We have no idea how Mercedes is going to make the Black Series more hardcore than this.
They say that a journey of 1,000 miles starts with a single step, and Mercedes took plenty of steps to make the new Mercedes-AMG GT R a reality. Despite the fact that it’s based on the AMG GT and GT S, each bit of new technology helps take another step to depart from the donor car and makes the GT R an entirely different animal. In the end, this car is built to upend the Porsche 911 GT3 RS’ reign as the fast driver’s car of choice. Here are five ways that the AMG GT R will get the job done.
There are many means to an end, and while the AMG GT is an attempt to do what the 911 does better, it isn’t trying to be a copy of the Porsche. The GT3 RS is a light car, but the AMG moniker is prefaced by the word “Mercedes” so luxury appointments should be standard. That’s why the standard GT and GT S weigh 600 pounds more than the GT3 RS. Carbon fiber was enlisted to assist the battle of the bulge, and the result is that much of the car is made up of carbon fiber. These parts include the roof, prop shaft, brakes (carbon ceramic), rear wing, front fenders, stiffening struts, underbody brace, and front splitter. Even without carbon fiber, many crucial components have gone on a diet to save precious pounds wherever possible.
Even with weight savings elements helping the Mercedes, the GT R did not show up to the party just to compete. It wants to win, and to do so, the GT R uses the power of the wind to aid it both on the straights and in the corners. Downforce is a reoccurring theme, and the AMG GT R has plenty of help in this area. Aside from the usual rear wing and front splitter, there is a nifty carbon fiber element under the car and ahead of the engine that moves down at over 50 mph and creates a venturi effect. In plain English, this means that it enables the body of the car to act as an upside down airplane wing, forcing it into the ground. When the feature is engaged, another flap near the radiator opens to allow wind to kiss away brake heat and channel it over the rear diffuser.
As mentioned before, many components have been lightened, but this isn’t only in the pursuit of weight savings. A lighter prop shaft and flywheel help reduce rotational inertia, all in the name of enabling gut punching speed changes with minimal delay. A reworked suspension system features a wider track and is lighter than the setup used on the GT and GT S, reducing unsprung weight. Similar to the Ferrari F12tdf, the four wheel steering system turns the rear tires 1.5 degrees in the opposite direction as the fronts at low speeds to enable a tight turning circle. At high speeds, the rear wheels move in conjunction with the front tires to virtually lengthen the wheelbase and allow for more stability at high speeds.
A common theme on many of today’s sports cars and supercars is that the high levels of performance they offer is easily accessible by drivers of all skill levels. Mercedes knows that its customers aren’t all as good as their own F1 champ Lewis Hamilton, so it placed a computer with Hamilton’s survival instincts inside to intervene when a driver tries to pull off stunts outside of their skill budgets. Level 1 extends lifespans when the conditions outside are relegated to “Muslim protester at a Trump rally” level. Meanwhile, level 9 are for days when the racing helmet and driving gloves come out. The seven other levels in between allow for a tailor made experience that allows for drivers to marry the point between the car’s capabilities and their own skill.
Finally, we get to the 4.0-liter monster that lives under the hood. The twin turbocharged V8 utilizes a higher compression ratio and reworked spools that suck the exhaust in where conventional engines usually get their air. This is known as a “hot vee” because the two turbos are arranged inside of the V of the engine. The advantages are that the turbochargers take less time to spool up and the engine can be more compact. It can then be stuffed lower and further back in the engine bay, improving the center of gravity. Problematically, the setup also means that the motor gets hotter, which is solved by adding a fan behind the radiator to help with cooling when air isn’t flowing through the gorgeous Panamericana grille.