For three generations Mercedes-Benz has focused on producing a supercar that can run with the world's finest. Its latest rendition, the AMG GT, launched two years ago. Although it's not as flamboyant as the McLaren SLR or the gullwing-doored SLS, the GT brings a new option to buyers who might've otherwise considered a Porsche 911, Audi R8, Nissan GT-R or BMW i8.
For 2017, the AMG GT range has blossomed; a new base level (AMG GT) and an ultra-potent R version designed for track days join the former standalone S model. Buyers hoping for a convertible version will need to wait for at least another year, though.
At its core, every AMG GT uses a 4.0-litre twin-turbocharged V8 engine. It's similar in nature to the engine used in 63-series AMG products, but it receives upgraded internals to help deal with more power and the strains high-performance engines are subject to.
The standard GT produces 456 horsepower and 442 lb-ft of torque, while the GT S produces 503 hp and 479 lb-ft of torque. Benz claims a 4.0-second 0-100 km/h time and a 304 km/h top speed for the GT, with the S taking 3.8 seconds and topping out at 310 km/h. The R, on the other hand, makes 577 horsepower and 516 lb-ft of torque. All of these vehicles use an AMG Speedshift seven-speed dual-clutch transmission, with the R featuring a longer first gear and shorter final gears for improved on-track performance.
Power isn't the only thing the standard GT misses out on; it goes without some of the S' luxury features. The wonderfully sonorous AMG adaptive exhaust nor the Burmester audio system aren't present as standard, nor is the adaptive suspension system nor premium Nappa leather seats.
All cars have high-quality cabins finished in leather, metal, and carbon fibre; drivers face a full set of performance instruments, plus an 8.4-inch Comand screen that controls the vehicle's infotainment features. Proximity key with push-button start, automatic high beams, blind-spot monitoring, a reverse camera, and Parktronic park assist are standard; radar cruise control is an option. The GT also receives emergency autonomous braking as standard, impressively, it's able to apply 100% braking power at speeds of up to 105 km/h.
As for the R, it receives a unique coilover suspension system with forged aluminum knuckles and hub carriers that are designed to reduce weight. The GT R also gets a steel and titanium exhaust system and revised front-end styling with a forward-canted grille and intakes. It's also available in an exclusive matte-finish Green Hell Magno paint, which references the nickname of the famous Nurburgring race track.
Thanks in part to its new entry-level model, the AMG GT now sells for a base price of $133,600, with the S model climbing ever so slightly to $150,700. Pricing for the R hasn't yet been announced but expect it to cost well over $200,000.
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