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2018 Mercedes-AMG GT C First Look Review: Has AMG Built The Perfect Convertible Sports Car?

First Look / Comments

And if so, what's going to happen to the SL?

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, so behold the new Mercedes-Benz AMG GT C. Looks are subjective, but we struggled to find any faults with the new GT. If we had to nitpick, we'd say the borrowed grill from the GT R isn't quite as nice as the one on the standard car, but that might be our only fault. What AMG has done is build what could possibly be the best convertible sports car on the market. The coupe version of the AMG GT won MotorTrend's best driver's car last year, and the convertible model just made it even better.

The coupe version of the AMG GT is still excellent, and would be the one we would buy if we wanted more luggage space. The convertible will have a conventional trunk, while the coupe gets the added benefit of having a shooting-brake-style hatchback. Practicality aside, the AMG GT C, not to be confused with the Bentley Continental GT-C, takes the AMG GT formula, and introduces even more excitement. Mercedes has figured out how to make a twin-turbocharged engine sound naturally aspirated and the exhaust on the GT is simply demonic. Now, you can put the roof down to enjoy the 4.0-liter twin-turbo symphony with even more clarity.

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Just watch and listen to how nice it would be to drive this thing down a winding pass. With the wind in your hair and that exhaust in your ears, a smile on your face would be a permanent feature.

Some people dislike convertible sports cars because they compromise on performance. Not so with the convertible AMG GT C. The AMG GT coupe produces 456 horsepower from its 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8, and the S model is bumped up to 503 hp. In order to give the convertible model some more flare, Mercedes decided to divide the convertibles into two models. The AMG GT Roadster is the base model, and comes with a 20 horsepower increase over the standard GT. The more powerful GT C model comes with 557 horsepower, which is more than the GT S, and only 20 less than the GT R. This means that the GT C can hit 60 mph in 3.7 seconds, which is exactly the same as the GT S.

Clearly, AMG wanted buyers of the convertible to know that they wouldn't be sacrificing performance by choosing it over the coupe. Tall buyers may want to wait until the convertible is available because the coupe is very tight for head room. This new car really isn't a threat to the standard AMG GT at all. It's the other two-seat convertible Mercedes, the SL, that needs to be worried. The SL has always been the two-seat convertible of choice for "seasoned" well-heeled buyers. Sure, there's always the Porsche 911, but some people just want their six-figure convertible to have a comfortable ride. Now though, the S-Class convertible seems like the model to buy if you have a a bad back.

The S-Class convertible looks better than the SL, is more comfortable than the SL, and has two extra seats for the grandkids. If you did want the SL for its sportiness, it has now been completely overshadowed by the magnificent AMG GT Roadster and GT C. The AMG department is currently working on improving the SL for 2018, but we don't know why it would bother, given that it may have already built the perfect convertible. We no longer see any reason to buy an SL, but every reason to buy the AMG GT. Clearly AMG has hit one out of the park here, but has probably ruined one of its longest-standing model ranges in the process.