by Jay Traugott
Mercedes-Benz doesn't build many AMG Black Series models. In fact, only five such models have been deemed worthy of receiving the Black Series designation. And now, the sixth such one has arrived. Meet the new 2021 Mercedes-AMG GT Black Series, the most powerful AMG GT to date.
This isn't just some basic tuning job requiring a new rear spoiler and additional bits of aero. Designers and engineers at AMG headquarters in Affalterbach, Germany went above and beyond by focusing on every aspect of the two-door coupe to guarantee maximum performance. They also utilized lessons learned from the AMG GT3 racing car program. Going from track to road-legal is never easy, and perhaps that's why the AMG GT Black Series will go down in the automaker's history as one of its finest creations. Porsche 911 GT3 RS owners: pay attention.
|AMG GT Black Series||
4.0-liter Twin-Turbo V8 Gas
Because so much has changed under the hood, numerous exterior adjustments were required with AMG taking a "form follows function" approach. For starters, there's an enlarged radiator air inlet featuring chrome vertical struts. The carbon fiber front splitter has two manually adjustable settings and a uniquely shaped front diffuser that, depending on its position, increases downforce on the front axle.
Other active aerodynamic body elements include wheel arch coolers, semicircular flics, air curtains, and underbody paneling. Both the cool-looking hood with a pair of air intakes and roof are carbon fiber. The huge two-stage rear spoiler is also carbon fiber and painted matte black. What's interesting about this spoiler is that AMG inserted an adjustable flap in its upper blade that creates four activation strategies: AMG Dynamics Basic, Advanced, Pro, and Master. When driving at lower speeds, this flap extends to create additional downforce. When traveling above 155 mph, it retracts in order to reduce air resistance.
Other noteworthy exterior features include AMG exclusive magmabeam paint, 10-spoke forged wheels in matte black wearing specially developed Pilot Sport Cup 2 R MO tires, and windscreen thin glass.
The interior is a stunning blend of luxury and racing tech. There's exclusive Nappa leather with Dinamica black microfiber and orange contrast stitching while the door panels are equipped with loop pull straps instead of conventional handles to help save weight. In Europe, customers can order AMG carbon-fiber bucket seats while the US receives standard Performance seats. Plenty of AMG badges are scattered throughout.
The GT Black gets an AMG Performance flat-bottom steering wheel made from aluminum and trimmed in microfiber, while a pair of aluminum paddle shifters make changing gears quick and easy. The steering wheel also features two freely configurable display buttons. Additional switches on the left side enable further AMG functions to be controlled directly by the driver from the wheel.
Two fully digital displays are standard: a 12.3-inch instrument cluster in front of the driver and a 10.25-inch screen on the center console featuring three AMG-specific display styles: Classic, Sporty, and Supersport.
Under the long hood lies a 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 producing 720 horsepower and 590 lb-ft of torque, making this Black Series the most powerful AMG GT model to date. That power is sent to the rear wheels through a seven-speed dual-clutch. But instead of the typical cross-plane, AMG went with a flat-plane crankshaft. This results in improved smoothness at high torque at low rotational speeds.
These engine changes are so extensive in fact that AMG decided to give the car a new internal code designation. Additional powertrain-related updates include new camshafts and exhaust manifolds, and the twin-scroll turbochargers are mounted in anti-friction bearings for better throttle response.
So, how fast are talking about here? AMG claims the GT Black Series will accelerate from 0 to 62 mph in only 3.2 seconds. Top speed has been clocked at 202 mph.
Like with the AMG GT R Pro, the Black Series rides on a coilover suspension with adaptive adjustable damping. There are three driving modes to select from: Comfort, Sport, and Sport Plus, with the latter being the ideal choice for the track.
Official pricing for the 2021 Mercedes-AMG GT Black Series has not been announced, but expect it to cost more than the $163,000 AMG GT R Pro. Sales are due to get underway in the US and other markets early next year.
There's very little competition in this segment, but the rivals are fierce. The most direct one is the Porsche 911 GT3 RS. Looking for something that's not front- or rear-engined, try the McLaren 675LT. Interestingly, Mercedes-AMG hasn't provided a production count just yet. Chances are, however, it'll be limited and the first examples are expected to be offered to longtime Mercedes-AMG customers.