Stunning looks, perfect balance and awesome performance make the Mercedes-Benz AMG GT S one of the best sports cars ever, says Tonio Darmanin
The GT is the second sports car developed entirely in-house by Mercedes-AMG. It has everything you would expect from an authentic Mercedes-AMG sports car – from the characteristic styling and thoroughbred motorsport technology to the optimum weight distribution.
The Mercedes-Benz AMG GT S embodies sportiness and emotion as an expression of sensual purity. The long bonnet with its pronounced power domes, the greenhouse which has been moved far back, the large wheels and broad tail end make up the distinctive looks. The trimmed cabin results in muscular shoulders – the hallmark Mercedes “Coke bottle” shape – which lends the car its extremely powerful stance.
The combination of aluminium spaceframe, V8 biturbo engine with dry sump lubrication, seven-speed dual clutch transmission in transaxle configuration at the rear axle, locking differential, sports suspension with aluminium double-wishbone suspension and the low kerb weight of 1,540kg delivers racetrack performance.
The concept with front mid-engine and transmission in transaxle configuration makes for a beneficial weight distribution of 47 to 53 per cent between the front and rear axle. In conjunction with the vehicle’s low centre of gravity this translates into extremely agile handling and permits high cornering speeds.
The centrepiece of the AMG GT S, the awesome 4.0-litre V8 biturbo, responds instantly with extreme power right from low revs and delivers outstanding performance. Top figures such as 3.8 seconds from zero to 100 km/h and a top speed of 310 km/h, combined with the outstanding driving dynamics will undoubtedly translate into extremely fast laps on the racetrack.
The engine is produced in Affalterbach according to the “one man, one engine” principle. In the AMG engine shop, highly qualified fitters assemble the engines by hand according to the strictest quality standards – as confirmed by the AMG engine plate bearing the engine technician’s signature.
At the same time, the two-seater is a straightforward, comfortable and reliable companion for everyday motoring thanks to its practical tailgate, easily accessible luggage compartment, high level of comfort on long journeys and the extensive range of Mercedes-Benz Intelligent Drive assistance systems.
The interior design also embodies maximum emotion and sensual purity. Radically low, sporty proportions create a unique sense of spaciousness. Clearly drawn components and their authentic materials underscore the dynamic character and create instant excitement: anyone opening the door discovers an exciting interplay between the deep, sloping dashboard and a dominant, arched high centre console, a design which evokes emotions and impresses with its perfection.
Outstanding precision and a superior quality feel thanks to the finest materials with superb workmanship are also apparent on the sports seats, the performance steering wheel and the instrument cluster.
The GT S is fitted as standard with an electronically controlled rear-axle locking differential, which is likewise integrated into the compact transmission housing. The electronic function provides even more sensitive, faster control than the mechanical solution, thus pushing the limits of handling dynamics even further. It not only further improves the traction of the driven wheels, but also increases the cornering speeds at the limits. The system operates with a variable locking effect in acceleration and overrun mode, and is perfectly tuned to the various driving conditions and road surface friction coefficients.
The AMG Dynamic Plus package further augments dynamism and agility. It is available exclusively for the GT S and includes dynamic engine and transmission mounts. The engine and transmission mounts assume an important function in the case of a transaxle design: soft mounts improve comfort since they provide more effective decoupling of noise and vibration. Handling and agility benefit, however, from an overall stiffer mount set-up. Mercedes-AMG resolves these conflicting objectives using dynamic mounts, which adjust their stiffness continuously and instantly to the respective driving conditions and handling.
A specific engine application in the dynamic select race drive mode and in the manual transmission mode makes the GT S even more dynamic
Mercedes-AMG has gone for an intelligent material mix on the body of the GT S. Chassis including greenhouse and body are made of light alloy, the boot lid of steel and the front deck of magnesium. This extremely light element at the front reduces the inertia ahead of the front axle, thus improving the vehicle’s agility. Over 90 per cent of the weight-optimised spaceframe is made of aluminium components.
The bodyshell weighs 231kg– a benchmark figure in the sports car segment. There were three key objectives during the design and development of the bodyshell structure: optimum strength, low centre of gravity and low weight. The high bending and torsional strength of the entire design enables extreme linear and transverse forces from the powertrain and suspension to be absorbed and transferred. Unwanted flexibility is thus reduced, with the vehicle responding rigidly and directly. As a result, the driver experiences a car with maximum dynamism that responds with excellent precision. The aluminium spaceframe also provides the basis for outstanding passive safety.
The Mercedes-AMG GT S Edition 1 stands out with a hefty fixed rear spoiler. The spoiler is the most eye-catching aspect of the “aero” kit, which also includes an expanded front air splitter, extensions for the rocker panels and front wheel-arches and black trim on the side sill panels.
The GT S Edition 1 is capped with a carbon fibre roof, two-tone, ten-spoke alloy wheels, Nappa leather seats and Dinamica AMG fabric with red stitching. The AMG Night package comes with various shiny black accents, including two pairs of exhaust tips. The fixed spoiler and all the rest are exclusive to the Edition 1. That said, the other GT S units can be outfitted with red seat belts and an AMG Performance steering wheel swathed in the same Dinamica fabric found on the Edition 1 units.
The stunning looks, the perfect balance, the awesome performance and the aura of refinement all contribute to making the AMG GTS Edition 1 one of my favourite sports cars, ever.