by Michael Butler
The GT range of high-performance cars from the Mercedes-AMG stable has captured the hearts and imaginations of gearheads across the globe with its stunningly gorgeous looks and roaring V8 soundtracks. Considered the modern interpretation of the legendary 300 SL, the AMG GT line of cars represents the ultimate performance car in the Mercedes-AMG lineup, and the GT R is one of the baddest cars to ever roll off the production line. The 2020 car looks better than ever thanks to redesigned LED headlights and taillights, wider rear fenders, an aggressive diffuser, and AMG alloy wheels. But 'the tech such as adaptive aero and suspension, and that finely tuned V8 engine, now developing 577 horsepower, that makes the GT R truly come alive. It may be a tech powerhouse, but compared to rivals such as the Porsche 911, it's a harsher car, and not as practical to live with. Starting at $162,900, the Mercedes-AMG GT R is one of the most ferocious three-pointed star cars ever produced.
The beastly AMG GT R gets some impressive new features, as well as a minor nip and tuck for 2020, making it better to look at, and slightly easier to live with. The exterior of the GT R now features new LED headlights and taillights, while the back gets a more aggressive rear diffuser and redesigned exhaust tips. The AMG GT R also rolls on a set of new wheels, and Brilliant Blue Magno joins the exterior paint palette. Step inside, and you'll find a new 12.3-inch instrument-cluster display and a new 10.3-inch multimedia-center display that features standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration. The center console now features new display buttons, and the new steering wheel is equipped with AMG Drive Unit controls. AMG also offers a performance monitoring system to track lap times. For those looking for something even more extreme, Mercedes-AMG has added the GT R Pro to its lineup, which features an upgraded suspension setup, a bolted rear roll cage, forged wheels and more, but is limited to only 150 units in the US.
There's no other way to describe the GT R than a German batmobile. Its wildly sculpted exterior has been perfected on the track, but transitions to the road graciously, and we think it's one of the best looking Mercedes-AMG cars ever built. The 2020 car sees a lot of changes, especially in the rear, but starting up front, the GT R now gets new LED headlights with daytime running lamps and adaptive high beam assist. The 15 chrome bars in the front grille is a nod to AMG GT3 race car, as well as the classic W194 300 SL race car. The rear gets a new diffuser with redesigned tailpipes and taillights, as well as a set of broader aluminum rear fenders which are 2.2 inches wider. An active duct underneath the hood of the GT R helps to cool the turbo area above the V8 engine, and a carbon-fiber rooftop helps to lower the car's center of gravity. Mercedes-AMG's AIRPANEL active aero system reduces drag according to the driving situation, and an active carbon fiber underbody panel can lower by 1.6 inches to push the GT R closer to the road surface for added stability and handling performance. Available style packages also add carbon-fiber splitters, air vent fins, side skirts inserts, and a carbon fiber rear diffuser. This gorgeous show rolls on a set of new AMG forged 10-spoke wheels. Newly introduced GT R Pro cars get the Carbon Package I as standard which includes a carbon fiber splitter, trim strips, side sills, and a diffuser finished off with high-quality clear-coated carbon fiber, as well as a redesigned carbon fiber roof.
With a short wheelbase and broad shoulders, the AMG GT R follows in the footsteps of many a great supercar that has come before it. The total length of this Sindelfingen-built bullet measures in at 179.7 inches in length and is comprehensively wide at 81.7 inches when including the side mirrors. The AMG GT R stands 50.6 inches tall, and its front and rear track are 66.7 and 66.2 inches respectively. Rolling on a 103.5-inch wheelbase gives you a sense of the stubbiness of the car. Despite the extensive use of lightweight materials such as aluminum and carbon fiber, the GT R still weighs in with a hefty curb weight of 3,686 pounds. That's still significantly less than the Nissan GT-R Nismo, which tips the scales closer to 3,900 pounds.
The wild styling of the GT R deserves to be accompanied by some out-there color options; after all, the AMG GT R is basically a race car for the road, and most owners will want others to be aware of the fact. For 2020 Mercedes-AMG offers the GT R in 13 colors, with designo Brilliant Blue Magno joining the color palette. Those who care not for the attention of passers-by can have their GT R in subdued hues such as Magnetite Black metallic, designo Diamond White metallic (a $1,515 option), or the classic Iridium Silver metallic for $720, but at the end of the day its near-on impossible to hide the GT R's intentions. For those who want to draw crowds at the local Cars and Coffee meet, Mercedes-AMG offers the GT R in AMG Solarbeam Yellow metallic and the aptly named AMG Green Hell Magno, both of which asking $9,900, which is something to behold out in the wild.
