It's the most powerful Black Series ever.
Only five Mercedes-Benz models have ever worn the Black Series badge but now, a sixth model has been deemed worthy of the name. After leaked info and an official teaser video, we knew that the AMG GT would be the next model to receive the hardcore Black Series treatment. The 2021 AMG GT Black Series has officially arrived and it should have Porsche 911 GT3 RS owners cowering in their bucket seats.
Like other AMG GT models, the Black Series is powered by a 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 engine sending its grunt to the rear wheels through a seven-speed dual-clutch. But in order to give the Black Series an added performance bump and make it feel even more special, this version of AMG's V8 features a new flat-plane crankshaft rather than the traditional cross-plane.
The change to a flat-plane crank results in improved smoothness and high torque at low rotational speeds. It also gives the Black Series more power than any AMG GT model before by a significant margin. The AMG GT Black Series produces an astonishing 720 horsepower and 590 lb-ft of torque. That's 143 hp more than the AMG GT R!
Since the Black Series engine has gone through such extensive changes, AMG has given it a new internal code designation of M178 LS2. AMG has also changed the camshafts and exhaust manifolds to adapt to the new firing order and the twin-scroll exhaust turbochargers have been mounted in anti-friction bearings to improve throttle response. Those turbos have also been boosted with a larger compression wheel, meaning they can deliver 24.6 psi (compared to 19.6 psi in the AMG GT R). This has also increased the redline from 7,000 to 7,200 rpm.
AMG says the GT Black Series can hit 60 mph in just 3.1 seconds, which is impressive for a front-engined car with rear-wheel-drive. More impressive is the 0-124 mph time of just nine seconds and the top speed of 202 mph. The seven-speed transaxle also has improved shift times and additional cooling to stand up to the extra abuse.
Much like the AMG GT R and AMG GT R PRO, AMG used a 'form follows function' approach to designing the Black Series' aerodynamics. Nearly every angle on the car features some form of aero element including the larger radiator air inlet, wheel arch coolers, air curtains, semicircular flics, manually-adjustable carbon-fiber front splitter, carbon-fiber hood, underbody paneling, and the massive two-stage spoiler at the rear. The entire spoiler is made from carbon-fiber and painted in matte black and is mounted on a rear hatch, which is also made from carbon fiber.
AMG has integrated an adjustable flap in the upper blade of the spoiler, creating four different activation strategies: AMG DYNAMICS Basic, Advanced, Pro, or Master. At low speeds, the flap can extend to create more downforce and then lower at 155 mph to improve the car's top-end speed. Drivers can even control the flap using a button in the center console.
The car rides on adaptive suspension with three modes, meaning it shouldn't be too stiff for public roads. A Pilot Sport Cup 2 R MO tire was developed specifically for the Black Series and is available in a soft compound or a hard compound for race track use at higher temperatures. When you are on a track, placing the traction control into ESP OFF mode disables all braking intervention. Drivers can then choose from nine slip settings on the live rear axle using the rotating knob on the dash.
Inside, the GT Black Series looks like a road-going race car with Exclusive Nappa leather combined with DINAMICA black microfiber and orange contrast stitching. To save weight, the door panels are now equipped with loop pull handles instead of conventional handles and are finished in microfiber. European buyers can strap into AMG carbon-fiber bucket seats but in the US, we will be stuck with AMG Performance seats as standard.
Mercedes has not yet announced pricing for the 2021 GT Black Series, which will arrive on the market in early 2021. Expect the price to be significantly more expensive than the AMG GT R, which costs $162,900.