A host of clever new features could turn this GT3 into yet another hit for Mercedes.
As many automakers do, Mercedes-AMG claimed to have Porsche in its sights when it decided to bring the AMG GT to life. Though it looked completely different and had its engine at the opposite end, the AMG GT was intended to be a spine in the side of the 911's status as the world's best sports car. But in order to truly stick it to Porsche, Mercedes had to woo racing customers, which it did with its AMG GT GT3 race car, the first generation of which came out in 2015.
But the car world moves fast, and in order to keep up, Affalterbach has just taken the wraps off the second-generation AMG GT GT3 just ahead of the 2019 24 Hours of Nurburgring. The car looks fantastic as ever, with a wicked-looking Panamericana grille featuring a wider and angrier gape, but the bulk of the changes were made beneath the skin.
Mercedes engineered the bulk of the GT3's redesigns to help the new car be cheaper for a race team to operate, which is a huge factor racing must take into account. For starters, the outgoing car's naturally-aspirated 6.3-liter V8 is more robust, featuring a longer interval between its required rebuilds. The front end also does a better job protecting the radiator, engine, front axle, front suspension, and steering system from impacts, all with the aim of making the car cheaper to fix after minor bumps and crashes.
Other upgrades include aerodynamic elements, like the front splitter and rear wing, that are easier to adjust quickly, making pit-lane modifications possible. The new AMG GT GT3's air filter is also easier to reach so that teams can minimize time spent in the pit.
And then there are AMG's host of electronic enhancements. Among these is Drop Start, a feature that automatically starts the engine as soon as the AMG GT GT3 is dropped from its integrated air jacks, allowing the driver to focus on getting back to driving after a pit stop. Traction control has also been updated to better allow the car to take advantage of the current generation of competition tire.
Like all race cars, the new AMG GT GT3 isn't cheap. The starting price is €399,000 euros before tax or $454,682 at today's rates. But even a similar price for the last generation of Mercedes' GT3 car didn't stop AMG from selling 130 copies.