The future four-door production model will be a rival to the Porsche Panamera when it is launched in about 18 months time. These early shots suggest its design will stay true to the striking show concept.
Up front, the car’s LED headlights have been retained, and its slim glass line also looks unchanged. At the back, heavy cladding covers the tailgate’s lines but it’s likely that the same swooping lid leads into thin taillights that resemble those of the GT coupé.
The car is built upon a heavily reworked version of the E-Class’s structure with a stretched wheelbase. Like the GT concept, the body is expected to be longer, wider and shorter than the E-Class, giving the car a more sporting stance.
The concept was 5065mm long, 2046mm wide and 1405mm high, making it larger and lower than the Panamera – emphasising the car’s aggressive design. Despite the name link, the car’s drivetrain layout will be more closely related to the E-Class than GT sports car, meaning it will locate its gearbox up front rather than in rear-mounted transaxle position.
At first, the four-seat GT will be offered with a twin-turbocharged 4.0-litre V8 petrol engine, but it is not yet known if it will be the dry-sump M178 unit of the GT or the wet-sump M177 used in the AMG E 63.
Drive will be sent to all four wheels and power is expected to exceed 600bhp, ranking the four-door’s unit above even that of the hardcore GT R track-focused model. But this output will be eclipsed in 2019 when a hybrid version is launched.
That car’s drivetrain was previewed in the concept which mated an electric motor to AMG’s 4.0-litre V8 to produce 805bhp and enable a sub-3sec 0-62mph time. Mercedes Formula 1 battery technology was used to warrant recharging through brake energy recuperation and input from the combustion engine.
Mercedes may not name its four-door GT model the GT 4, because it already produces a GT4 racing car that’s based on the GT road car. However, GT could be used in some way to distance the model from the four-door CLE, which will replace the CLS, to emphasise the car’s powerful performance.
The car will arrive around September 2018, likely to be priced slightly higher than the 542bhp Porsche Panamera Turbo which starts at £113,075. The hottest hybrid version could command significantly more.