If an exhaust note that crackles with enthusiasm and promise as you thumb the starter doesn’t suggest it, then the first run of many down our test track’s twin straights, a little over a mile long and with banked corners at each end, confirms it.
Within the length of one of those mile straights, all cars will give you an in-gear run through second and third gears, with a stop after the first run and leaving a little space to spare at the end.
The AMG GT R will give you a run through second, then come to a stop, third, then come to a stop and then fourth, in which it’s doing 115mph at max revs, while stopping and leaving enough room to spare that you’d almost contemplate a couple of standing starts for the sake of it. In most cars you’ll run out of room before you run into the limiter in higher gears; in the GT R you can engage fifth below 30mph and not much later be hitting the limiter at the other side of 140mph.
How so fast? Because while peak power is made at 6250rpm (and the twin-turbo V8 appreciates being worked up to and beyond that point), the whole 516lb ft is not only 177lb ft more than you’ll find in the latest 911 GT3, but it’s also developed from 1900rpm rather than the 6000rpm that the Porsche requires.
Despite the hefty blowing that’s necessary in order to get an engine producing this much torque at such low revs, turbo lag is notable by being largely absent, with only a little pause at low revs while the ‘hot V’ engine inhales and gets going.
Refreshingly, the GT R’s gearchanges are much sharper than AMG shifts used to be, now allowing a downshift even if it puts you only a few hundred revs from the limiter.