Mercedes-AMG GT3 is last outing for storming 6.2-litre V8
Mercedes unveils its FIA GT3 racer at the 2015 Geneva Motor Show, sporting naturally aspirated 6.2-litre V8
It was only a matter of time before Mercedes took its roadgoing AMG GT supercar and gave it the GT3 racing championship treatment. On display at the Geneva Motor Show, the AMG GT3 marks the final appearance of the firm's naturally-aspirated 6.2-litre V8.
Set to to be shipped out to customer race teams around the world by the end of 2015, the AMG GT3 track monster will go head-to-head with racing rivals from Porsche, Aston Martin and Audi in the next GT3 season. It takes over from the highly successful SLS-based racer, and hints at a possible roadgoing model to rival the Porsche 911 GT3.
Since AMG began its racing support programme in 2010, the SLS AMG GT3 has achieved 182 overall victories, 98 pole positions and 930 top 10 positions. So the AMG GT3 has an illustrious career to live up to, and Mercedes expresses an ambition to be "beating the very best in the game".
The biggest news is that the firm will carry over the old naturally-aspirated 6.2-litre V8 from the SLS, rather than re-engineering the AMG GT's 4.0-litre biturbo V8 for the enormous demands of racing. It looks more than likely the GT3 will become the final resting place for that legendary powertrain, which could be found in almost all of AMG's old road cars.
That engine produced 552bhp in the old racing SLS, mated to a six-speed sequential gearbox, and only had to haul around 1,350kg. Mercedes hasn't revealed full specs or performance stats for the AMG GT3 yet, but we expect them to remain broadly similar to the old car.
The AMG GT3 also carries over the road car's aluminium spaceframe chassis, but lightweight components and the removal of all unnecessary luxuries will mean a significant weight reduction. It also gets a wider body and track, as well as larger air intakes, plus a huge aerofoil rear wing and diffuser, which will dramatically boost aerodynamics.
The interior is as basic as you'd expect, with complex race-spec digital instruments, a bank of switches on the centre console and carbon-fibre regulation bucket seats. Although Mercedes hasn't confirmed anything, it's possible we could see a more hardcore AMG GT on the horizon for 2016.
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