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Car group tests

Mercedes-AMG GT S vs Porsche 911 Carrera 4 GTS

New Mercedes-AMG GT meets Porsche 911 on some of Britain’s best driving roads

In the world of Formula One, Mercedes is currently running rings around the opposition, having taken the manufacturers’ and drivers’ titles in 2014, and looking to do the same in 2015. Now, it’s aiming for a repeat in the premium sports car market with the AMG GT.

The all-new coupé is a successor to the SLS AMG, although it has a smaller V8 engine – now assisted by twin turbos – and isn’t quite as expensive. In fact, Mercedes has moved its flagship sports car into a sector that’s been dominated for decades by another legend of motorsport: the Porsche 911.

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The latest incarnation of the 911 is arguably the best yet, and here we test the AMG GT against one of the best models in the range: the Carrera GTS. We’ve lined up a four-wheel-drive version, but – more importantly – the Porsche also features a seven-speed twin-clutch PDK gearbox, to match the Mercedes’ similar seven-speed DCT transmission.

Can the AMG GT topple the long-standing sports car champion? Or does the 911 GTS have the breadth of talent to maintain its grip on this class?

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Mercedes-AMG GT review

Porsche 911 review

Click the links above to read individual reviews, and scroll down to find out which sports car comes out on top...

Head-to-head

Drive modes

Both cars feature electronics that allow you to tailor the driving experience to your mood. Porsche has normal, Sport and Sport+ modes, while Mercedes offers Individual, Comfort, Sport, Sport+ and Race modes, selected via a rotary switch. Of the two, the Porsche delivers the bigger difference in character between its settings.

Engine layouts

The AMG GT is front-engined, but the V8 is set so far back that the engine cover sits in front of it, rather than on top. Over the years, the 911 has moved its flat-six closer to the rear axle line. As a result, both cars have centralised their mass to improve handling.

Sporting options

You can add ceramic brakes to the AMG GT and 911 for £5,995 and £5,787 respectively, while Mercedes’ £1,795 Dynamic Plus pack adds active engine mounts, stiffer suspension and a manual mode. You can lower the suspension of the 911 for £558.

Verdict

1st place: Porsche 911

These two models are at the very pinnacle of sports car technology, but it’s the 911 GTS which narrowly edges ahead. It’s a fantastic driver’s car that’s involving and entertaining, yet it’s easy enough to get along with that you wouldn’t hesitate to use it on a daily basis. It’s nearly as fast as the Mercedes, but it costs less – although we’d save more and go for the rear-drive, manual GTS.

2nd place: Mercedes-AMG GT

The AMG GT is a stunning sports car that will find a lot of buyers on looks alone. Thankfully there’s a lot of substance to go with its style, and the sharp chassis and bespoke cabin have huge appeal. But the biggest highlight is the new twin-turbo V8. It’s a worthy replacement for the old 6.2-litre, but it dominates the drive, so the AMG GT isn’t quite the all-rounder the 911 is.

Other premium sports cars worth considering… 

Jaguar F-Type V8R AWD Coupé

Price: £91,660Engine: 5.0-litre V8 S/C, 543bhp

Brit bruiser can match the AMG GT for visual and aural drama, while new 4WD version will help to tame the supercharged V8’s explosive power delivery. As with its rivals, ceramic brakes and a range of personalisation options are available.

Audi R8 V10

Price: £119,500Engine: 5.2-litre V10, 533bhp

Second-generation R8, due late this year, will be one of the last naturally aspirated sports cars, as turbo power takes over to help meet emissions regulations. Mid-engine layout offers something different, while an extra £18,000 gets the faster 602bhp R8 V10 plus.

Key specs:

 Porsche 911 Carrera 4 GTS PDKMercedes-AMG GT S
On the road price/total as tested£99,374/£114,005£110,500/£137,300
Residual value (after 3yrs/36,000)£46,905/47.2%£65,858/59.6%
Depreciation£52,469£44,642
Annual tax liability std/higher rate£7,302/£14,605£8,126/£16,251
Annual fuel cost (12k/20k miles)£2,457/£4,095£3,692/£6,153
Ins. group/quote/road tax band/cost50/£1,117/K/£29050/£1,471/K/£290
Cost of 1st/2nd/3rd service£480/£610/£480TBC
   
Length/wheelbase4,509/2,450mm4,546/2,630mm
Height/width1,296/1,852mm1,288/1,939mm
EngineFlat 6cyl/3,800ccV8 twin-turbo/3,982cc
Peak power/revs424/7,500 bhp/rpm503/6,250 bhp/rpm
Peak torque/revs440/5,750 Nm/rpm650/1,750 Nm/rpm
Transmission7-spd PDK/4wd7-spd DCT/rwd
Fuel tank capacity/spare wheel68 litres/repair kit75 litres/repair kit
Boot capacity125 litres285 litres
Kerbweight/payload1,490/405kg1,645/245kg
Turning circle/drag coefficient10.9 metres/0.30Cd11.5 metres/N/A
Basic warranty (miles)/recovery3yrs (unlimited)/3yrs3yrs (unlimited)/4yrs
Service intervals/UK dealers20,000 miles (2yrs)/36Variable/136
Driver Power manufacturer/dealer pos.6th/3rd*11th/21st*
Euro NCAP: Adult/child/ped./starsN/AN/A
   
0-60/0-100/30-70mph3.8/8.8/3.2 secs3.4/7.4/2.7 secs
30-50mph in 3rd/4th3.1/4.1 secs1.8/2.5 secs
50-70mph in 5th/6th/7th5.0/6.7 secs/N/A2.8/3.2/5.0 secs
Top speed/rpm at 70mph188mph/1,800rpm193mph/2,100rpm
Braking 70-0/60-0/30-0mph42.4/30.9/8.2m45.5/31.4/8.9m
Noise outside/idle/30/70mph73/57/64/73dB65/53/62/71dB
Auto Express econ (mpg/mpl)/range27.2/6.0/407 miles18.1/4.0/299 miles
Govt urban/extra-urban/combined22.6/39.8/31.0mpg23.2/36.2/30.1mpg
Govt urban/extra-urban/combined5.0/8.8/6.8mpl5.1/8.0/6.6mpl
Actual/claimed CO2/tax bracket240/212g/km/37%361/219g/km/37%
   
Airbags/Isofix/park assist/cameraSix/yes/£639/£1,085Six/no/£4,195/£4,195
Ceram. brakes/ad. dampers/ad. cruise£5,787/£2,186/£1,578£5,995/yes/£1,695
Climate control/leather/heated seatsYes/yes/£320Yes/yes/yes
Metallic paint/LED lights/keyless go£801/£1,032/£801£945/yes/£4,195
Sat-nav/USB/DAB radio/BluetoothYes/yes/yes/£413Yes/two/yes/yes
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