Mercedes' new model made its public debut at the Paris motor show. The rear-wheel-drive performance coupé shares elements of its body structure with its predecessor and is the first Mercedes-AMG model to use a newly developed twin-turbocharged 4.0-litre V8 engine.
“With the new GT, we are positioning Mercedes-AMG even more aggressively than to date,” said the chief executive of AMG, Tobias Moers.
Buyers will be able to choose between a standard GT and a more powerful GT S, although only the GT S is planned for delivery initially. The two are set apart visually by different bumpers, tailpipes and wheels.
Pricing is not planned to be made public until orders start later this month. However, it's believed that the standard GT will be priced from around £95,000, with the GT S commanding a premium at around £110,000. Either way, that's significantly less than the £168,485 of the SLS AMG. The new car is due to reach the UK during the first quarter of next year.
The Mercedes-AMG GT is 4546mm long, 1939mm wide and 1289mm tall. That means it is 92mm shorter than the SLS AMG it succeeds, although it is still the same width and is 27mm taller.
Both GT models are powered by AMG’s new ‘M178’ engine. Developed from scratch, the direct-injection 4.0-litre V8 is features twin turbochargers mounted inside the cylinder banks.
This configuration makes for a compact design, optimum throttle response and reduced emissions, claims Mercedes-AMG, because of closely coupled catalytic converters.
The new engine receives dry-sump lubrication and is mounted behind the front axle line in what Mercedes-AMG describes as a front-mid positioning.
It provides the standard GT with 456bhp at 6000rpm and 442lb ft of torque between 1600rpm and 5000rpm. With added boost pressure and other internal tweaks for the GT S, the 90deg V8’s outputs rise to 503bhp at 6250rpm and 479lb ft from 1750-4750rpm.
Like the SLS, the new coupé is based around a lightweight aluminium body structure, which is claimed to weigh 231kg. In a bid to shed weight and reduce its centre of gravity, the new car eschews the heavy gullwing-style doors of the SLS in favour of regular front-hinged doors.
In standard GT guise, it tips the scales at 1540kg and the GT S comes in at 1570kg. This gives them respective power-to-weight ratios of 296bhp per tonne and 320bhp per tonne.
Channelling the GT’s reserves to the rear wheels is a revised version of the Getrag-engineered seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox used on the SLS. Mounted at the rear in a transaxle layout and offering both manual and automatic shifting, it helps to provide the new car with a 47 per cent front and 53 per cent rear weight distribution.
The revised gearbox offers up to five different driving modes: Controlled Efficiency, Sport, Sport Plus, Individual and – on the GT S only – Race.
Both models receive a standard locking differential. But whereas the GT receives a mechanical unit, the GT S is fitted with an electronic function that is claimed to provide greater sensitivity by varying the locking effect in acceleration and overrun.