Paris LIVE: 2016 Mercedes-AMG GTby Ronan Glon
Offered in two power tunes, the 911-fighting GT inaugurates a twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V8 engine
The GT's front end pays a discreet homage to the iconic 300 SLR that raced in the 1950s with styling cues such as elongated headlights, slightly raised wheel arches and an oval single-slat radiator grille, while the rear end is fitted with thin horizontal tail lamps similar to the ones found on the recently-introduced S-Class Coupe. Overall, the GT adopts softer lines than the outgoing SLS and it boasts a silhouette that is more fastback than traditional coupe.
The GT rides on a shortened version of the SLS AMG's proven platform, although the latter car's signature gullwing doors have been replaced with conventional units to improve structural rigidity and reduce mass. Crafted largely out of lightweight materials like aluminum, the GT weighs in at about 3,400 pounds in its lightest configuration.
Mercedes has revealed a convertible version of the GT is ready to hit showrooms but it will likely remain at the concept stage because executives are afraid the roadster will steal sales from the SL-Class.
The GT's interior stands out with a wide dash, four throw-back air vents and an instrument cluster made up of analog gauges. Mercedes says the slanted center stack was designed to resemble a NACA duct, and it has also cleverly arranged the controls for the car's AMG Drive Unit to mimic the cylinder layout of a V8 engine.
An innovative smartphone-like touch pad located on the center console lets the passengers control the optional COMAND Online infotainment system with simple finger gestures. Occupants can also use the touchpad to enter an address in the navigation system or to add a contact to the phone book. Alternatively, COMAND Online can be navigated via a controller knob located under the touch pad, voice commands or buttons on the center stack.
Under the Hood
The AMG GT is powered by a brand new twin-turbocharged V8 engine called M178 internally. The mill features a dry-sump lubrication system that lowers the center of gravity by eliminating the conventional oil pan, lightweight forged pistons and a patented Nanoslide coating on the cylinder walls that reduces friction losses.
Mercedes offers two versions of its new sports car: the standard GT and the more powerful GT S. The GT is rated at 456 horsepower and 443 lb-ft. of torque, while the GT S pumps out 503 horsepower at 6,250 rpms and 479 lb-ft. of torque between 1,750 and 4,750 rpms. The GT takes 3.9 seconds to hit 60, and the GT S can perform the same task in 3.7 seconds. The GT S tops out at 192 mph, roughly four mph faster than the GT.
Mounted in front-mid position, the eight-cylinder spins the rear wheels via a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission mounted over the rear axle, a setup gives the GT a 47/53 weight distribution. Mercedes is not planning on offering the GT with a manual transmission.
The Mercedes-AMG GT S will land in showrooms across the United States next spring, but buyers after the less powerful GT model will have to wait until 2016. Pricing information for both models will be published closer to its on-sale date.
The twin-turbo M178 engine will gradually replace the naturally-aspirated 6.2-liter V8 that is currently found in the engine bay of numerous AMG-badged cars. The 462-horsepower version found in the standard GT will likely be installed under the hood of the upcoming C63 AMG, and the 510-pony variant could power the AMG-massaged version of the next E-Class.
Live images by Ronan Glon.