2019 Mercedes-AMG GT 4-Door Coupe Review

Have you ever thought, “Gee, I wish there was a car that slotted between the Mercedes-AMG CLS 63 and the Mercedes-AMG GT.” Or perhaps, “I wonder how many ways they can re-skin an E-Class platform?”. Possibly you just wanted to know what the folks from Affalterbach would do if they made their own version of Porsche’s Panamera.

If so, you’re not alone.

Clearly, enough other folks have shared your queries and Mercedes-AMG has obliged by creating the third new AMG-unique model in their line up (after the AMG GT and Project One hypercar), and introduced the AMG GT 4-door Coupe.

Yeah, we tend to bristle at calling a 4-door a coupe too, and yes, we know there are historical arguments for and against it, so we’re going to move past that right now.

The bigger issue should be calling it an AMG GT of any sort. It’s not, really. Based on the MRA (Mercedes Rear-wheel Architecture), the 4-door shares more with the CLS and E-Class than the two-door AMG GT with its space-frame structure.

This means that when we were brought to the sensational Circuit of the Americas (COTA) in Austin, Texas to drive the new 4-door, it became clear that the 4-door is more of a cousin to the 2-door than a direct sibling.

I drove the AMG GT R on a much smaller, tighter track last year and was amazed at both how capable and nimble that car is.

See Also: We Drove ALL The AMGs!

The AMG GT 4-door is more than 650 lbs (300 kg) heavier than the GT R, so it’s no surprise that in chasing its cousin around COTA, even the top-shelf 63S version needs to be driven hard to keep up to the GT R pace-setter with its suspension set to “Comfort” and the driver cruising around with one hand on the wheel and the other on a two-way radio. Even a rudimentary understanding of physics makes it unsurprising that a car as much bigger and heavier as the 4-door will punish its tires and work harder to circle a race track at speed.

AMG Means Track Tested, Right?

This, however, in no way suggests the GT 4-door is anything less than an awesome machine and speaks more to just how much of a stellar track car the GT R is. Handling is formidable, and although the 4-door isn’t as light on its feet or quick through transitionary moves as the 2-door version, it’s nevertheless much more comfortable on the track than most other sedans, err, 4-door coupes.

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The grip is tenacious and the 4-door remains manageable at speed even under considerable load. There was a sizable group of international motoring press on hand with wildly varying track experience for this event, and despite COTA being a fairly challenging track, nobody had any major off-course incidents, reinforcing the GT’s manageability.

AMG’s 4Matic+ all-wheel-drive system is standard and owed no small amount of credit for helping keep power manageable through all four contact patches, but it also contributes to the 4-door’s mass.

More than a few impressive numbers

If you care about such things, the AMG GT 4-door posted a ‘Ring time of 7:30, the same as the Mercedes SLS supercar from just a few years ago.

The 4-door accelerates fiercely (Mercedes claims 0-62 mph in 3.2 seconds for the 63S we drove). Top speed is rated at 196 mph (315 km/h) and we saw north of 140 mph on the fastest stretch of the track with the 4-door eager to keep rocketing, were it not for the rapidly approaching corner.

Our test cars were all fitted with AMG’s optional ceramic composite brake system (wearing bronze-colored 6-piston calipers). Despite the cars lapping almost constantly all-day, nobody complained of the brakes feeling anything less than potent and progressive. Also of note, the weather was oppressively hot and humid, and we never saw an issue from any of the machines (not so, the journalists).

See Also: 2019 Mercedes-AMG C 63 S Review

The 63S represents the output pinnacle for AMG’s 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 engine. In the 2-door, it tops out at 577 hp, but here in the 4-door, it’s rated at 630 hp and a monumental 664 lb-ft of torque. If the turbos suffered from the heat and humidity, I can’t imagine how ferocious the car would be on a cool, dry day.

