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 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 470bhp GT or 515bhp GTS models are both fun cars, 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.
Perhaps the best compromise between the two is the 549bhp GT C. 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. It's even available as a roadster, too.
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 ramge – while some may find the interior ergonomics aren't that intuitive.
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The two cars share a lot in common, including a similar silhouette and much of their structural engineering, but the Mercedes AMG GT is smaller, less expensive, and therefore less exclusive than the model that preceded it.
In fact, 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.
There are four versions of the Mercedes coupe available, with the entry model called simply the AMG GT. Next up is AMG GT S model which has extra power plus upgraded RIDE CONTROL sports suspension, a variable rate locking rear differential and a RACE transmission mode – all in the name of greater performance. The AMG GT R is in a different league, with a major power hike and much more track-focus – as befits a car designed to go head to head with the iconic Porsche 911 GT3.
The GT C, which arrived soon after the GT R, is a bit of a compromise between the S and the R. It features more power, plus details such as the wider rear track and suspension setup largely borrowed from the GT R. But 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. Power outputs are 470bhp for the GT, 515bhp in the GT S, 549bhp in the GT C, while the GT R ups the ante to a mighty 577bhp.
The GT S can sprint from 0-62mph in just 3.8 seconds and on to 193mph, and even the entry level GT will manage 0-62mph in 4.0 seconds. For more on Merc’s 911 GT3 rival, you can read our full AMG GT R review here.
The AMG GT starts at £98,745, while the GT S costs £112,045. Aside from the luxury S-Class Coupe and the extravagant Mercedes-Maybach models, that lofty price tag makes the AMG GT the most expensive car in Mercedes’ current range.
Consequently, running costs are very high and every model is in insurance group 50 (though that’s on a par with their rivals). Official fuel economy isn’t bad at around 30mpg for the GT and GT S, but you’ll never see that if you make the most of the immense power.
The handling is extremely sharp but the AMG GT is much more composed and less intimidating than you’d expect a 400-500bhp 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