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There's a new GT R in town and it's a Mercedes

Front midship 4.0-litre biturbo V-8 puts out 577 hp and 516 lb-ft

Published: June 26, 2016, 10:30 PM
Updated: July 7, 2016, 3:00 PM

Mercedes-AMG GT R

Mercedes-AMG GT R badge

The GT-R is one of those unmistakable cars that has built up a loyal following over the generations, but there may be a new GT R to give something for enthusiasts to think about — the Mercedes-AMG GT R.

The latest Mercedes/AMG collaboration is also its greatest, with the GT R boasting the most motorsports technology ever packed into one of their cars. It features a 577-hp 4.0-litre biturbo V-8 (with peak torque of 516 lb-ft available from 1,900 through 5,500 rpm), intelligent lightweight construction, an extensively modified suspension, and advanced aerodynamics.

Mercedes-AMG GT R 4.0L twin turbo V-8 engine

“Our sports-car and performance brand AMG has its roots in motorsport and, ever since its formation, has repeatedly faced up to the competition on the racetrack,” says Professor Thomas Weber, Member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG, responsible for Group Research and Mercedes-Benz Cars Development. “These genes are particularly prevalent in the new AMG GT R. Boasting a wealth of technological innovations, the new top-of-the-range model is proof of the close collaboration between our constructors of racing cars and road-going vehicles.”

The engine is mounted behind the front axle (front midship) and controlled by a 7-speed dual clutch automatic transmission. Top speed is pegged at 319 km/h, with 0-100 taking an estimated 3.2 seconds. It’s not a unique powertrain or placement, but it’s been enhanced to grab the driver’s attention.

Mercedes-AMG GT R

But it can’t do as much attention-grabbing as the eye-catching paint-job. Mercedes calls it AMG Green Hell Magno, reportedly in tribute to where the car spent most of its development — on the Green Hell (the nickname of the Nürburgring’s Nordschleife).

Handling has been enhanced through several initiatives. The track is wider, creating a more stable platform for higher speed cornering, and further enhanced with the use of rear-wheel steering, an adjustable coil over suspension and other electronic controls (such as the adjustable traction control).

New aerodynamics include a new front fascia with active bits, new grille with vertical fins (oddly reminiscent of early Corvettes), and a large rear wing over the new rear fascia (which has a new double diffuser). Lightweight forged alloy wheels are shod with competition tires.

Mercedes-AMG GT R interior

“With the new AMG GT R, we have reached the next level of driving performance. This road-going sports car with motor-racing genes and innovative technical solutions offers an ultimate driving experience that allows people to feel our motorsport origins in every fiber,” says Tobias Moers, CEO of Mercedes-AMG GmbH. “It combines the driving dynamics of our AMG GT3 racing car with the everyday practicality of the AMG GT. Those with gasoline in their veins will be thrilled by the radical longitudinal and lateral acceleration, the precise turn-in and the sensational grip. We have modified all performance-relevant components and linked them together intelligently for maximum driving dynamics.”

The interior looks like something out of a video-game racing car, with full instrumentation displayed in a busy, high-tech, metal instrument panel, and racing bucket seats decorated with yellow embroidered AMG logo on the headrests, and matching yellow seatbelts.

The third member of the AMG GT line is due in North America in the middle of 2017.