by Karl Furlong
Like every other carmaker, Mercedes has been forced to adjust to a changing automotive climate where more efficient internal combustion engines or electric powertrains are prioritized. But for now, at least, Mercedes-AMG hasn't given up on V8-powered bruisers for the enthusiast. We already welcomed the new SL Roadster, and now the second-generation Mercedes-AMG GT Coupe is here.
Unlike the SL, which has a base four-cylinder 43 variant, the new GT only comes with two V8 engines (at least, for now), the top 63 model making 577 horsepower and seeing off the 0-60 sprint in 3.1 seconds. Now equipped with the AMG Performance 4Matic+ all-wheel-drive system for the first time, the character of the GT will have changed, and it's available with 2+2 seating. Is the new one still deserving of its status as the top AMG model?
See trim levels and configurations:
|AMG GT 63 4matic Coupe
4.0L Twin-Turbo V8 Gas
The release date for the Mercedes-AMG GT is scheduled for the first half of 2024, when it will start arriving at dealerships in the USA.
No price for the 2024 Mercedes-AMG GT has yet been announced, but the previous base GT started at an MSRP of over $115,000 when it was last on sale, although it was actually more powerful than the new GT 55, which has 469 hp. Still, the newly standard 4Matic+ AWD system and numerous other improvements will probably bump the starting price up to about $125,000 for the GT 55. The new GT 63 has the same power as the older AMG GT R, so we expect it to cost in the region of $175,000.
At these prices, the almost invincible Porsche 911 is one of the 2024 AMG GT's main rivals. Since the GT now has standard AWD, the Carrera 4 ($121,700), Carrera 4S ($138,600), and 4 GTS ($158,200) are logical alternatives. In general, the six-cylinder 911 achieves similar performance with less power, and it is still the handling benchmark. But the GT's more exciting looks, V8 engine note, and the luxury promised by the badge are its own notable selling points.
While the latest SL is a much sportier looker than its predecessor, the exterior of the Mercedes-AMG GT isn't as drastic a departure from the model it replaces. It's still AMG's most head-turning single model, though, with a grille and gaping lower front section that looks like it wants to literally eat up the road. This grille retains its vertical bars, and it is flanked by newly shaped Digital Light headlights with new internal graphics.
Moving around the exterior, one can take in the long wheelbase, short overhangs, and the windshield that is steeply raked. The curve of the small rear side windows has a 911 look about it, but the two cars won't be easily confused otherwise. New LED taillights have a three-dimensional "light dots" signet, and a special animation when arriving at the car or walking off. A prominent rear diffuser and classic quad tailpipes finish off the sporty rear fascia. An Aerodynamics Package is available as an option, and this includes a bigger diffuser attachment and fixed rear wing. Along with extra air deflectors on the outer air intakes and wheel arches, this package lowers front-axle life and boosts downforce.
Both the GT 55 and GT 63 have standard 20-inch wheels that can be upgraded to 21s. In total, there are eight new wheel designs, five exterior packages, and 11 paint colors for the Mercedes-AMG GT. The full list of colors will be available closer to the car's on-sale date.
The new Mercedes-AMG GT coupe has more generous dimensions than that of its predecessor. Its 106.3-inch wheelbase, for example, is almost three inches longer than before, while the body length of 186.1 inches is over six inches longer; these changes were essential to make provision for those small back seats. The new coupe measures 78.1 inches in width and has a 53.3-inch height.
Mercedes-AMG has pointed out various weight-saving measures such as the composite aluminum body structure and the wet start-off clutch in place of the torque converter. Despite this, no curb weight specs have been announced yet, but the new model may be heavier than the previous one's 3,500-odd pounds because of its larger body and standard AWD.
For all that is different, it's good to see that the 4.0-liter V8 twin-turbocharged engine still has a place in the Mercedes-AMG GT. This mill generates 469 hp and 516 lb-ft of torque in the GT 55, and 577 hp/590 lb-ft in the GT 63. Both models feature the fully variable AMG Performance 4Matic+ AWD system and an AMG Speedshift nine-speed automatic with a wet multi-disc start-off clutch.
The previous base GT was actually quicker, with the new GT 55 needing 3.8 seconds for the 0-60 mph sprint - around two-tenths slower than before. Its top speed is limited to 183 mph. As for the GT 63, its 0-60 time is 3.1 seconds, and it gets painfully close to the 200-mph mark with a limited top speed of 196.
The new nine-speed transmission replaces the seven-speed dual-clutch system and promises short shift times. Manual control is possible via the aluminum shift paddles behind the steering wheel.
The variable 4Matic+ system permanently powers the rear axle, with the driving conditions dictating whether power is directed to the front - up to 50% of power can be sent to the front axle, but the GT can also operate as a pure RWD coupe. Unsprung mass is reduced thanks to forged aluminum for the suspension links, steering knuckles, and wheel carriers. Both models have the AMG Active Ride Control suspension with roll stabilization, while a rear limited-slip differential and rear-axle steering are also standard.
Six drive programs - Slippery, Comfort, Sport, Sport+, Individual, and Race - tailor the driving experience. These, together with the variable AWD system, deliver a broader spread of talents than was possible with the outgoing RWD GT.
Gas mileage figures haven't been shared yet, but the previous AMG GT Coupe could manage 17 mpg combined. The new one is a larger car and has a heavier AWD system so it may drop by 1-2 mpg over the combined cycle.
Assuming around 16 mpg, the new GT's range will be just under 300 miles based on its 18.5-gallon gas tank.
The digital displays and general layout of the Mercedes-AMG GT's interior are almost identical to that of the new SL. It's a sporty design, and there are expensive materials aplenty, but we do wish that the GT had a few unique design flourishes to distance it from its drop-top sibling.
A portrait-style 11.9-inch center touchscreen is paired with a 12.3-inch digital driver's display with selectable layouts. Functions and settings are handled by the MBUX (Mercedes-Benz User Experience) system we've already seen in other new Mercs. Being an AMG, there are unique menu items and displays, including the AMG Performance menu displaying data such as lateral acceleration and power distribution between the axles. AMG Track Pace underscores the intent of the coupe, allowing you to track lap and sector times, amongst other performance metrics. Merc's 64-color ambient lighting system is standard, alongside Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and hands-free Bluetooth - but a head-up display is left to the options menu.
AMG sports seats with integrated headrests are standard in the Mercedes-AMG GT, and these are adjustable electrically. Optionally, customers can select the AMG Performance seats with ventilation openings and side bolsters that narrow when the racier driving modes are selected to help keep you in place. A massage function, meanwhile, means that even this high-performance coupe can pamper you like an S-Class. Two-tone Nappa leather, Manufaktur Nappa leather with diamond quilting, and Nappa leather/microfiber with top-stitching in red or yellow are some available upholstery choices.
Drivers face an AMG Performance steering wheel with a double-spoke flat-bottom design, which is wrapped in Nappa leather or Nappa leather/microfiber. The big news is the addition of optional rear seats for two occupants, with Mercedes saying this is in response to customers' wishes. This row will be too small for taller passengers, however, with the automaker saying it's suitable for occupants under five feet tall. Kids will be fine, but even lankier teenagers won't.
Several driver-assistance systems will be up for grabs. Relying on a combination of cameras, sensors, and radar, they can assist with steering and lane changes or help you to maintain a set distance from the preceding vehicle. We expect the best ones to be on the options menu.
At 11.3 cubic feet, the cargo space in the Mercedes-AMG GT isn't bad for such a sporting machine, and the space can expand to 23.8 cubes when the rear seats are folded. The large hatch-style trunk lid comes with hands-free access and makes access to the cargo bay easy.
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