To make the car feel balanced, Mercedes engineers used technology from the Corvette.
The story of the Mercedes-AMG GT started the way most sports car stories start, with the Porsche 911. It seems that for as long as the hands on a clock have been spinning, the Stuttgart superstar has reigned over the sports car and supercar kingdoms with an unprecedented level of success. It has a countless array of options to suit any need whatsoever and its cars are regarded by many as some of the best to drive in the world. Since Porsche came into being almost every car company has been playing from behind.
Unfortunately most only succeed in making second place alternatives. For years the Mercedes SLS AMG was one such car, but the Tri-Star’s secret was that it wasn’t even trying. To them, the SLS AMG was just an expensive toy for those who wanted gullwing doors and a loud V8. But if there’s one thing that Mercedes can’t resist it's money, and that’s something that the 911 greedily sucks from rich doctors and young lawyers. To steal some customers from its German rival, Mercedes’ tuning house got to work on a car that could fight the 911. It had to look good enough to stand out on the streets yet cheap enough for the young stockbroker at the start of their career to be able to afford one.
It also had to attack the Porsche on the 911's strongest front, making a driver feel like a king. To start, Mercedes laid out a platform that it knew would speak to drivers. It borrowed the traditional V8 up front, prop shaft in the middle, and transaxle in the rear setup from the Chevrolet Corvette. This keeps the transmission in the rear and has the advantage of keeping weight distribution fairly even. Anyone who has driven a previous generation BMW M3 or a new M4 can report back on how good a car with a balanced weight distribution feels to drive. To further preserve driving feel, Mercedes makes good use of aluminum by constructing 90% of the car’s frame out of the lightweight material.
Despite the use of lightweight materials, the AMG GT still tips the scales at 3,600 pounds, just 12 pounds more than the Porsche 911 Turbo S. This is fitting because despite the Merc’s aspirations to beat Porsche, it is still a Mercedes and must have luxury. This means that the AMG GT is no GT3 RS fighter, although rumors of a hardcore version of the car that will take on the Porsche have been floating around for some time now. It isn’t that the current car is a slouch in the corners, though. Two locking differentials, one mechanical and the other electronic, take live inside both the GT and GT S. Both send 503 horsepower to the rear wheels from the 4.0-liter twin-turbo engine.
The power plant is unique too because it hides its turbo inside the "V" of the engine in a setup known as the “hot vee.” Soaking up bumps in the road is a very clever suspension system that mediates the powertrain and chassis coupling with magnetorheological fluid to respond to changes in .001 of a second. Four separate chassis modes help the driver fine-tune the system for the perfect grand touring adventure or to lay down some rubber. This rubber can vary too because the AMG GT comes with multiple options for track or road use. When Mercedes bundled all of this together it managed to create a true driving machine. Motor Trend rated it as its best driver’s car for 2015, and given that this was the intended goal, it looks like Mercedes succeeded.
Even though Porsche fans will follow the brand wherever it goes, Mercedes still succeeded in building a car that embodies its spirit. Porsches are meant to be the practical daily driven sports car, but the AMG GT is for the James Bond sort of driver that likes cocktails, fine suits, and cars that have an attitude. The Jaguar F-Type is a car like this, and the Mercedes AMG GT serves as a moderate option between the Jag and the Porsche. Like the British muscle car and unlike the Porsche, the AMG GT is also one of the best looking cars in its family. For managing to stay true to the dramatic way that Mercedes presents performance while focusing on the driver’s sense of joy, the AMG GT will go down in history as one of Mercedes’ best cars.