The long-awaited Black Series version of Mercedes-AMG’s GT sports car has arrived on the market priced at £335,000 - making it roughly three times the cost of the base GT and £140,000 more than the current range-topping GT R Pro.
The GT Black Series’ twin-turbocharged 4.0-litre engine - AMG's most powerful series-production V8 yet - puts out 720bhp and 590lb ft of torque. That’s 143bhp and 74lb ft more than the next-fastest variant, the GT R Pro. The Black Series’ V8 has been modified so extensively from the existing unit that it has been given its own engine code.
The new engine features a racing-spec flat-plane crankshaft, unlike the regular versions. Its altered cylinder firing order provides improved throttle response, the ability to rev more cleanly at higher revs and more power. The distinctive engine sound has been heard in an official video. New camshafts, bigger turbos mounted on anti-friction bearings, a beefier intercooler and an uprated exhaust system all reap the benefits of the new layout.
The result is a claimed 0-62mph time of 3.2sec, 0-124mph in 9.0sec and a top speed of 202mph. Power is put through the rear wheels only via a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox, itself modified for better shift response and with altered ratios. It combines with a revised Race Start function, promising even more impressive launches.
The motorsport theme is apparent in the exterior appearance of the GT Black Series, which looks much like one of Mercedes’ GT3 or GT4 racing cars. At the front, a larger air intake combines with airflow-optimising ‘flics’, a two-stage manually adjustable carbonfibre splitter and a carbonfibre bonnet with downforce-boosting exhaust air openings and cooling slats.
Wider sill panels contain brake cooling ducts, while a rear diffuser and huge two-piece spoiler feature. The latter features flaps which can adjust by up to 20 degrees to reduce air resistance or improve stability depending on the driving situation. Combined with an almost fully flat underbody, the aero measures give the car claimed downforce of 400kg at 155mph.
Weight reduction comes courtesy of extensive use of carbonfibre. As well as the bonnet, roof and tailgate, details such as the transmission mount, new body stiffening structures and even the driveshaft are carbonfibre.
Lightweight forged wheels - 19in at the front and 20in at the rear - hide standard-fit ceramic brakes with Black Series-specific components. Even the front and rear glass is thinner. However, no weight figure has been quoted yet.
The GT Black Series follows the GT R in using adjustable coilover suspension combined with an adaptive damping system. Aluminium components reduce unsprung weight and solid rear wishbone bearings taken straight from AMG’s motorsport programme are said to improve steering sharpness and feedback.
Among the multiple driving mode settings (which also include a nine-mode traction control system) is a new function in Sport Plus that can detect the race track surface and set the car up accordingly. The camber is also manually adjustable, while AMG has worked with Michelin to develop a specific Pilot Sport Cup 2 tyre with soft and hard compound options.