What is it?
This is Mercedes-AMG’s new top-of-the-range GT super-sports car, and its latest attempt to turn the front-engined two-seater into the sort of hardcore driver’s car to force its way into a buying conversation that might also involve the Ferrari Pistas, McLaren Longtails and Porsche GT3 RSs of this world.
It’s a lofty ambition, particularly given that the GT hasn’t so far suggested that it has quite that sort of dynamic potential in its various other forms. The only other AMG sports car that has ever really approached it was the SLS Black Series. But given that AMG boss Tobias Moers seems hell-bent on proving that anything Porsche can do Affalterbach can do every bit as well, you’d imagine he won’t be satisfied until he’s earned a seat at that particular table (where, presumably, all are of fixed-back, integrated-headrest design, and the whole set-up looks not unlike the dugout at Real Madrid).
Mercedes watchers suggest that this won’t actually be the ‘ultimate’ version of the GT, with a Black Series derivative of its own secretly scheduled as an end-of-run special. But while certain aspects of the GT R Pro’s specification seem to leave notional head room for such a car, others make you question how much of it really does exist.
The car uses the same powertrain as the regular GT R, giving it a 577bhp turbo V8, a transaxle paddle-shift gearbox and rear-wheel drive. It retains the standard GT R’s four-wheel steering system and 10-position, track-intended, ‘how-much-drift-angle-would-you-like-before-I-save-your-bacon-yet-again-sir’ traction control system. But it has benefited from a very purposeful chassis and suspension makeover that has added high-end coilover suspension that’s manually adjustable for spring preload, anti-roll stiffness, high-speed and low-speed damper compression and damper rebound.
It gets an integrated half-sized roll-cage also, which increases the rigidity of the chassis along with some new carbonfibre underbody bracing. And it also gets entirely rigidly mounted rear suspension, where it’s only partially so in a regular GT R.