As far as sports cars go, the Porsche 911 is up there as one of the most important and iconic in the world.
Dating back to 1963, the 911 is the sports car that everyone wanted and every automaker benchmarked. Backed by a rich history, many mentions in rap songs, appearances in movie car chases and music videos, and the kind of desire and admiration you can’t just manufacture, the 911 has outlasted many others to become the quintessential sports car.
The 911 was my dream car as a kid — I had posters of the 911 Turbo on my walls and to me, it was the absolute and uncontested pinnacle of sports car desire. It stayed that way until the Mercedes-AMG GT came around about five years ago. Shook to my core by the sheer desire this car sparks in me and the joy I experience while driving it, I have grown to love it and it has since replaced the 911 on my lottery dreams mood board. The AMG GT lineup was just refreshed for the 2020 model year and got small enhancements all around, improving on an already good thing. Not only did it get some exterior tweaks, but it also gained a new infotainment system interface and a gorgeous, perfect new steering wheel.
Here are four reasons why the Mercedes-AMG GT has replaced the 911 on my list of dream cars.
ALSO SEE: A Love Letter to the Mercedes-AMG GT
1. The Mercedes-AMG GT Also Has a Million Variants
The 911 comes in more than 20 different variants. I’ve lost count of all the different 911s you can buy, but over the years, the Mercedes-AMG GT lineup has also grown. Although it hasn’t reached 911-levels of confusion, there really is an AMG GT for everyone — from a casual Sunday motorist all the way to a professional race car driver. Though nothing about the AMG GT can be called “casual” — every single thing it does causes a commotion and the car is about as casual as wearing a ball gown with opera gloves and a tiara.
This is the wide-ranging AMG GT lineup that Mercedes makes: GT, GT S, GT C, GT-R, and GT-R Pro. All of them (except the GT-R Pro) are available both as a coupe and roadster. There are also two race cars you can get with the GT3 and GT4, and now the brand also offers five different variants of the AMG GT 4-Door Coupe (though just the GT 63 and GT 63 S are available in the U.S.).
ALSO READ: Top 10 Best Station Wagons: 2019
In Canada, there are fewer variants of the AMG GT available: GT C Coupe and Roadster, and GT R Coupe and Roadster. Canadians can also get the AMG GT R Pro and three versions of the AMG GT 4-Door Coupes: GT 53, GT 63 and GT 63 S.
ALSO SEE: Where is Mercedes Made?
The newest model to join the lineup is the absolutely savage AMG GT R Pro, the closest thing you can get to those GT3 and GT4 race cars. This limited edition, barely street legal coupe is the most focused and athletic one in the lineup, boasting huge improvements over the GT R including better aerodynamics, increased downforce, a reworked suspension, more carbon fiber elements, weight reduction, ceramic brakes, more torsion stiffness, dynamic engine mounts, and more.
Sitting on a dark, moody German racetrack in the rain, it looks menacing and downright terror-inducing. The famed Hockenheimring is soaked and there is a chill in the air, but I’m not sure if it’s the weather or the fact that I’m physically intimidated by the thought of piloting this savage on a new-to-me racetrack that currently looks more like a river than a road.
And this is the sadistic beauty of the AMG GT and especially the AMG GT R Pro – the best sports cars scare you. The 911, in any variant, is undeniably good, but it doesn’t scare me.
2. It’s Smart
But the other side to that story is that the AMG GT lineup has so much advanced technology working to keep you safe while never trying to burst your bubble. The AMG GT will reel you in should you make a bad call or should the conditions get too much for you to handle — all without making it too obvious. When the systems intervene, it does so without making you too aware that you’ve goofed, so it makes you feel like a hero and a much better driver than you actually are.
AMG GTs now come with the AMG Dynamic Select driving modes (Slippery, Comfort, Sport, Sport Plus, Race and Individual) that tailor how the car’s electronic stability system works with the steering and other inputs to make the sports car feel more agile without affecting its stability. It makes the GT more predictable and lets the car scare you a bit before intervening to make sure you stay on your intended course. Encompassed by a parent group of modes based on your skill level (Basic, Advanced, Pro, and Master), it determines how much electronic intervention is needed and how long it will let a driver step out until it decides to offer some assistance.
3. It Sounds Incredible
One thing I never loved about the Porsche 911 is how it sounded. It just never did anything to excite me, which is kind of a controversial opinion. The AMG GT, on the other hand, sounds apoplectic and makes me tingle. Powered by a handbuilt 4.0L twin-turbo V8, the “base” AMG GT churns out 469 horsepower and 465 lb-ft of torque, sent to the rear wheels via a seven-speed DCT. Up from there, the GT S outputs 515 hp and 494 lb-ft, the GT C has 550 hp and 502 lb-ft, and the GT R is graced with 577 hp and 516 lb-ft. Every GT sounds furious and that’s the way sports cars should sound. Even at idle, there’s a deep rumbling you can feel in your gut and every tap of the pedal causes an explosion of anger that encourages rule-breaking.
Every engine in an AMG GT is handbuilt in Affalterbach by one person, who signs each engine after they’re done. That is truly special.
4. It’s Beautiful and Unique
The 911 is a ridiculously successful sports car, but in my mind, that has made it a victim of its own success — it has become ubiquitous. No one gets excited about seeing a 911 because they are everywhere. The AMG GT, on the other hand, has time on its side for the opposite reason. It’s only been out for five years, so it’s still relatively new and rare. Besides being available in the most gorgeous colors (some of which are matte finish), the impossibly long hood and aggressive yet classic stance make it stand out as something undeniably cool and unique. When people see (or hear) it coming, they stop for a brief moment to marvel at it. This car screams “I’m sexy and I wanna misbehave” in a way the stoic and responsible 911 simply can’t.