The Beast of The Green Hell

The Mercedes-AMG GT was unveiled at the Paris Motorshow in 2014 in two flavours; GT and GTS, with the GT pushing out a respectable 462 BHP and the GTS with a even punchier output of 510 BHP. The GT is the successor to the mighty Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG, Mercedes-AMG’s first Super GT powered by a 6.2L NA (M159) V8. Many did question could the 4 litre Bi-Turbo (M178)V8 be a match for its predecessor, but was it?

Well in short… No, not really (I suppose this is subjective) however I think there’s no real comparison between the two engines (or cars in fact). The M159 was AMG’s last hurrah to the naturally aspirated V8; raw, angry and in your face but that’s not to say that the M178 isn’t… It’s just slightly less vocal. If anything, Mercedes AMG are the best in business when it comes to sound and turbocharged engines. The AMG GT never really grabbed my attention the same way that the SLS did (probably because it lacked the theatrics that is the trademark gullwings doors). Curves replace the mature, muscle-car-like lines and the front fascia was given more of an aggressive look. But it didn’t stop there, the most significant improvement from SLS to AMG GT was the interior. The centre console consists of four buttons placed in a ‘V’ formation to remind the driver that there is indeed a V8 under the bonnet. The cabin wraps around the passenger and driver for a truly immersive experience.

All these changes made a great, if not brilliant GT car but some still wanted more. Many AMG fans started speculating the imminent arrival of the AMG GT Black Series but although Mercedes-AMG Chief Executive, Tobias Moers confirmed that the car will exist, it won’t be for a while. Moers said that the Black Series would come towards the end of the production of the GT which is understandable because anything with the Black Series badge is that AMG Model’s final song. Black Series Cars usually get lighter, more power, raunchy wide arches and more aero for downforce and added aggression. So for the first 2 years of production the most powerful variant of the GT you could get was the GTS and if you wanted some aero parts like a bigger front splitter and fixed rear wing, you could get an edition one GTS which looked the best of the bunch in my opinion. This all changed in Summer 2016 at the Goodwood Festival of Speed… in comes the Mercedes-AMG GTR.

Now the elephant in the room was what exactly is the AMG GTR? Some thought it was a black series replacement, but rest assured – it is not. The best way I think you can describe it is Mercedes AMG take on the GT3 RS; track focused, lighter, more aero and more power. Now I’m not sure about you, but I’ve always thought Mercedes AMG as a brand focused on power and performance combined with luxury and comfort, not lap times and precision. This judgement has come from their latest line up of super saloons, coupes and G Wagons but let us not forget of their great motorsport achievements such as the Red Pig and CLK GTR.

I remember seeing the AMG-GTR for the first time, it was the end of the Saturday at FoS, it had been raining most of the day so I thought I’d get a chance to take a look at some of the supercars in the hopefully empty paddock. It was very obvious Mercedes AMG wanted to make a statement with their latest flagship model. The first thing you notice is the savage ‘Panamericana’ grill which is taken straight from the Mercedes-AMG GT3. The whole car has been reimagined; the front fascia has been given a more aggressive design with bigger intakes and vents, the rear gains wider arches, fatter tyres, massive rear diffuser, exhausts, adjustable wing – you get the idea… The car was finished in AMG Green Hell Magno, a name that takes inspiration from the infamous Nürburgring (arguably the worlds most challenging and dangerous track). That statement was definitely made when on the 6th of December 2016 at the Green Hell, Mercedes-AMG took the fastest lap record for a production car with a time of 7 minutes 10 seconds.

So what are the figures on Mercedes AMG’s latest and greatest? It’s lost 15kg compared to the regular GTS, it now puts out 577 BHP with 516 lb-ft of torque and does 0-60 mph in 2.8 seconds. All of this comes at a cost of £143k (base). Admittedly I’m a Porsche enthusiast but when journalists across the world got their hands on this, they were properly impressed and said Porsche may have something to worry about. This definitely peaked my interest so when a friend of mine mentioned he had one on order, I thought’d be rude not to get photos of what is growing to be one of the most highly anticipated cars of 2017.

The car in question has Carbon everywhere and is finished in Brilliant Blue with contrasting yellow callipers and stitching. Its refreshing to see one of these not in Green Hell Magno, as awesome as it is… it just got a bit repetitive. When I was thinking about the GTR, I thought of the personality it has. This car has character and it exudes anger, that’s why I thought getting some chase shots of the car would be interesting (when I say ‘chase shots’ I meant the GTR chasing us).

After a long chat amongst ourselves, the GTR was described as a muscle car and was even compared to a Porsche 928 GTS by the owner. Personally, I think this is the step in the right direction for Mercedes AMG. The silly quick super saloons and crossover SUV’s are cool but when it comes to full on performance focused sports/supercars, their range is a bit lacking. I know the Mercedes AMG Project One has been released since so it’ll be interesting to see how those perform in the hypercar world!

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