead of the driver, but set well-back, in what Mercedes describes as a front-mid engine configuration. Drive is directed to the rear wheels through a paddle-shifted seven-speed dual-clutch automated gearbox, and there’s no manually shifted option.
The AMG GT starts at around £108,000 for the Coupe and £120,000 for the Roadster version. Consequently, running costs are very high and every model is in insurance group 50 (though that’s on a par with their rivals).
The handling is extremely sharp, but the AMG GT is much more composed and less intimidating than you’d expect a 500bhp+ rear-wheel drive sports car to be. It’s quite civilised and as comfortable on long journeys as it is racing around a track.
In this review
- 1Verdict - currently readingThe Mercedes-AMG has the Porsche 911 in its sights with sleek styling, storming V8 performance and plenty of tech
- 2Engines, performance and driveThe Mercedes-AMG GT’s performance and handling are truly impressive
- 3MPG, CO2 and Running CostsHigh running costs are inevitable, but certainly no worse than the Mercedes-AMG GT’s rivals
- 4Interior, design and technologyThe Mercedes-AMG GT’s cabin is gorgeous – and there’s no shortage of standard equipment
- 5Practicality, comfort and boot spaceSpace and practicality is not the Mercedes-AMG GT’s strong point
- 6Reliability and SafetyTop build quality and plenty of safety kit make the Mercedes-AMG GT a safe and reliable performance car