How one little tuner is set to wreck havoc on Porsche’s entire lineup.
Mercedes-Benz is the world’s first automaker, but even its in-house tuning division AMG is older than some fairly popular auto brands. Next year, AMG is poised to celebrate its 50th birthday, and Mercedes, as the Jay Gatsby of the auto industry, is planning to throw one hell of a year-long party. According to Autocar, this party is about to be bigger than we thought because Mercedes will be bringing the new AMG GT 4 to the bash.
If you think this means a FIA approved GT4 race car based on the AMG GT, then double check the space between the name GT and the number 4 because what Mercedes is trying to tell us is that the AMG GT will be gaining two doors so that it can compete with cars like the Porsche Panamera and sporting variants of the Bentley Continental GT. Autocar claims that the sedan is codenamed the X290 and will be set to debut around the time that Mercedes brings its Aston Martin AM-RB 001 fighter, the R50, to production. True to the AMG GT, this four-door sports car will be a technological masterpiece that will send the Panamera cowering in the corners.
It will come in two flavors upon release, 4Matic+ and the range-topping S 4Matic+, both of which will get the new AMG E63’s 4.0-liter V8 engine with revised twin-scroll turbochargers set between the cylinder banks. The engine is good for 600 horsepower in the AMG E63 although Mercedes will likely crank up the boost on the S 4Matic+ to set this sedan apart from its lesser sibling. The 4Matic part of the name should set some alarm bells ringing in fans of RWD vehicles since it means power will be going to all four wheels, but thanks to Mercedes’ new system that’s seen on the E63, power delivery to the front and rear wheels adjusts on the fly in order to milk every drop of cornering grip out of the tires.
A drift mode will satisfy those customers with self-destructive tendencies who like to decimate perfectly good tires. The GT 4 will also see some of Mercedes’ newest high-tech goodies including a 48v electrical system that should help power engine components usually driven by a belt, allowing the engine to expend more of its power budget on the wheels. It will also give juice to the technological gizmos and a fancy Integrated Starter Generator. The ISG is an electric motor mounted on the gearbox that can start the engine on the fly, allowing for seamless stop start operation. When it’s not busy saving the environment by helping the 4.0-liter sleep at red lights, it will dump an additional 20 horsepower into the drivetrain to make corner exits that much more extreme.
Even the GT 4’s engine mounts will be tuned to help keep the power plant stable when cornering Gs exceed the norms. While the AMG GT 4 will bear a resemblance to the AMG GT, it won’t actually share platforms. To keep an edge over Porsche, Mercedes will take its Modular Rear Architecture (MRA) that’s used in the AMG C63, E63, and S63 and give it “unique” wheelbase and track width measurements as well as a bespoke suspension setup, likely in attempts to make it corner better than the rest of the AMG lineup (save for the AMG GT). If you’ve had your eye on the new Panamera, then it may be wise to hold off until 2019 when the AMG GT 4 is slated to hit showrooms.
When it does, don't expect to cut a check for anything less than $147,000. This Porsche-killing mentality is doing AMG some good. According to what AMG boss Tobias Moers told Autocar, AMG, the tuning division not Mercedes as a whole, is almost as big as the entire Porsche brand was in 2010 before it built the Macan. Germany, please keep this automotive civil war going because we love the results. Rendering images by Theophiluschin.