Mercedes-AMG GT S, Front view 27 Photos Zoom

Mercedes-AMG GT S in the individual test: Supercar for everyday use

A fast Mercedes? Exactly, AMG. The fastest? That would be the GT. The S-version tested here sprints with 503 HP to a speed of 100 in 3.6 seconds, manages a top speed of 310 km/h and has the Porsche 911 Turbo in its sights.

Mercedes-AMG GT S in the individual test 5 1

Has the SLS not cast aside all doubt? Still the gibes from the SLR era as to whether AMG can produce more than a dragster? That is, do more than power ahed? More than make a racket? Yes, the SLS could do more. But the gullwing doored car was excessively expensive – it fell into the dream car category, if the Sandman was feeling particularly kind. Now comes the GT, and it is much cheaper.

The Mercedes-AMG GT S produces 503 HP

AMG has cleverly priced it: as the more powerful of two available versions, the 503 HP Mercedes-AMG GT S (GT: 456 HP) is poaching on Porsche 911 Turbo territory (513 HP) and costs more than 30,000 Euros less. Here you would classify the rocket-like GT more among the supercars.

DThe fact that the Porsche has elected itself as an adversary is testament to the self-confidence of Tobias Moer. The race-proven AMG boss with the heavy accelerator foot and quick hands is convinced: the Mercedes-AMG GT S has nothing to fear when pitted against the a Porsche Turbo. A self-confident statement when you consider the degree of maturity the turbo-charged 911 has acquired over a period of decades. However, with the SLS, AMG issued a worthy début work – and number two, the GT, is derived from this first effort.

Where the SLS irritated awkward customers in the first test, even with the ESP seemingly disabled, upon request the Mercedes-AMG GT S performs without restraint in the drift challenge with deactivated ESP. 650 Nm at the rear axle, so some drivers may notice an inhibited accelerator foot. You'll regret it if you let go?

Drifting? Easier said than done

Let's carry out an idiot test on the test track: ESP off, corner, full throttle. Your hands want to countersteer as if by reflex, but it only goes forwards, not sidewards. Drifting? To do so you must first outwit the huge mechanical traction of the Mercedes-AMG GT S. The 295 series Michelin Super Sports mesh fiercely with the dry asphalt.

Full power ahead rather than sideways. It's as if the Mercedes-AMG GT S is supported by an invisible cushion in the corners. Its V8 sits so far behind the front axle that it must actually extend into the passenger compartment. The result: 53 percent of the weight is applied to the rear. Those who want to drive at an angle must enlist the GT, in accordance with old Rally customs.

Even on a wet road surface you don't have to deal with an abruptly lashing out rear end when powering out of the corner. The ESP holds a protective hand over boisterous drivers. Whereas it is the grip at the front axle that represents the actual attraction, which is decisive for experienced drivers. Ultimately it helps to countersteer in the event of oversteer. When understeering all you can do is hope – that there is sufficient space.

Rear-wheeler with good handling

Instead of pushing over the front axle, the AMG corners its way out of every situation and at any speed astonishingly briskly, which indeed leads to a kind of prowling on the motorway, à la Porsche 911. The degree to which the huge snout angles without warping has until now only been seen among the short-nosed mid-engine faction. The Mercedes-AMG GT S is a giant, but steers like a dwarf – this is something you have to try to get your head around. The same goes for the fact that the steering is smooth, yet talkative.

The two-seater longs for dialogue, requires your attention, distances itself from the supersport dandies, and is unequivocally performance-oriented. Nonetheless, you shouldn't mistake the Mercedes-AMG GT S for just a professional vehicle, for it doesn't rule out everyday driving. One of the modes of the adaptive shock absorber (as standard) is called Comfort, and, with its cradling character, this is to be taken completely literally.

In terms of having the best possible connection to the rigid chassis, however, the middle setting - Sport - with its firm but by no means harsh tuning is recommended on country roads. Here the chassis absorbs bumps so well that all four wheels always remain on the road surface. And the Mercedes-AMG GT S conveys the most important of all sensations to the driver: the feeling of being in control of the situation at all times. Except when a lorry comes towards you on a narrow country road – this rocket of a car is clearly too wide.

The Mercedes-AMG GT S consumes 13.3 l/100 km

Aside from this, and again thanks to the even power distribution of its drive system, the Mercedes-AMG GT S has this under control. The two turbo chargers of the four-litre engine are equally quick to react whether increasing or decreasing the power and refrain from hissing. Therefore, with the exhaust valves open, the V8 sounds like an original American naturally aspirated engine and emits a heart-melting splutter when gearing down. Finally, the seven-speed dual clutch transmission responds to paddle commands almost without delay – here SLS occasionally seemed a little dozy.

Although the AMG even masters the 'sailing' function and switches off its V8 at the lights in well-behaved fashion (Start-Stop), it isn't going to achieve sensationally low consumption values. The Mercedes-AMG GT S only manages below 10.1 l/100 km when rolling down a hill, with the in-house produced drive system averaging 13.3 litres per 100 kilometres; the high unladen weight negatively evident in this respect. If you don't want to feel the 1,629 kilograms – you will have to keep your speed up.

Therefore, dear AMG constructors, note this down right at the top of the specifications for the GT successor: it must be smaller and therefore lighter and more economical. Until then we will certainly have plenty of fun with the current version and are especially excited about the GT without the added S: it comes with a slightly slimmed down range of equipment, produces 48 HP less, still presses a noteworthy 600 Nm against the crank shaft – and is available from just 115,430 Euros. If that isn't a fresh declaration of war against Porsche...

Author

Photo

Achim Hartmann

Date

6 July 2015
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