The 2020 Mercedes-AMG GT R delivers true supercar performance, and its abilities have been proven around the Nurburgring by Mercedes-AMG factory driver Christian Gebhardt, who posted a best time of 7:10.92, which is a whole six seconds faster than the GT car, and also beats famed performance cars such as the Lexus LFA and Chevrolet Corvette ZR1. So to say that the AMG GT R is a fast car is an understatement, but the GT R Pro has done an even more impressive 7.04.632 by AMG GT3 racing driver Maro Engel. On the road, the GT R doesn't feel much faster than the standard GT, but on the track, the GT R shows off its ability and is most definitely the more accomplished car. Mercedes-AMG quotes a zero to sixty time of 3.5 seconds, which is plenty quick, but rather embarrassingly, the less powerful and cheaper Porsche 911 Carrera 4S with Sport Chrono will make the same sprint in only 3.4 seconds, largely due to all-wheel traction and more weight over the rear axle. Out in the real world, the AMG GT R's power is difficult to truly harness, and a dab of throttle should suffice for most situations, although a wonderful nine-stage stability and traction control program alloys you a broad range of playfulness from keeping things tight to lairy, smoke-inducing drifts.
The attention to detail that goes into assembling each and every handcrafted 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 engine found under the hood of the 2020 AMG GT R is honestly staggering. The GT R raises the standard power output of the GT (469 hp and 465 lb-ft of torque) to a serious 577 hp at 6,250 rpm and 516 lb-ft of torque at 1,900 rpm. This is accomplished by upgrading the wastegates, and a reprofiling of the combustion chambers and exhaust ports, alongside a set of redesigned turbos with a raised boost pressure of 19.6 psi. The engine is paired with the same transaxle seven-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox as lesser models, firing of snappy shifts with an accompanying bark through a lightweight part-titanium exhaust that saves 13 lbs over the regular item.
The exhaust deserves credit where it's due, as the GT R produces a wonderful soundtrack that betrays the notion that turbochargers destroy the sound of an engine. The AMG V8 sounds incredible, with a deep sonorous undertone and a bark at higher revs. It's as good a match for any naturally aspirated motor in this regard, and in the way it delivers its power. Sure, you get the big gut-punch with all the torque down low, but there's not a sniff of turbo-lag anywhere to be found. Drop the hammer in a sportier driving mode, and you're catapulted toward the horizon before you can even say "what turbo?"
With a lap time of 7:10.92 around the Nurburgring, you'd best believe that the AMG GT R is an accomplished handler, but it comes with a price: on ordinary city roads the GT R can feel harsh, especially at lower speeds. The AMG DYNAMIC SELECT driving system allows the driver to select between Comfort, Sport, Sport+, RACE, and a newly introduced Slippery mode. In comfort mode, the GT R delivers a firm ride that borders on harsh; an indicator of the car's track racing aspirations. Flipping to more aggressive modes increase engine and throttle response, shift timing, traction control, suspension stiffness, and exhaust sound. Step up to Race mode, and the GT R transforms into a track weapon: you get the fastest reaction times from the transmission, and the electronic stability system allows the driver to select from nine different levels of intervention. Step into a corner at high speed, and the GT R will take your breath away with its ability to grip to the road, and respond to the slightest of steering inputs, especially for such a weighty car, and the rear-wheel steering system makes tight corners disappear in the rear-view mirror. We applaud the team who developed the GT R's suspension and chassis setup: it delivers a bit of everything, and nails it all.
If the 2020 Mercedes-AMG GT R's fuel economy figures are going to play a significant part in your purchasing decision, then you'd be better off looking at a Volkswagen Golf GTI or the like. With 577 hp and 516 lb-ft of torque available under the right foot, the AMG GT R will suck down fuel faster than you can say "Green Hell", and even with a light foot, you won't get very far. The EPA gives a number of 15/20/17 mpg city/highway/combined, which is not bad when compared to some of its rivals. Mercedes-AMG has considered this and has fitted the GT R with a large 19.8-gallon fuel tank, which should give the car a maximum range of around 337 miles.
