Geneva LIVE: Mercedes-AMG GT 4-Door Coupeby Byron Hurd
The AMG GT gets extra doors and seats
If you've been smitten by the Mercedes-AMG GT Coupe's sleek looks and attractive performance features, but just can't get your head around the idea of owning a two-seater, well, you're in luck. Meet the Mercedes-AMG GT--the new four-door coupe in the GT family. While it wears the "GT" nameplate, this is not merely a 2+2 variant of the existing GT Coupe. In other words, if you're expecting this to just be a Mercedes-AMG mirror of a Porsche 911, you're way off-base.
The extra set of doors should be your first clue. While we were not provided with exact figures, it's plainly obvious that this GT rides on a much longer wheelbase than the standard GT Coupe. This is a car meant to carry real human beings in the rear cabin.
In fact, if you're going to be doing that often, Mercedes-Benz even offers an Executive Rear Seat package which adds a 40/20/40 split-folding rear bench with a touchpad control system integrated into the center console. The standard fixed-back seats also limit cargo capacity (by eliminating the possibility of passing larger items through), so you're also better off with this option if you need more luggage room.
Make no mistake, though, the GT 4-Door Coupe is still a performance machine first. You're still getting high-performance AMG engines, trick features like active aerodynamics, and even rear-axle steering on V8 models. All variants put their power down via 4Matic all-wheel-drive and a nine-speed multi-clutch transmission (there's an asterisk on that, and we'll get to it momentarily.
The GT is also the proud beneficiary of one of the company's strangest new features: a unique performance fragrance. Mercedes-Benz claims it boasts an "appealing, sporty scent to match the spirit of the performance brand." Our idea of a sporty scent is the smell of exhaust from a car running at wide-open throttle. We expect it doesn't smell like that.
The Mercedes-AMG GT 53 is the entry-level model. If you're not familiar with the "53" line of AMG cars, it's essentially an up-scaled take on the "43" models found elsewhere in the 'Benz portfolio, but with a unique twist: the 53 lineup combines a biturbo inline-six with a 48V hybrid system.
You'll see it referred to as an AMG-enhanced engine with "EQ" boost, but it's fundamentally no different from the other 48V torque-assist systems available from various manufacturers. Essentially, it's a juiced-up starter motor designed to be capable of augmenting the gasoline engine's power output. The I6 is responsible for the first 429 horsepower of the system's total output. The EQ boost kicks in just 21, which doesn't seem like much, but it's also capable of delivering a boost of 184lb-ft of torque. Yeah, you read that correctly.
Mercedes says this system is capable of getting the 53 from 0 to 60 in just 4.4 seconds on the way to a top speed of 174 mph. Those figures are in line with your typical V8 pony car, and we're assuming they're quite conservative. We expect real-world numbers will be far more impressive, especially with the benefit of 4Matic.
We mentioned above that there's an asterisk to the nine-speed automatic, and that's present here. Unlike the MCT unit used in V8 models, the 53's TCT transmission makes use of a torque converter rather than a strictly clutch-based setup.
If you're at all familiar with the Mercedes-AMG performance hierarchy, you know this is where things really start to get interesting. The Mercedes-AMG GT 63 is powered by a 4.0-liter biturbo V8 which produces 577 horsepower and 553lb-ft of torque. There's no hybrid system to be found here (nor is one necessary, honestly), and it should come as no surprise that Mercedes expects the performance to be fairly explosive. The factory estimate for a 0-60 run is just 3.3 seconds, with a top speed of 193 miles per hour.
And this is where it just gets nasty. The 63 S is the be-all, end-all of street performance for the GT lineup. The engine has been massaged for another 53 horsepower and 74lb-ft of torque, and Mercedes claims this is good for a 3.1-second run to 60 and an extra two miles per hour of top speed.
There's more to it than just extra power, however. On the 63 S, performance options from the 63 (such as active engine mounts) become standard equipment. The optional "drift mode" button (no, this is not a Ford Focus) is also baked into the higher-performance variant.
The Mercedes-AMG 4-Door Coupe will go on sale in early 2019, the company says. Early deliveries will be of V8 models (63 and 63 S) with 53s following about six months later.
Live photography by Ronan Glon.