First Look: Mercedes-AMG GT R

Green Hell from Stuttgart.

by on Jun.27, 2016

A bright green bat out of hell, the GT R.

Ever since Mercedes-Benz rolled out the GT sports car a couple years back, we’ve been expecting a few variants, the typical modus operandi for the Schwabian automaker. Now, it seems, we’ll soon be getting a flood of them, including the recently introduced GT S, a “base” model due next year and, shortly after that, the Mercedes-AMG GT R that made its debut at the Goodwood Festival of Speed in England over the weekend.

Able to launch from 0 to 60 in a mere 3.5 seconds – about 0.2 seconds faster than the 2016 GT S model – you might be tempted to call it a bat out of hell. So, appropriately enough, Mercedes is introducing the new GT R with a new paint scheme called Green Hell Magno.

Performance News!

Beyond that blinding hue, you’ll be able to distinguish the new Mercedes-AMG GT R from other versions of the two-seater thanks to new, widebody trim that adds about two inches in width to the more mundane versions of the GT.

There’s a new aero kit, as well, which includes a large and fixed rear wing, active front grille louvers and a front air splitter. The active aero system even improves underbody air flow.

(Daimler investing $8 bil in green powertrain tech over next two years. Click Here for the story.)

The GT R's modified biturbo V-8 makes 74 more hp and 67 more torque than the GT S.

Of course, the primary focus is making more power out of the original GT’s biturbo 4.0-liter V-8. It now hammers out a hefty 577 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque, up a whopping 74 hp and 67 lb-ft from the GT S.

To get there, Mercedes has adopted higher boost turbos, boosted the compression ratio and reshaped the exhaust ports. Even the flywheel has been modified, Mercedes engineers removing 1.5 pounds of mass to help the V-8 rev up faster. The 7-speed dual-clutch transmission has been modified, as well, and gets a new cooling system.

To ensure all that power gets to the rear wheels, meanwhile, Mercedes has swapped out the stock aluminum driveshaft for a lighter carbon-fiber torque tube.

Working with the AMG GT3 race team, the street car engineers also modified the GT’s traction control system to make sure those nanny features don’t unexpectedly kick in when you least want them.

Other performance touches include a unique new coilover suspension, and electronically controlled limited-slip differential and a new active rear steering system.

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Turn ESP off and you can choose from 9 different settings to control rear slide.

The GT R gets new lightweight alloy wheels shot in Michelin Sport Cup 2 tires — 19 inches up front and 20 in the rear. They barely conceal the oversized brakes, and ceramic discs will be offered as an upgrade.

Borrowing a page from the Lotus handbook, the AMG engineers also put a premium on reducing mass. There’s that lighter flywheel, for example, and the carbon-fiber torque tube shaves another 15 pounds. All told, the new Mercedes-AMG GT R weighs in at 3,428 pounds in European trim, or roughly 200 pounds lighter than the stock GT S. Expect a little bit more weight when American-spec numbers are released.

Surprisingly, Mercedes has made relatively few changes to the interior of the GT R, primarily just some new carbon fiber and microsuede trim pieces. The most notable addition is a new knob meant to set the new AMG Traction Control system – nine individual settings for the rear axle.

We’ll also have to wait for pricing data. But we can guess where the Mercedes-AMG GT R is likely to land considering the $131,000 starting price for the GT S. Look for something in the $150,000 to $160,000 range.

(Click Here to check out leaked pics of the next-gen Porsche Panamera.)

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One Response to “First Look: Mercedes-AMG GT R”

  1. Mike says:

    Might actually be Mango Green, a long time MB color name.