The Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG was a machine of biblical proportion and enthusiasts morned when Mercedes announced that the 583bhp gull-wing door GT would leave us. It was a car for the heart, not so much the head. Many were left scratching their heads thinking what could possibly replace it? Fortunately however, Mercedes came up with something really quite spectacular and it comes in the form of the 2015 Mercedes-AMG GT. We managed to get our hands the V8 powerhouse in the faster AMG GT S model.
The AMG GT has some big shoes to fill – the SLS was loved by so many for it’s raw naturally aspirated 6.2-litre V8, it’s relentless performance and of course those gull-wing doors that harked back to the iconic Mercedes 300SL. However, with prices starting from around £166,000, it wasn’t cheap and so was placed in the firing line of the biggest names in the supercar business. This top dog GT S model before us starts at £110,500 which is significantly less than before. This sets the stage for one of the fiercest rivalries in the automotive world… Mercedes AMG GT S Vs. the Porsche 911 Turbo.
Inside and out, the AMG GT is an outstanding and inspiring piece of architecture. A long and beautifully crafted bonnet alongside bold 19 or 20 inch alloy wheels really make this car a piece of art, especially in the golden yellow of the GT S we got to ride shotgun in. Sitting inside the AMG GT S really does feel special, immediately noticing the high-quality materials as well as the sculpture-like centre console. Supportive AMG sports seats not only feel up to the job of keeping you in place, but cosseting you on long journeys also. The interior is very comfortable and well equipped for this breed of car. This high console houses a host of controls from how loud you want your exhaust to the large 8.4” monitor sitting on the dash. It is all ergonomically sound and all the controls are easily within an arms reach. There is something of the S-Class in the execution of this cockpit.
When you fire up the 4.0-litre bi-turbo V8 you instantly recognise you are in something of pure brilliance – original concerns about there being a less hearty noise from a turbocharged engine have been completely eradicated. It really does sound absolutely fantastic as all 510 horses are itching to be unleashed. The mandatory excellent build quality and reliability in Mercedes’ mean that the AMG GT S feels completely solid and stable at the highest of speeds. 0-62mph is dealt with in 3.8 seconds and the surge of power across the entire rev range is completely seamless but undeniably spectacular, it will then go on to a top speed of 193mph. Even when pushing to the higher ends of this figure it remains calm and collected, a true professional. When you put your foot down nothing else feels quite like the AMG GT S, the blistering speed, the apocalyptic noise and being pinned back into your seat is a formula for pure excitement. Just as impressive as the straight line grunt is the stopping power. You can only ever exploit a fast car when you know it can stop just as quickly. 47:53 weight distribution front to rear and a low centre of gravity makes the GT S incredibly nimble and agile when on the track. The body shell is crafted from mainly carbon fibre and aluminium meaning it weighs just 233kg. The whole car only weighs 1,645kg meaning it will tackle the most demanding of corners with precision and poise.
That said, the AMG GT S doesn’t have to be a supercar when you don’t want it to be. As well as the RACE, SPORT and SPORT+ modes there is also a COMFORT mode which turns the GT S into an entirely different beast. Travelling at high speeds in the faster modes means the loud sports exhaust and firm suspension are being used, but COMFORT mode instantly quietens down and softens the drive and turns it into a long distance cruiser. It really is incredible how it goes from a relentless performance car to a perfect GT. There is further customisation onboard as well – when you have selected one of these default modes you are then still able to alter the exhaust aggression as well as the firmness of the suspension, meaning it can cater for any need you may have.
The Mercedes AMG GT S then, is an absolutely incredible machine. The power and the beautiful feeling you get from it when on a track is nothing short of impressive and the design and feel of the interior is spot on. It is undoubtedly an incredible supercar that can compete with the best of the bunch and will then take you home in comfort, style and tranquility. This car is the very definition of opulent insanity, and of course there’s the question of whether it could finally dethrone the 911 Turbo. We think it stands a good chance, but final judgment will be reserved when we take to the driver’s seat.