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2019 Mercedes-AMG GT R Pro Most Hardcore Model Yet

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Will there still be a Black Series, or is this the hottest it will get?

Ever since Mercedes effectively (if not technically) replaced the SLS AMG with the new AMG GT over four years ago, we've been waiting for it to release a Black Series version. This isn't it, but it might as well be.

It's called the GT R Pro, and it's the most track-focused road-going version of the Mercedes-AMG GT yet. It's lighter, with a stiffer suspension, more extreme aero, and the looks to go with it – all benefiting from Affalterbach's experience with the GT3 and GT4 racing versions of the same, even if the engine remains untouched.

The new Pro version retains the 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 in the same spec as the existing GT R. But with 577 horsepower and 516 lb-ft of torque, it was hardly in need of much enhancement. So it'll still accelerate to 60 in 3.5 seconds and top out at the same 198 mph. But the enhancements make it quicker on the track: where the "standard" GT R took an entirely respectable 7 minutes and (nearly) 11 seconds to lap the Nürburgring Nordschleife, the new Pro version managed the same in just 7:04.632 – an impressive difference of over five seconds.

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While it's not enough to claim a new lap record, it puts it ahead of the Nismo version of the Japanese giant-slayer of the same name (which was clocked a few years back at 7:08.679).

To get it there, AMG fitted a suspension that's not only stiffer but more adjustable to enable fine-tuning for individual tracks. The Pro model also makes more extensive use of carbon-fiber components, five-spoke forged alloys, and a further array of aero components for more and better downforce. And it's all (optionally) wrapped in a matte finish with contrasting racing stripes.

"No other current production Mercedes- AMG is as close to motor racing as the new AMG GT R Pro," said AMG chief Tobias Moers. "The agile responses to all driver commands and the overall performance now deliver even more of that incomparable feeling that our racing drivers experience on the track."

Along with the Pro version, AMG has also rolled out a series of other enhancements for "lesser" versions of the GT coupe and roadster, including some subtle visual tweaks, a new steering wheel, the center console from the four-door coupe, and a new driving-control system and instrument display. But the Pro version is clearly the highlight.