Setting a new design template
Stylistically, the GT concept treads new ground for Mercedes-Benz, both in proportion and detail. Created under the guidance of Mercedes-Benz design boss, Gorden Wagener, it adopts the relaxed surfacing treatment already adopted by the latest E-Class Coupe, eschewing the heavily structured look that has characterized the German car maker’s production models in recent years in favour of smoother and largely unadorned surfaces.
“The GT Concept embodies the most extreme expression of our design idiom, and underlines the autonomous profile of AMG as a performance brand,” says Wagener.
The GT Concept’s distinctive silhouette is dominated by a sweeping clam shell style bonnet that is set low and extends well back behind prominent front wheel houses. Further key design touches include a well-raked windscreen, heavily curved roofline, plunging rear screen and a short rear deck that forms part of the new car’s fastback tailgate.
The six corner Panamericana grille, with vertical slats overlaid on top a newly designed insert is angled forward to give the front-end of the new AMG model an outwardly aggressive shark nose style appearance. Underneath the grille is a newly developed version of AMG’s so-called A-frame bumper graphic complete with an integral central splitter element and three large cooling ducts featuring electronically controlled shutters which are claimed to improved aerodynamic and thermal efficiency.
The trapezoidal headlamps, imbued with new nanofiber technology that provides 3D illumination, reflect a new design theme set to appear on the next generation of models from the German car maker that Wagener refers to as the “predator face”.
Further back, the GT Concept features four frameless doors, a fixed B-pillar and Panoramic glass roof. The side window graphic, meanwhile, picks up on the theme already seen on Mercedes-Benz’s more recent coupé models. Hunches over the rear wheel houses also endow the new AMG model with a dose of visual muscle.
Practicality concerns have been addressed by lengthy rear doors, whose aperture runs well back over the sizeable rear wheel houses to aid entry to the rear. The GT Concept also features a large fastback style tailgate similar in style to that gracing the GT sports car, providing uninterrupted access to a deep boot.
The rear is dominated by a pair of thin, horizontally positioned tail lamps and a large, centrally mounted brushed aluminium tailpipe set within a multi-channel diffuser element within the lower section of the rear bumper.
Although the GT Concept’s stylistic similarities with the two-seater AMG GT are many, the production version is being developed not on the sports car’s aluminium spaceframe-style platform architecture but instead on Mercedes ‘MRA’ platform which several of AMG’s super-saloons already use.
But boss Moers warned not to under-estimate the amount of chassis technology from the AMG GT’s toolbox that could be applied to the ‘GT4’.
“Really, MRA just gives us a floorpan; it doesn’t limit us. The new car can have its own wheelbase and track widths, and can have the same kind of active aerodynamics, four-wheel steering and special ESP systems that you see on the AMG GT.”
From a styling standpoint, Moers suggested the finished ‘GT4’ would be very much like the GT Concept on the Geneva show stand. “The proportions of the production car (codenamed X290) really aren’t so different from those of the show car you have seen today,” Moers confirmed.