Mercedes-AMG has been spotted testing a modified GT R at the Nürburgring
The car is thought to be a development model for the GT Black Series
The GT Black Series is due on roads in 2020
It's likely to get a more highly tuned version of AMG's turbocharged 4.0-litre V8 engine...
...offering more than 630bhp to beat the current most potent AMG V8, the GT 4-door Coupé
Mercedes-AMG boss Tobias Moers confirmed that a Black Series was coming in 2016
AMG's engineers are now testing new lightweight parts for the most extreme GT variant
These include a polycarbonate rear window and pared-back interior
The future range-topping car, first confirmed back in 2016 by AMG boss Tobias Moers, is now under development and is pipped to receive AMG's turbocharged 4.0-litre V8 engine in a state of tune offering at least 630bhp.
This is the figure offered by the current most powerful AMG model with that unit, the recently revealed GT 4-door Coupé. Any growth on that would ensure the Black Series dwarfs the peak output offered by the current GT champion, the 577bhp GT R. It would also edge it towards one of the category's most radical supercars, the 690bhp Porsche 911 GT2 RS.
The GT Black Series' extra grunt will be accompanied by a more focused chassis and aerodynamic set-up. A recently spotted development car dressed in GT R clothing at the Nürburgring is believed to be part of the Black Series test programme and offers some clues as to what's to come.
The test GT wears more extreme bodywork that borrows parts from AMG's GT4 racing car, with a fixed rear wing and exhaust exits now farther apart in the diffuser than their normal central position. These changes will enhance downforce at the car's rear. No doubt similar pressure adjusting features will be added to the front to ensure the car has a balance fit for track work, while larger brakes and wider wheels are also expected.
Also visible on the test car is a polycarbonate rear window, which will save weight. Its use suggests several other mass-trimming parts will be fitted to the Black Series, while non-essential parts could be ditched. Inside the photographed development car are a pair of sports seats and a roll cage. Although the latter is available as an option on the GT R, it’s likely to be standard on the Black Series.
Such a setup to ensure the GT Black Series tips the scales at around 1600kg, which would make it 30kg lighter than the GT R. Add this diet to the V8's extra potency and the Black Series looks set to become AMG's fastest production model this side of its highly exclusive Project One hypercar.
The 2020 arrival of the GT Black Series will mark a return for AMG's most extreme moniker after a seven year hiatus. The last Black Series model was based on the SLS and entered production in 2013.