First previewed last September, Mercedes-Benz Australia has finally unveiled the new GT S to local punters. The biturbo 4.0 litre V8, two seater coupé – subtly replacing the now legendary SLS – has styling and specs set to take on allcomers.
The goal? …to take on its Stuttgart rival, Porsche, specifically the iconic 911 GT3. This coupé is impressive, very impressive, and competitively priced to boot – the SLS was a smidge over $AU500,ooo, this incarnation lands in Oz for a smidge under $AU300,ooo.
For my liking, the only downside is that Australia will miss out on the base Model GT, Mercedes Benz Australia instead opting for the fully loaded version ::::
The new rear-wheel drive high-performance coupé, shares elements of its body structure and styling with its gullwinged predecessor and becomes the first Mercedes-AMG model to make use of the newly developed V8 direct injection petrol engine, following a public premiere of the GT at the Los Angeles motor show in November, Australia won’t see the base model GT, just the spec’d GT S.
While stupendously sexy gullwings are no longer part of the design, the Mercedes-AMG GT S is still set to swoop in and snag buyers away from its archnemesis, the Porsche 911. Based on the previous SLS, it has lost weight and gains a real trunk with room for two golf bags.
There are two models. First is the GT S, with a new 503-hp 4.0-litre twin-turbo V-8 and a seven-speed automatic; expect a 0-60-mph time of about 3.5 seconds and a top speed of 310 kmh/193 mph. The second model, the milder GT with 456 hp, has been canned by Benz-Australia …for now!?
GT-S sprints from 0 to 100kmh in just 3.8 seconds, with a top speed of 310kmh
This new AMG flagship is priced slightly higher than first expected, and is most likely going to be sold out for three years, waiting list now, this might just be a Porsche killer!? The hottest Benz since the SLS – we’ll stop saying SLS in a moment, still a little shattered that it was discontinued last year – has arrived Down Under with a higher than expected starting price of $295,000 plus on-road costs.
Upside is we get the higher-output ‘S’ model, which will be the only version of the Mercedes-AMG GT coupé available in Australia, though Benz has indicated “at the moment”. For purists there is an ‘Edition 1’ launch special, which costs almost $20,000 more at $314,900 plus ORCs. I’m personally a little disappointed, like the 911T, I’m into base models, pretty sure I could live with the extra weight though.
Previously, Benz Australia had reckoned the GT S pricing at between $AU250,000 – $AU270,000, however the group says that pricing applied to the entry-level – non S – GT model.
Benz says its GT S isn’t a rival for the world’s top-selling supercar, Porsche’s 911, which starts at $208,600 in Australia, though it’s hard to see how it isn’t a rival for the 911 GT3, the specs and price -GT3 costs $293,600, $1400 less than AMG’s GT S.
For comparison sake: in the motherland, Germany, the AMG GT is priced from €115,430, while the GT S at €134,351, while the standard 911 Coupe costs €90,417, the 911 Carrera S costs €103,150 Euros, the 911 GTS costs €117,549 and the 911 GT3 costs €137,303. Is Benz Australia doing us a disservice by offering only one model?
Model: Mercedes-AMG GT S
Engine: 3982cc V8 (90°), dohc, 32v, twin-turbo
Max power: 375kW @ 6250rpm
Max torque: 650Nm @ 1750-4750rpm
Transmission: 7-speed dual-clutch
Kerb weight: 1570kg
0-100km/h: 3.8sec (claimed)
On sale in Australia: Now (Waiting List:)
On our motherland comparison, of course both the GT and 911 include more standard equipment in Australia, where the GT S comes with a number of extras that are optional in Europe.
The GT’s near-$300,000 sticker price hasn’t stopped hundreds of well-heeled Aussie AMG fans lining up for Affalterbach’s finest model.
First Australian customer deliveries of the GT S have kicked off, noteworthy is the release occurred at the same time as the new AMG C 63 S sedan, which lands at just over half the cost – $155,000 – and screams wow without actually screaming look-at-me.
Benz Australia won’t say how many GT customers it has, nor how many cars it will receive, however we understand through sources that between 125 and 150 GT S have been allocated for Australia this year, with a similar number shipping in subsequent years. Earlier this week we spotted 25 of the princely vehicles at the imposing Torquay RACV Resort, quite a spectacular site, psst, they come in a matt finish…
Given that well over 100 pre-orders were taken by last October, the GT S is likely to be sold out for up to three years …waiting list!?
The previous SLS AMG was a $AU500,000 model and Benz Australia had no trouble finding 120 local homes for it between 2009 and 2014 so the GT S should motor on out of showrooms.
Mercedes-AMG is expected to produce a direct successor for the SLS and/or perhaps even a million-dollar hybrid hypercar to rival the Porsche 918 Spyder and LaFerrari. Its next new models will be the GLE 63 Coupe SUV and C 63 Coupe.
The GT S debuts AMG’s new direct-injection 4.0-litre twin-turbo petrol V8, which will also power the C 63 and is related to the 265kW 2.0-litre turbo four that powers the A 45 AMG.
Equipped with twin turbos located within the vee, a rear-mounted seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission as standard, in top-spec GT S form the 3982cc bent eight sends 375kW of power (at 6250rpm) and 650Nm of torque (between 1750 and 5000rpm) to the rear wheels.
AMG says that’s enough to propel it to 100kmh in only 3.8 seconds on its way to a 310kmh top speed, while impressively combined fuel consumption is listed at just 9.4L/100km and CO2 emissions at 219g/km. For the record, the ‘standard’ GT offers 340kW and 600Nm, and is claimed to take two-tenths longer to hit 100km/h on its way to a 300kmh top speed.
