New pictures have revealed a GT undergoing testing with a series of minor aerodynamic revisions, including a seemingly lower ride height, a fixed rear spoiler and a restyled front bumper. Mercedes has also recently revealed a profile shot of the car and some interior details.
Previously, spy images had shown the car being tested at the Nürburgring. The all-new sports car was a regular sight at the 'Ring last year, wearing heavier disguises, before development moved to the winter testing phase.
Aready described as being "the most beautiful car we've ever designed" by Mercedes' design chief Gorden Wagener, the GT will replace the larger and more expensive SLS in Mercedes' line-up when it goes on sale next year. Speaking to Autocar earlier this year, Wagener said: "You'd think it was hard to top the SLS.”
Wagener said that those who have seen it have been comparing it to the Jaguar E-type, although he believes the GT "has more timeless classical lightness to it".
Mercedes is said to have targeted the Porsche 911 Turbo for performance, meaning it'll be looking to beat that car's 0-62mph time of 3.4 seconds, as well as its top speed of 195mph. Mercedes sources have already hinted the firm may have already come close to those targets.
Powering the GT is a new twin-turbocharged 4.0-litre V8 engine with 503bhp and 479lb ft of torque. That engine is also set to appear in the C63 AMG, and shares its architecture with the turbocharged 2.0-litre in-line four-cylinder unit found in the A45 AMG and the CLA45 AMG. The engine is mounted low and well back inside the engine bay of the GT, giving it better weight distribution.
Other features of the GT include a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission mounted to the rear axle assembly, as well as a mechanical locking differential. The Mercedes' gearbox is essentially an upgraded version of the unit used in the SLS, although this time it includes an automatic stop-start function for extra fuel economy.
The GT's predominantly aluminium structure, as well as other weight-saving materials, is said to have pushed its kerb weight down to around 1550kg, some 145kg less than the SLS.
In its search for class-leading driving dynamics, Mercedes has given the GT a number of shared SLS components, but updated its geometry significantly. The new sports car includes an electro-mechanical steering system sourced from the new C-class, something which replaces the older hydraulic set-up of the SLS.
Leading the development team at the Nürburgring is Markus Hofbauer, who's credited with much of the chassis development carried out on the current 911. While Hofbauer and his team will be trying to get as much performance out of the GT as possible ahead of its on-sale date of 2015, the car is already said to lap the Nürburgring faster than the SLS.