The interior of the GT R is surprisingly plush for a car with such obvious track racing aspirations, but we'd expect nothing less from the folks over at AMG. For 2020, the GT R gets a restyled steering wheel which features mounted AMG Drive Unit controls, and the center console has also been tweaked with capacitive display buttons, and AMG even offers an optional touchpad infotainment system. New owners will also get a few traditional creature comforts such as dual-zone automatic climate control, and available keyless entry and push-button start, as well as stainless steel illuminated door sill trim, heated power AMG Performance seats with a three-position memory system, as well as an optional HomeLink garage door opener. Sitting inside a GT R is a truly luxurious experience, and styling cues such as the rounded air vents echo the GT R's more civilian friendly siblings. But it is snug, and with the engine mounted far back in the chassis and the gearbox behind you, you always feel cocooned within the machine.
With a single purpose in mind, Mercedes-AMG didn't put too much thought into the interior dimensions of the GT R; instead, they spent their time tweaking the suspension and engine for more performance. The two-seater AMG does, however, offer enough space for two average-sized individuals, although larger drivers will be able to squeeze in it might get a bit tight, especially over long distances. Mercedes-AMG doesn't provide an official legroom measurement, but we found that six-footers won't have an issue getting comfortable, although getting in is a tricky affair thanks to low mounted seats and long doors. Headroom is measured at a decent 39.5 inches, and shoulder room is 58.3 inches. The AMG performance bucket seats offer race-car levels of support.
The interior of the 2020 AMG GT R is highly customizable: everything from the door sill material to the color of the seatbelts can be modified to suit the taste of the customer. The AMG sport bucket seats get treated to a combination of DINAMICA microsuede seat inserts and Nappa leather, and an optional seating and interior package adds Nappa leather to the seat bolsters and sides, armrests and console lid, as well as the upper dash, console, and doors. Other interior materials include the optional Black Piano Lacquer inserts or racing-inspired carbon fiber console inserts, dash vent surrounds, and door trim accents. The available AMG Interior Night Package includes a deep gloss black finish to the steering wheel, shift paddles, and rear-cabin crossbar, and door sills are finished off in black brushed aluminum. New owners will be able to choose between silver, yellow, or red seat belts as no-cost alternatives to the standard black items.
This two-seater rocket ship might not look like it offers much in terms of practicality, and especially trunk space, but you'll be pleasantly surprised when you pop the trunk lid on the 2020 Mercedes-AMG GT R. With 10.1 cubic feet of trunk space on offer that's enough space for current GT driver Floyd Mayweather to store half of his McGregor fight earnings, or if you're GT owner Sylvester Stallone, enough space to transport your mom's weekly dose of botox. The AMG's trunk space can be considered gargantuan in this class, but the transaxle layout and large hatch means you've got to be careful what you load in there.
Inside, the broad transmission tunnel means there's not much storage space, although a couple of cupholders and a few storage nooks suffice for keys and smartphones. But you're hardly going to be taking much along to the track in a GT R in the first place.
Unlike most ordinary cars that rely heavily on their standard and available features to make sales, the AMG GT R, as with many other supercars, doesn't offer that much in the way of creature features; rather, it focuses on outright performance. That's not to say that the GT R is a stripped out race car: you still get comfort features such as dual-zone automatic climate control, heated bucket seats with three-way memory, and optional keyless entry and push-button start, as well as a HomeLink universal garage door opener. The exterior of the AMG GT R gets a carbon fiber roof, active aero, redesigned LED headlights and taillights with daytime running lights, as well as active suspension, rear-wheel steering, and an electronically controlled limited-slip differential, so a good balance of performance and comfort. Optional extras such as heated and power-folding side mirrors, and lane-keep and blind-spot assist make the GT R a viable daily driver for those brave enough.
The new decade brings with it a heavily revised infotainment system, which features more of the modern amenities that we've become used to in more civilian-friendly cars. The centrally-mounted display is now a 10.25-inch high-resolution unit that features auto adjustment for ambient lighting, but unfortunately, it is not touch-sensitive as of yet. The standard rotary knob COMAND system is used to flip between menus via the standard rotary central controller and can feel clumsy at times. It would be advisable to go for the optional touchpad, which alleviates some of the navigation issues. Standard infotainment features for 2020 include integrated navigation with 3D maps and building profiles, and Mercedes-AMG will update your maps for up to three-years. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration are standard, and the lightweight four-speaker sound system with 100 watts of power output is best used to blast Iron Man by Black Sabbath while the GT R is at idle. Optional sound systems include a ten-speaker Burmester system, or an even more powerful system with 11 speakers and 1,000 watts of power.