With a kerb weight of just 1540kg, the base GT is 100kg lighter than the SLS, though extra equipment in the 1570kg GT S reduces the savings to 70kg. Front/rear static weight distribution for the front-engined, rear-transaxle GT S is the same as the SLS at 47/53.
In the GT S, the AMG RIDE CONTROL damping system is electronically controlled and adjustable on the fly — individually or as part of AMG’s Dynamic Select system, which also tunes the hydraulic variable-ratio steering, throttle mapping, gearbox characteristics and stability and traction control functions across four preset modes (Comfort through Sport and Sport+ to Race).
The GT S also features a Porsche 911-style dynamic engine and transmission mounting system that’s new to AMG, and a new electronically-controlled clutch-style limited-slip differential.
A range of Intelligent Drive assistance systems from the latest S-Class are fitted as standard, including COLLISION PREVENTION ASSIST PLUS, ADAPTIVE BRAKE, ATTENTION ASSIST, Adaptive Highbeam Assist, PRE-SAFE system, PARKTRONIC, a reversing camera, Lane Tracking package including Lane Keeping Assist and Blind Spot Assist, eight airbags and tyre pressure monitoring.
The standard brake set-up features floating alloy/cast iron 390mm front discs and 360mm rears, but AMG also offers huge 402mm/360mm carbon brake discs as an option on the GT S.
The Edition 1 comes with a black aerodynamic package comprising larger front splitter, ‘flics’ on the side air intakes and front wheel-arches, black trim on the side sill panels and a fixed rear wing.
There’s also a carbon-fibre roof, exterior Night package with black diamond grille, black exhaust outlets, and gloss-black front wing fins, wing mirror housings and rear diffuser.
The Edition 1 rides on 10-spoke light-alloy wheels (9.0×19-inch front, 11×20-inch rear) painted in black with a high-sheen finish, wrapped in 265/35 R19 tyres at the front and 295/30 R20 tyres at the rear.
Inside, there’s Black nappa leather with red contrasting top stitching, Performance seats with integral belt guide in black nappa leather/DINAMICA microfibre with red contrasting top-stitching, Interior Black Diamond package, Performance steering wheel in DINAMICA microfibre with flattened lower section, 12-o’clock marking, red contrasting top stitching, steering wheel bezel in silver chrome with “Edition 1” lettering and silver aluminium shift paddles.
The impeccably as always trimmed AMG cockpit shames all but the 911s, the Porsche features better ergonomics and wider visibility, the AMG’s sport seats don’t seem to have the balance of snug that the Porsche seat gives, a little too rap-around, however we concede that’s a matter of taste.
The main quirk of the Mercedes, however, is that its gear selector is placed far rearward up on it’s high sloping center console, a little like a people mover. We understand this is due to Americans’ need for cup holders. We’re not huge fans of Mercedes’ column-based gear stalks, but one might have been more useful here. Alternately, ditch the cup holders.
Whispers around Benz reckon that the wizbang GT S will be followed in 2016 by the base level, 456-hp GT. Despite Mercedes’ refusal to comment on its impending existence, a blast-furnace Black Series model has as previously stated been seen in Australia. There may even be other models to come. Could we see a roadgoing AMG GT GT3? The racing version is in the works, after all.
As relentlessly competent as the GT S is, it clearly has more to give. The fundamentals are all here – and in true Benz style, nailed – but the ineffable, incandescent fire that makes a car transcendent awaits, it’s easy to forget that the 911 has been decades in its evolution, it’ll be interesting to see how quickly Benz can evolve the beautiful monster into a truly tamable beast. We fully expect to see that happen in a future variant, and we get the sense that – in grand 911 tradition – the AMG GT is about to spawn plenty of variants.
2015 Mercedes-AMG GT Australian Pricing (excluding ORCs)
Mercedes-AMG GT S – $AU295,000
Mercedes-AMG GT S Edition 1 – $AU314,900
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The Mercedes-AMG GT (C190) is a 2-door, 2-seat sports car produced by Mercedes-AMG since 2014. It is the second sports car developed entirely in-house by Mercedes-AMG.
The interior of the Mercedes-AMG GT was previewed on April 16, 2014. The car made its debut on 9 September 2014. At launch two models are available: the GT, with 350 kW (476 PS; 469 bhp), and the GT S with 375 kW (510 PS; 503 bhp). The GT has 600 N·m (443 lb·ft) of torque, and the GT S has 650 N·m (479 lb·ft) of torque.
The Mercedes-AMG GT S is Formula 1’s current safety car, having made its debut in that role at the 2015 Australian Grand Prix.
Mercedes-AMG CEO Tobias Moers promised a Black Series variant of the Mercedes-AMG GT, as well as a GT3 racing and street version, to rival the Porsche 911 GT3. Mercedes-Benz has confirmed that the new Mercedes-AMG GT S will cost starting at $US129,900.
M178 V8 in a GT. The turbochargers are visible in the centre, beneath a metallic heat shield.
The GT uses a front mid-engine, rear-wheel drive layout, with the engine inside the vehicle’s wheelbase. The spaceframe chassis and body are made out of aluminium alloys, while the boot lid is steel and the engine bonnet magnesium. The suspensions are double wishbones front and rear, with forged aluminium wishbones and hub carriers.
The car is powered by a front-mid mounted M178 4-litre twin-turbo V8. This new V8 is in “hot inside V” configuration—with exhaust and turbochargers inside the cylinder banks to reduce turbo lag—and uses dry-sump lubrication. Power is sent to the rear wheels through a transaxle 7-speed AMG Speedshift dual-clutch transmission; the GT S model employs an electronically controlled mechanical limited-slip differential. In Car and Driver’s road test, the AMG GT S accelerated from 0-60 in 3.0 seconds and ran the quarter mile in 11.2 seconds.
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