I call dibs.
The AMG GT for the family man has arrived, and it's… well, kinda awkward looking with a big gaping grille and bulging flanks. I’m probably in the minority, so I’ll move on to stuff that matters, like the stupendous power available to shuttle you and three of your loved ones plus one more person that you might not like so much. Mercedes already makes ridiculously fast AMG versions of their S-Class flagship (and S-Class Coupe and Cabrio), E-Class executive sedan (and coupe… and cabrio… and wagon!), and all their SUVs.
Wait, I almost forgot about the CLS 4-Door Coupe, but this one is the sporty one! I can’t help but think an AMG GT Coupe SUV is coming next… For chassis connoisseurs, you’ll want to know that the GT 4DC is based on the E-Class’s MRA rear-drive platform rather than the original AMG GT, though AMG stylists have done a fine job making it look more a part of the GT family rather than just another Benz four-door coupe, with new body shell reinforcement techniques to provide a solid base on which to build huge performance potential.
Anyhow, the AMG GT 4DC (let’s just call it that for now, I just can’t stand writing 4-Door Coupé every time…) arrives in two main trims: biturbo V8 63 series and EQ-boosted inline-six 53 series. The 63 series come packing a 4.0-liter biturbo V8 and the peak performer is the GT 63 S 4Matic+ tuned to 630 hp at 5,500 to 6,500 rpm and 627 lb-ft from 2,500 to 4,500 rpm, paired with an AMG-massaged nine-speed automatic and AMG-flavored all-wheel drive with drift mode. The highlight reel is a 60-mph sprint in 3.1 seconds and top speed of 195 mph.
The GT 4DC also promises superb handling with the addition of optional active engine mounts to go along with Mercedes-AMG’s suspension trickery (steel springs and adjustable damping on 53, multi-chamber air suspension on the v8s), carbon-reinforced body shell and rear-wheel steering (only on V8 models). Drop the S from the GT 63 and you only lose 0.2 seconds in the sprint (3.3 to 60 mph) and 2 mph at the top end (193 mph top speed), but the 4.0-liter biturbo V8 should make all the same noises even if it’s making a mere 577 hp and 553 lb-ft.
The next step down for those that don’t want to have their cars impounded and license suspended within the first 10 seconds is the GT 53 with a 429-hp 3.0-liter inline-six turbo paired with EQ boost. EQ boost pairs a starter motor and alternator in a 21-hp, 184 lb-ft electric motor sandwiched between the engine and a slightly different nine-speed transmission (with a traditional torque converter instead of the V8’s wet clutch) to provide a shot of torque and deliver acceleration to 60 in about 4.5 seconds, topping out at 174 mph. EQ Boost also delivers significant efficiency benefits, powering a 48-volt battery that runs any electrical accessories onboard and taking the load off the engine in many situations.
Brakes are all huge and you can order carbon ceramic disc that reduce weight and provide greater stopping power and durability for track days if you are prone to flinging your family ride around the local circuit. Aerodynamics also offers some efficiency gains or big downforce depending on the situation or the setting, utilizing adjustable spoiler and grille shutters, or an optional performance aero package with a focus on downforce and speed.
The interior is another step in the evolution of Mercedes interiors, featuring the twin 12.3-inch screens mounted over the jet-turbine vents seen previously in the CLS, but the centre console does away with the problematic touchpad over scroll wheel in favour of a console-mounted shifter (which doubles as a hand rest) with a trackpad in front of it. You might also spot new capacitive switches for various vehicle functions instead of the old buttons. Press photos make the rear seat look limousine spacious, but a plunging roofline means adults better watch their heads getting in. A hatchback opens up to a nice cargo space and the rear seats fold almost flat and split 40/20/40 for maximum flexibility.
The AMG GT 63 and 63 S go on sale in early 2019 and the 53 will arrive in mid-2019. Pricing has not yet been announced.