The specialized Mercedes-AMG GT R has been recall-free over the past year, with GT models from way back in 2016 being recalled for issues ranging from malfunctioning location services to driveshaft connection issues. Mercedes-AMG will back their GT R with a standard four-year/50,000-mile basic warranty, which includes corrosion, drivetrain, and roadside cover for the same time or distance. Mercedes-AMG also offers optional maintenance packages ranging from a two-year/20,000-mile plan for $1,490, all the way to a four-year/40,000-mile maintenance plan for $2,850.
Both the NHTSA and IIHS have yet to test one of the AMG variants, which makes complete sense when you consider the fact that only a handful of these cars make their way to America on a yearly basis, and with an asking price sitting comfortably above $150,000, it would be a crime against car-lovers everywhere if the GT R were to be smashed into a million tiny pieces. Despite the lack of official safety status, most owners won't ever question the ability of the Mercedes-AMG GT R to keep them safe in the event of an accident, especially considering the fact that most other Mercedes-AMG and Mercedes-Benz cars have consistently scored among some of the safest vehicles on the market.
From its structure, all the way through to its driver assistance features, the AMG GT R has been designed to keep its occupants safe, even during high-speed collisions. It all starts with the GT R's aluminum space frame, which is super rigid and is braced with select carbon fiber pieces to ensure structural rigidity. The exterior also features newly designed LED headlights and taillights with adaptive high-beam assist. Once inside, the AMG GT R offers eight airbags, including side-impact airbags and dual front knee airbags. Active driver assistance features include active brake assist, attention assist, and adaptive braking, with blind-spot monitoring and lane-keep assist being optional extras. The AMG GT R also gets front and rear parking cameras and distance warning.
We live in a world where supercars are no longer the top dogs on the road; hypercars rule the roost and have become the ultimate number-chasing weapons for the road, and while they might perform brilliantly, they lack practicality and can come across as clinical in the way they go about things. Mercedes-AMG, on the other hand, has focused less on sheer numbers, and more on the emotive side of supercar construction. Don't get us wrong, the GT R is still a technological marvel, but it brings so much more than horsepower figures to the table. It's an all-out German super muscle car that looks as crazy as it sounds, and it has single-handedly revived Mercedes-Benz's status as a builder of supercars. Sure there was the SLR McLaren, but with scores of celebrities snatching up GTs, and a series of good performances on the track, the GT, and GT R have become household names in the performance car community and they definitely deserve their place amongst the future classics of the automotive world.
The GT R asks a significant premium over the standard GT car, which makes total sense when you consider the added performance and unique features that come with this model. Starting at $115,900 excluding tax registration and a gas guzzler tax of $1,000, the Mercedes-AMG GT Coupe is nothing to sneeze at, but it will cost you a minimum amount of $162,900 to add the letter R behind the GT moniker; that's a difference of almost $50,000. The competition also comes in cheaper, with the Nissan GT-R only costing $113,540. Tick all the boxes on the options list, and the GT R will end up costing you well over $200,000. The hardcore GT R Pro only starts at $199,650, and is limited to 750 units globally, of which 150 will be coming stateside.
The 2020 Mercedes-AMG GT R is available in GT R and GT R Pro guises. Both are powered by the same twin-turbo 4.0-liter V8 developing 577 hp and 516 lb-ft, with power sent to the rear wheels via a seven-speed DCT automatic.
Standard exterior features on the GT R include LED headlights, a carbon-fiber roof, and an active aero system. Inside, the AMG GT R offers a good amount of standard features, especially for such a specialized performance vehicle. The interior is covered in micro-fiber and Nappa leather, and you can flood the cabin with optional carbon-fiber if you so wish. The new infotainment system consists of a 10.25-inch high-resolution unit that gets SiriusXM satellite radio, HD radio, Bluetooth streaming, integrated navigation, and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration. The four-speaker sound system can be replaced with two premium Burmester sound systems of varying performance. Active driver assistance features include adaptive high-beam assist, brake assist, attention assist, and adaptive braking. Blind-spot monitoring and lane-keep assist are optional extras.
