Hardcore Mercedes-AMG GT R Brings Motorsport to the Street

New range-topping version gets more power, less weight, enhanced aerodynamics, and a modified suspension

For some reason, certain bosses at Mercedes-AMG believed that the AMG GT S did not offer as much performance as it could, so they instructed engineers to come up with an improved formula.

That's how the GT R came to be. Borrowing heavily from the Mercedes-AMG GT3 racing car (including design bits), the GT R packs an uprated version of the 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 delivering 585 PS (577 hp), an extensively modified suspension, enhanced aerodynamics, and a lighter body (by 15 kg compared to the GT S).

Developed mostly on the Nürburgring Nordschleife circuit, the Mercedes-AMG GT R sports wider front and rear wings, increased track width, as well as new bumpers with active elements at the front and double diffuser at the rear, plus a large rear wing. Performance and handling are also improved by the lightweight forged wheels shod with cup tires, the active rear-wheel steering, the nine-way adjustable traction control system and the adjustable coil-over suspension with additional electronic control.

All these upgrades contribute to an improved sprint from 0 to 100 km/h in 3.6 seconds and a top speed of 318 km/h (198 mph). As a result, the AMG GT R is 0.2 seconds and 8 km/h faster than the GT S. While the performance increase is negligible, the GT R promises to deliver significantly faster laps on the track, which is the real measure of a supercar.

Thanks to front mid-engine and transmission in transaxle configuration on the rear axle, the AMG GT R has a rear-biased weight distribution of 47.3 to 52.7 and a low center of gravity. Add to that a power-to-weight ratio of 2.66 kg per PS and you can imagine how this car goes around corners.

The heart of the supercar is the 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 engine rated at 585 PS (577 hp) and 700 Nm (516 lb-ft) of torque available between 1,900 and 5,500 rpm. The engine delivers 75 PS (74 hp) more than in the AMG GT S, thanks to new turbochargers with modified compressor machining, smaller wastegate aneroid capsule and sharpened engine mapping. The boost pressure has increased from 1.2 bar to 1.35 bar, the exhaust ports have been optimized, and the compression ratio modified.

The AMG Speedshift DCT 7-speed dual-clutch transmission has been revised as well to make it more suitable for the circuit. The first gear now has a longer ratio, while seventh gear and the final drive have shorter ratios to allow a more agile acceleration experience overall and a more spontaneous response. The Race Start function now has increased starting revs and more sensitive wheel slip control.

Besides the aggressive aero kit, the most noticeable styling upgrade is the new AMG Panamericana grille with chrome-plated vertical fins, similar to the one fitted on the AMG GT3 customer racing car. There's also a new exclusive color called "AMG Green Hell Magno" as well as interior upgrades such as the standard AMG sports bucket seats in Nappa leather and Dinamica microfiber.

The Mercedes-AMG GT R goes on sale on November 21, 2016, with the first European deliveries expected to begin from March 2017.