The past decade has been one of real developmental significance for Mercedes-AMG.

The firm’s continuing ability to transform practically any of Mercedes’ relatively ordinary cars into bona fide road and track performance weapons – often to class-leading effect – continues to be the foundation of its success. Meanwhile, the brand’s association with a certain five-time Formula 1 world champion and his AMG-liveried racing car must also have played its part.

Arguably of even greater significance than both, though, is the fact that, within the past 10 years, Mercedes-AMG has turned its hand to developing its very own sports cars. The SLS was the first such creation, first appearing in 2009 with its dramatic 300SL-style gullwing doors and naturally aspirated 6.2 V8 – and its successor, the Mercedes-AMG GT, arrived in 2014 to continue the two-seater sporting theme.

Neither was derived from an existing Mercedes model; both were intended to represent the wider reaches of what Affalterbach can achieve when presented with a blank canvas and a generous R&D budget; and both have proved good enough to convince Mercedes’ top brass that AMG should even be involved in the engineering of non-AMG car lines.

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However, AMG’s third in-house model, and subject of this week’s road test, is a different kettle of fish for several reasons. Welcome, then, to the imposing of stature and convoluted of name Mercedes-AMG GT 4-Door Coupé, a four-seat sporting GT designed to leave more than a whiff of Affalterbach on the turf of cars as different as the Porsche Panamera and Bentley Continental GT.

Being AMG’s first stand-alone model with four seats, this car should broaden the company’s model portfolio quite a bit – but if it’s a proper GT car, it’ll be necessarily different from the SLS and GT that have preceded it. Read on to find out exactly how different that means.

Price £121,350 Power 577bhp Torque 590lb ft 0-60mph 3.3sec 30-70mph in fourth 4.5sec Fuel economy 21.7mpg CO2 emissions 256g/km 70-0mph 45.3m

The range at a glance: Mercedes UK may expand the GT 4-Door Coupé range later but it has elected at launch to omit the six-pot 43 and 53 models sold in other global markets and to trim the UK range to just two turbo V8 variants: the 577bhp 63 and the 630bhp 63 S. The standard specification of the two cars is similar and you can have Performance seats, ceramic brakes and AMG’s aero kit on either but only the S gets the AMG Dynamics Plus package (dynamic engine mounts and Race and Drift driving modes).

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First drives

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