Mercedes-AMG unveiled a car today that just might be the most luxurious way to challenge lap records at a road course in a very long time.
Revealed today in Affalterbach, Germany, the all-new AMG GT is brimming with race-bred technology that the company hopes will entice a new crop of enthusiast customers. The new coupe serves as an indirect replacement to the now-gone SLS AMG and relies on extensively implemented lightweight materials and a smaller, turbocharged V8 unlike its bulky, naturally aspirated predecessor.
Power comes from a 4.0-liter V8 engine with turbochargers nestled inside the “V” cylinder configuration to provide a more compact package more apt to delivering boost early in the rev range. For example peak torque is available as early as 1,600 RPM, but that’s only the beginning. The new mill also makes use of dry sump lubrication and will be available in two states of tune offering either 456 hp and 443 lb-ft of torque or 503 hp and 479 lb-ft depending on the model it is packaged with. That power is routed to the rear wheels via a seven-speed dual clutch transmission linked to the engine via a transaxle, allowing a 47 – 53 weight distribution front to rear in the same layout as the SLS AMG.
Mercedes didn’t announce curb weights for the two models today, but spoke at length about the extensive use of lightweight materials. For example, the “weight optimized spaceframe” is composed of 90 percent aluminum and the body shell weighs 503 lbs. At least one thing is a safe bet: AMG’s latest sports car will be considerably lighter than the behemoth SLS AMG. Despite having a much smaller engine than that car, Mercedes maintains that its new force-fed mill is “easily a match for a naturally aspirated engine.”
Two models will be available: the GT and GT S. The latter will arrive first boasting a top speed of 193 MPH and a sprint to 60 MPH in 3.7 seconds while its less aggressive sibling will top out at 189 MPH and makes the symbolic sprint in 3.9 seconds.
That might seem like a relatively small difference, but acceleration is only one area where the two models will differ and there are many more. If you grabbed a stack of sticky notes and wrote a major component from the AMG GT S on each one, then stuck them on a wall and blindly threw darts, there’s a very good chance that they would be electronically adjustable in some way.
For example, the GT S comes standard with a variable exhaust that can be configured to muffle the engine or let it breathe at full volume. It also gets an electronically controlled locking differential compared to the mechanical rear end packaged with the lesser GT and comes with electronically controlled dampers by default.
Specific packaging information is still unannounced, so most i4f not all of that could be available in extra-cost option packages on the GT model, but there is at least one performance enhancement that AMG reserves for the more powerful version. GTS S models can come with variable stiffness engine and transmission mounts that can soften or stiffen independently for a smoother or more performance-focused ride. They also come with larger 15.4-inch front brake rotors compared to the 14.2-inch discs packaged on both the front and rear of the GT. Both cars can be configured with carbon ceramic versions.
Pricing wasn’t announced today, but the GT is expected to start at roughly 100,000 Euros or about $129,000. Mercedes said today that it would begin delivering its new sports car to U.S. showrooms in the spring of 2015. Initially, dealers will only be able to offer the GT S before the less expensive GT arrives later in the year.
GALLERY: 2016 Mercedes-AMG GT, GT S
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