2016 Mercedes-AMG GT is a Beastly Beauty [w/ Videos]
If it seems like significant new car reveals have been happening rapid-fire lately, well, it’s because they are. Last week saw the debut of Mazda’s fourth-gen MX-5 Miata, while Jaguar dropped its first legit 3 Series fighter (Shots fired, X-Type fans!), the XE, just yesterday. But while those two rides are pretty sweet, they can’t hold a candle (factory) to what Mercedes-Benz and AMG premiered today. Folks, say hello to your new junior supercar crush, the 2016 Mercedes-AMG GT.
While not, strictly speaking, a successor to the SLS line, the Mercedes-AMG GT’s design is clearly evolved from that of its gullwing-doored forebear. However, while part of us laments the demise of the SLS’s roof-hinged hatch covers, we happen to think that this new machine fixes all of that car’s stylistic sins…and then some. The softer nose and tail, less-busy body sides and an exponentially less jarring greenhouse with a proper fastback profile and – hallelujah amen – rear quarter windows make this, in our estimation, the prettiest pure sports car to wear the big three-tipped star since the original 300 SL Gullwing. In fact, we’d go so far as to say that had those pilfered pix of Jennifer Lawrence et al in their birthday suits not been dumped on the Information Superhighway like cigarette butts from the Ashtray of the Gods a couple weeks ago, this here automobile would instead be the leading cause of Kleenex’s sure-to-be-record-obliterating third-quarter sales figures.
And like the Hunger Games heroine’s off-camera alter ego, the GT’s beauty continues beneath the skin. That mammoth hood shelters AMG’s all-new M178 4.0L twin-turbo V8 (which we previewed a few months back), which will be rated at a stout 456 horsepower and 443 lb.-ft of torque in standard trim, and a very healthy 503 horsepower and 479 lb.-ft of torque in the up-spec Mercedes-AMG GT S (which will actually debut before the base version). Both grades will be fitted with a rear-mounted 7-speed dual-clutch transmission (which also houses the S version’s electronically-controlled locking rear differential), which contributes immensely to the car’s 47:53 front-to-rear weight distribution. Suspension is double wishbones all around, with adaptive damping standard on the GT S, while an interesting option for the GT S will come in the form of dynamic engine and transmission mounts, which vary the amount of NVH that reaches the cabin depending on what driving mode the car is in and how hard you’re pushing the envelope.
Speaking of the cabin, it looks like a lovely place to be whether you’re enjoying a night on the town or a day at the track. However, we’re not entirely sold on that great big mountain of switches and knobs rising out of the center console. The lump – which Mercedes PR calls the “AMG Drive Unit” – is supposed to resemble a V8, with four round controls on either side; we say it resembles a Hummer H1’s Himalayas-esque driveline tunnel. We suppose we could get used to it…
However, we’re not sure we could ever manage to wrap our heads around the GT’s performance capabilities. The base model will supposedly rip to 60 in 3.9 seconds en route to an electronically-limited 189 mph top speed, which is pretty damn quick. But the GT S is expected to hit the dozen-nickels in 3.7 seconds before maxing out at an artificially-capped 193 mph. Heady stuff, especially when you consider that the Mercedes-AMG GT is expected to retail for roughly half of what the SLS did, which would put it not only in the same ballpark as crosstown rival Porsche’s 911, but on the same base. We’ll know exact prices and other details closer to the GT S’s U.S. on-sale date, which will be sometime in the spring. Until then, we’ll be in our bunk.[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HU9rBq0QHLY&list=UUlj0L8WZrVydk5xKOscI6-A[/youtube] [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=acNcfhwP34o&index=1&list=UUlj0L8WZrVydk5xKOscI6-A[/youtube]