This isn't the SL Coupe, but a new, cuddlier Mercedes-AMG GT Coupe with 585hp
Yes, cuddlier. Mercedes has been talking to its customers and found that what they crave most of all from the new AMG GT Coupe is something less… harsh. Easier to use every day; comfier to drive around in. While still being an utter powerhouse, naturally.
Merc has obliged, starting over and using not one piece of the old chassis. This new car is 180mm longer and 40mm wider than before, meaning enough space inside for 2+2 seating and a 250-litre boot that’ll swallow a bicycle, apparently. A 70mm longer wheelbase means the interior shouldn’t be quite as restrictive either. Well, less so than lycra.
At launch we get two versions as before, each harnessing the 4.0-litre V8 biturbo assembled by hand at AMG HQ in Affalterbach and twinned with a 9spd auto ‘box. The numbers are familiar: the GT 63 draws an unchanged 585hp, with 800Nm arriving between 2,500-4,500rpm for 0-100km/h in 3.2 seconds and a top speed of 315km/h.
Not that the engine’s been ignored, Merc hastens to add. It gets a new oil pan, repositioned intercooler and active crankcase ventilation, while the inlet and outlet ports have been honed for more efficient gas exchange. Meanwhile a wet starting clutch replaces the old torque converter, reducing weight and improving responsiveness, it claims.
The GT 55 generates 475hp (also unchanged), enough for 0-100km/h in 3.9 seconds and a vee-max of 295km/h. Both versions achieve 14.1l/100km, should the cost of living crisis be making any GT buyers out there more fuel aware. Merc wouldn’t rule out a plug-in hybrid, when we asked about it…
Oh, and both are equipped with Merc’s 4Matic all-wheel drive system. It’s continuously variable, so you can have 50:50 distribution for icy back roads and full rear-wheel drive for track shenanigans.
What else? The body is aluminium but with steel, magnesium and carbon fibre composite woven in for maximum rigidity at the minimum weight. Multi-link suspension front and rear; electric rear axle locking diff; carbon composite brakes Michelin Pilot Sport Ss. Not exactly ingredients for an inoffensive victoria sponge…
And there’s loads of stuff that’s active. The rear spoiler is active, the ride control and roll stabilisation is active, the rear-axle steering (up to 2.5 degrees of lock, opposing your steering inputs below 100km/h and mimicking them above it) is… yep, you’re there already. All of which contributes to more comfort and real-world driving smarts, claims Merc.
Inside there’s an 11.9in portrait touchscreen running Mercedes’ MBUX system. There are creature comforts like ambient lighting, massage seating and the option of one- or two-tone nappa leather, but also track day stuff like torque, acceleration and tyre pressure data, and sports seats that inflate their bolsters for added support in Sport, Sport+ and Race modes. Nice. The other three settings are Slippery, Comfort and Individual. Pretty self-explanatory.
Heated steering is standard, and we counted four - yes four! - USB-C ports; two front, two back. A panoramic roof is optional. 20in wheels are standard, but 21s are available as an upgrade.
“The new AMG GT Coupé combines highly dynamic driving characteristics and distinctive sportiness with a high level of everyday comfort,” said Michael Schiebe, Mercedes-AMG chairman.
“Our new GT is clearly the top-of-the-line product in our diversified portfolio and is therefore not only AMG's youngest brand shaper, but also a clear commitment to the sports car made in Affalterbach. With the new dimension concept and optional 2+2 seats, we are directly responding to the wishes of our customers.”
Thoughts on the design? TopGear.com was given a sneak preview of the car during the launch of the new E-Class last month, and in the metal the edges are noticeably softer (anyone else seeing pre-facelift F-Type in the headlights?) than before. The bulkier dimensions don’t leap out at you either: it’s a Bigger Car now but it was a Big Car before.
This is the fifth independent series model after the SLS, Mk1 GT Coupe, GT 4-door Coupe and SL. Where does this rank among that lot?
STORY Joe Holding