In the Spotlight – Mercedes-AMG GT R {{favouriteCount}} Quantity of Likes

21 Sep 2018

Porsche 911 GT3 is probably responsible for a lot of headaches at the HQ of the other Stuttgart-dwelling car manufacturer. It’s a hardcore track-focused version of the 911 that has gradually become more usable and taken a stronghold in the marketplace. Mercedes wanted a piece of that action and so a memo was sent to their slightly more unhinged partners in Affalterbach – AMG – with instructions to build a car that would beat the 911 GT3 and any like it – Lamborghini Huracan Performante included.

Taking the already impressive AMG GT as their base, and the GT4 race car as their inspiration they set about designing an AMG GT that was faster, harder and more brutal yet retain the GT S’s everyday usability. Not exactly an easy task, but one they seemingly have succeeded in. If you’re looking at just Nürburgring lap times, the GT R (note: NOT the GT-R or GTR as those monikers are already trademarked) held the lap record for rear wheel drive cars for a while with a 7:10.92 time. It was beaten by the 911 GT2 RS which posted a frankly ridiculous 6:47.3, but that weighs less and has 700hp and massive aero. Anyway, we’re talking about the Merc.

Starting with the bodywork, there are carbon fibre front wings which are 46mm wider at the front, which steel extensions at the rear beef that up by 57mm – this increases the car’s tracks considerably and the suspension has adjustable coil overs and adaptive dampers tuned for the type of driving expected of the GT R. A thicker anti-roll bar than the standard GT gets features at the rear, where ‘uniball’ mountings are also adopted in place of normal bushings for enhanced handling precision and control feedback. Forged aluminium is used for the car’s wishbones, hub carriers and steering knuckles, all to reduce unsprung mass.

The twin turbocharged 4.0 litre V8 seen in the GT S (and now the new Aston Vantage) gets new wastegates, exhaust ports and turbos, runs a higher compression ratio and gets tweaks to the ECU to release an extra 62bhp. Given that it weighs 15kg less (28kg if you spec the Ceramic brakes) there’s an obvious jump in performance too – 0-62mph drops to 3.6 seconds and top speed raises to 198mph. Not huge differences, but then the GT R isn’t all about raw numbers. You see at the rear the wheels now steer along with the fronts – not by much but enough to assist in a huge way with how the car handles. At low speed the rear wheels turn against the fronts, to allow a tighter turning circle and more agility. At higher speeds they turn with them, for greater stability and balance. This may be a small difference but it transforms the way the car drives.

That big V8 allows its gases to escape the vehicle via what can only be described as Noise Cannons. There is a central twin pipe, with another pipe in the diffuser either side of it and the noise they make, especially in Race mode when all the pipes and valves open, is nothing short of biblical. If you decided to accelerate within a mile of an old person’s home there’s a very real chance you could be up in front of a judge on manslaughter charges.

There’s also a new multi-stage traction control system as well, which allows a huge range of options for how much you want the car to reign you in when you’re bring silly on track. It’s all controlled by a little yellow dial in the centre console and is basically a ‘silly button’ – you choose how silly you want to be and the car adapts accordingly. Speaking of the interior, it’s pretty much the same as the GT S, but there’s the aforementioned yellow dial and lots more alcantara, while there’s the option of some carbon fibre fixed back racing seats, four-point harnesses and a roll cage. If you spec all that with the carbon ceramic brakes you’ve got a proper track warrior.

So the GT R is the car the GT wanted to be when it grows up, but it may not be all the way there yet. I’ve heard rumours that there’s an AMG GT Black Series on the way with 700hp and full carbon bodywork which results in a 150kg weight reduction. I can only image how insane that will be. For now though, take a look at Christian and I taking the GT R out for a little spin…

And don’t forget the Mercedes-AMG GT R is in our competition until midnight on Sunday, so get some tickets right here while you can, for just £6.60!

OTHER SIMILAR ARTICLES

In the Spotlight – Lamborghini Urus

In the Spotlight – Lamborghini Urus
Read more
{{favouriteCount}} Quantity of Likes

BOTB asks: Classic or Current?

BOTB asks: Classic or Current?
Read more
{{favouriteCount}} Quantity of Likes

Mercedes reveals the new GLE Coupe

Mercedes reveals the new GLE Coupe
Read more
{{favouriteCount}} Quantity of Likes
RD0003FF1A579E