AMG GT 53 models were also available for us to sample on the roads. Here the new 3.0-litre inline six-cylinder is augmented by the company’s clever EQ Boost starter-alternator system that gives an extra kick of 21 hp and a notable 184 lb-ft of torque before the engine builds its full dose of 429 hp and 384 lb-ft of torque.

This is an interesting drivetrain choice that provides ample motivation for the GT 4-door, launching it to 62 mph in just 4.5 seconds. Ripping around the backroads outside Austin, the GT 53 was plenty of fun, though I must admit, the unique (but thoroughly pleasing) aural qualities of an inline-6 in an AMG seemed a little out of place.

Regardless of which engine is selected, the power is managed through AMG’s SPEEDSHIFT 9-speed automatic transmission. For the AMG GT 63 and 63S models, an MCT (multi-clutch) transmission is employed, featuring a wet start-off clutch that reduces mass and enhances responsiveness. Six-cylinder machines utilize a torque-converter.

Time to get off track

All of this performance business is fine and well, but the reality is, very few owners will likely ever take their GT 4-doors to a race track anyway.

In the real world away from the circuit, the AMG GT 4-door is a wholly livable daily driver. With the adaptive drive mode set to “Comfort”, the ride is decent despite rolling on 21” wheels and rubber. Of course, Texas roads aren’t heaved and pock-marked from frost the way they are up north, but the GT 4-door certainly won’t fool anyone into thinking it’s an S-Class.

The front seats in the press cars were decidedly sporty with ample bolstering for lateral support on the track, though not overly challenging for ingress or egress. A 3-passenger rear seat set up is available in Europe, but in North America, we will receive only a 2-passenger version, with foldable rear seats being optional and eliminating a carbon fiber bulkhead that aids structural integrity. Considering the sleekness of the GT 4-door’s profile (especially compared to Porsche’s 4-door hatchback model), the amount of leg- and headroom in the backseat is impressive. Real, full-size adults can sit behind real, full-sized adults in this car.

European-spec cars offer cargo capacity at just over 16 cubic feet (461L), which is plentiful, although about 1.4 cubes (39 L) smaller than a Panamera’s. Four people should easily be able to get away for a weekend with sensible packing.

See Also: 2018 Porsche Panamera Turbo Sport Turismo Review

Out in the wild, the GT 4-door doesn’t have the same visual impact of its 2-door cousin, but that didn’t stop it from getting plenty of stares and thumbs’ up as we worked through Austin’s rush hour traffic. Inside, the cockpit’s styling is unquestionably driver-centric with a tall central tunnel separating the two front seat occupants.

One needs to have a double-jointed elbow to easily reach the stubby gear selector, but otherwise, the GT 4-door has slick and sensible ergonomics. A particularly neat detail on the optional AMG Performance steering wheel are buttons that have little LED screens enabling a few different functions for each button.

More Track Tech

A traditional instrument pod binnacle is standard fare, though it can be replaced by an optional 12.3-ich configurable display to complement the 12.3-inch COMAND display in the central dash. AMG has added a TRACK PACE function that offers up a number of data-collecting capabilities, for various performance metrics, along with information for various well-known race tracks, like the Nürburgring.

That last point drives home AMG’s desire for the GT 4-door to be taken seriously as a legitimate 4-door, all-purpose sports car; one that’s equally at home on a road trip as it is on a road course. Plenty of manufacturers boast these sorts of intentions for their sporting machines, but AMG’s engineers and designers have delivered on the task.

The Verdict: 2019 Mercedes-AMG GT 4-Door Coupe Review

Fast, attractive and full of all sorts of wonderful engine sounds, AMG’s new GT 4-door is a comfortable and capable machine that delivers on the promises of its name. I don’t even mind that they want to call it a 4-door Coupe. But I’m still going to have a hard time calling it an AMG GT.

The AMG GT 4-door Coupe will be available at dealerships in the first quarter of 2019. Pricing will be released closer to the release date.

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