GT R Pro cars get newly developed adjustable coil-over suspension, extensive use of carbon-fiber,including a redesigned carbon-fiber rooftop, and functional aerodynamic enhancements. These models are limited in availability with only 150 units available in the United States and only for the 2020 model year.
The tech-laden AMG GT R is in its standard form an already intimidating car, but Mercedes-AMG offers a broad spectrum of additional options to make their GT R better handling, and easier to live with, which is all good and well, but you bet your $2,500 limited edition Nike trainers that it's going to cost you. The exterior of the GT R can be painted in the fabulous AMG Green Hell Magno for a cool $9,900, or why not get a set of 19/20 inch AMG Performance forged five-spoke wheels for $1,700. The AMG Exterior Carbon Fiber Package II adds carbon fiber side mirror housings a rear wing as well as its vertical end plates for $4,000. The interior offers three upholstery materials and a $3,150 matte carbon-fiber trim package. New owners can even choose what color seatbelts they want. The $1,300 Convenience package adds heated and power-folding mirrors, a HomeLink Garage door opener, and more. If your only concern is setting fast lap times, then the AMG high-performance ceramic composite braking system has to be on your checklist.
There's only two options: you either buy the GT R, oryou strap on your helmet and get the GTR Pro, so if you decide to pull the trigger on the GT R, we'd suggest a few additions that should make this German muscle car even more special. On the exterior, we'd go with the ridiculously in-your-face Green Hell Magno paint color, and fit a set of black 19/20 inch AMG Performance forged twin five-spoke wheels, as well as the aggressive AMG carbon fiber exterior package. Inside there's no other choice than to go with the exclusive AMG interior carbon fiber package with red seat belts. The $1,300 Convenience package, which adds heated and power-folding mirrors, HomeLink and keyless entry, is a no-brainer, and we'd also suggest going for the mid-range Burmeister sound system with 10 high-quality speakers and a 640-watt 10-channel digital amplifier. Finally, the $875 Lane Tracking package should be a definite tick as it adds blind-spot monitoring and lane-keep assist. We'd only recommend going for the GT R Pro (if you can find one) if you're planning to exclusively compete on the track. Driving one on a daily basis will require a special kind of dedication, and with only 150 bound for our shores, you'd cry if it got damaged.
When the AMG GT was first launched back in 2015, it heralded a new age for the German automaker and placed Mercedes-AMG firmly amongst the other supercar producers of the world, including European rivals such as Porsche and Ferrari. Five years later, the AMG GT is still a force to be reckoned with; it's twin-turbo V8 (which it shares with the GT R) produces 469 hp and 465 lb-ft of torque, and will accelerate to sixty in 3.9 seconds, almost half a second off the GT R, but out in the real world, the GT feels just as fast, and will only reveal its lesser status on track. The GT shares its wheelbase with the GT R, but weighs less, at 3,666 pounds, and lacks the aggressive exterior looks of the GT R, which will be a selling point for some. Inside, the GT looks and feels the same, and only misses out on a few seat and trim options, but shares tech such as the new for 2020 infotainment system and LED headlights. We'd say go with the GT if you're not a hardcore track fan; it costs almost $50,000 less and on the road it feels just as fast.
This is a serious clash between East and West: the Nissan GT-R is as popular as ever and enjoys a massive aftermarket support structure, which means that you'll rarely find a stock Nissan GT-R in the wild. Powered by a 3.8-liter twin-turbo V6, the Nissan might be down two-cylinders, but it still manages to produce 565 hp and 467 lb-ft of torque; numbers that can skyrocket to well over 600 hp with a simple plug-in tune. Power is sent to all four wheels via a six-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. The Nissan will return 16/22/18 mpg city/highway/combined, which is slightly better, but not by much. On the road, the GT-R transcends the border between car and driver: every input and suggestion is met with a cool and calculated response, and the GT-R will accelerate to sixty in only 2.9 seconds, making it over half a second quicker than the rear-wheel-drive AMG GT R. Where the Nissan starts to lose out is on the inside, where it can't match the premium feel of the Mercedes-AMG, and it also has a smaller trunk, measuring only 8.8 cubic feet. The GT-R might be quicker off the line and an extremely capable handler. But it lacks the excitement and brute nature of the AMG GT R. Even though it costs a whole lot more, we would have the Merc every time.
Check out some informative Mercedes-AMG GT R video reviews below.