Sketch previews Mercedes-AMG's Porsche Panamera Turbo-rivalling GT super-saloon, due in 2019 to replace the CLS Shooting Brake
4 March 2017

The Mercedes-AMG GT concept has been previewed with a sketch before it's revealed at the Geneva motor show next week.

Arriving in what is AMG's 50th year, the 600bhp-plus four-door saloon concept will provide clear hints to a production version that's due on roads in 2019.

New Mercedes-AMG GT Concept to make production in 2019

Designed with a coupé-like roofline and four door body, the GT concept sports a large rear diffuser that hints at hardcore performance capabilities for the future production car. It will use a twin-turbocharged 4.0-litre V8 engine, and will replace the CLS Shooting Brake in Mercedes' line-up.

As AMG's third dedicated series production model line, the GT four-door will follow on from the SLS and the existing GT, and arrive after AMG’s recently announced limited-volume, F1-inspired hypercar.

Targeted at the the Porsche Panamera, BMW 6 Series Gran Coupé and Audi A7/RS7, the new saloon, codenamed X290, is the brainchild of AMG boss Tobias Moers.

Original plans for a model in the mould of the GT four-door were first aired in a series of patent applications filed by AMG in 2012. At the time, plans centred around a long-wheelbase version of the SLS featuring two gullwing doors and a pair of small, rear-hinged rear doors.

More recent plans for the performance saloon subsequently became more closely linked to the GT. But while the latest addition to AMG’s line-up will share key styling cues and elements of its mechanical package with the company’s headlining sports car, sources say it will be based on a different platform from the bespoke aluminium structure used by the GT.

The basis for the GT four-door is parent company Mercedes-Benz’s modular rear architecture (MRA), as used on the C 63, E 63 and S 63. It has been specially modified for the four-door GT, with what AMG insiders describe as 'unique' wheelbase and track width measurements.

Other dedicated features include the greater use of lightweight materials within the floorpan and body structure, most notably aluminium and hot-formed high-strength steel, the adoption of which is aimed at lowering the weight of the new model to below that of Mercedes-AMG’s existing MRA-based models in the search of greater performance potential and enhanced handling characteristics.

Power for the 2019 model will come from the latest evolution of AMG’s twin-turbocharged 4.0-litre V8, already confirmed for the new E 63. Among its developments is the adoption of new twin-scroll turbochargers mounted between the cylinder banks. These new units are claimed to provide improved induction qualities over the more conventional ones used in the existing version of the M177-designated engine.

The new engine is tipped to be offered in two states of tune from the start of sales, with both standard 4Matic+ and S 4Matic+ models. In initial range-topping S 4Matic+ guise, the GT4's engine output is expected to top the 603bhp of the new E 63 S 4Matic+.

It is also understood that AMG is considering coupling the engine with a newly developed integrated starter generator (ISG). The move would not only provide it with the ability to deliver short periods of added performance via a 20bhp electric motor mounted within the gearbox, but also to offer instant start-up, with what one engineer with knowledge of the new system described as 'seamless' stop-starting.

The ISG operates via a 48V electrical system, suggesting the GT4 could adopt a moderate-sized lithium ion battery as part of its arsenal of high-tech developments.

The engine will also feature dynamic mounts designed to suppress load changes during hard cornering and be combined with the latest version of AMG’s Speedshift MCT automatic gearbox.

This transmission will be coupled to the latest version of the 4Matic four-wheel drive system, which features a fully variable apportioning of power between the front and rear wheels. It will also incorporate a ‘drift’ feature that allows the driver to channel power exclusively to the rear wheels, in a move aimed at promoting oversteer.

Also likely is a less powerful six-cylinder variant of the GT four-door powered by Mercedes-Benz’s new turbocharged 3.0-litre in-line engine, likely in combination with the aforementioned ISG.

The Panamera rival will have a largely bespoke suspension system that is being developed to provide unique dynamic characteristics, with greater camber adjustment and wheel control than those delivered by the suspension used on other MRA-based AMG models, along with revised steering rates. It is not yet clear whether the GT four-door will include the three-chamber Air Body Control air springs used on the latest E 63.

AMG is on a roll at the moment, with booming global sales. Moers, who was made chairman in 2013, said the Mercedes performance division is approaching the size that Stuttgart neighbour Porsche was in 2010 before the Macan SUV was launched.

In recent years, AMG sales have boomed, with sources suggesting that the launch of models such as the turbo 3.0-litre V6-powered C 43, E 43 and GLC 43 will help to push AMG volumes to well over 80,000 units this year.

The AMG line-up currently comprises 31 models, with plans to expand to 48 models.

Additional reporting by Julian Rendell

Our Verdict

Mercedes-AMG GT S

Smaller, less pricey follow-up to the SLS reveals its true capabilities

Join the debate

Comments
15

2 November 2016
The two door car is so hard and harshly sprung, this will just make everyone throw up in the back as it looks like a poor amount of glass to look out of - they have the S-Class, and AMG E-Class, why waste money on yet another derivative that will be limited in sales... spend it on the bread and butter cars to make them better.

2 November 2016
would make sense, next to the two-door GT which is already a sort of 928 successor that Porsche forgot to make.

2 November 2016
Except that this will be more like an E class in drag, and not based on a lengthened GT platform. Er, rather like a CLS AMG then?

2 November 2016
Don't forget the E-Coupe. Mercedes is fast becoming pointless as a brand.

3 November 2016
It's probably just this "GT 4" in disguise. After all, it'll be on the E's platform with a "different track width".

5 November 2016
That will be great for Simon Templar instead of a new 4 cylinder Volvo.

5 March 2017
When I see the full of that Mercedes Benz Car it will be awesome & a beauty

6 November 2016
Looks more like a five-door hatchback than a saloon. And has glass become so expensive that even Mercedes customers with a hundred and twenty grand in their pocket would baulk at what it would cost for a bit more of it? Even the front door windows are too shallow. Car manufacturers seem to be treating glass like the world is about to run out of it.

I don't need to put my name here, it's on the left

 

21 February 2017
Why are any of you commenting on the styling, given that the picture was created by Autocar as their suggestion for what the car MIGHT look like?

Citroëniste.

21 February 2017
That's a good question Bob, if I may I will try and answer that one. Some of the people will have no idea that they are just being used to generate advertising revenue. Which is fine by me because without the advertising here I doubt that this online version of Autocar would exist with occasionally something worth reading or watching.

 Offence can only be taken not given- so give it back!

Pages

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Lexus LC500
    Car review
    20 October 2017
    Futuristic Lexus LC coupé mixes the latest technology with an old-school atmospheric V8
  • Maserati Levante S GranSport
    First Drive
    20 October 2017
    Get ready to trade in your diesels: Maserati’s luxury SUV finally gets the engine it’s always needed
  • Jaguar XF Sportbrake TDV6
    First Drive
    19 October 2017
    The handsome Jaguar XF Sportbrake exhibits all the hallmarks that makes the saloon great, and with the silky smooth diesel V6 makes it a compelling choice
  • Volkswagen T-Roc TDI
    First Drive
    19 October 2017
    Volkswagen's new compact crossover has the looks, the engineering and the build quality to be a resounding success, but not with this diesel engine
  • BMW M550i
    First Drive
    19 October 2017
    The all-paw M550i is a fast, effortless mile-muncher, but there's a reason why it won't be sold in the UK