Last time when Mercedes-AMG came up with a Sportscar, it was nothing short of ostentatiously attractive. The SLS AMG aka the "Gullwings", which also acted as the safety car in the F1, soon made a name for itself, only to be discontinued later to make way for something smaller, yet equally powerful. In came the AMG GT, an equally flashy car, albeit without the Gullwings.
The German powerhouse has just launched the performance variant of the AMG GT, the GT S in India, and what better place to test drive such a car than the Buddh International Circuit? Here's our first drive review checking if the AMG GT S all about the looks or does it live upto the reputation of its predecessor?
The Mercedes-Benz AMG GT S borrows most of its design cues from the SLS AMG, without the Gullwings, of course. Though we miss them, we can't really complain about the overall design of the Merc AMG GTS. And it's not only the SLS AMG that the AMG GT S is inspired from, but the Porsche 911 and the Jaguar F-Type has been a source of inspiration for the coupe too.
While the SLS AMG was designed with lots of straight lines, the AMG GT S carries more angular lines. The large hood with slim windscreen gives the AMG GT S its trademark look. The flowing roof nicely integrates with the boot, which is 350-litre in capacity. There's a little bit of hint of the Porsche 911 at the rear, but then, there's no angle where you will find the AMG GT S at fault.
And yes, the striking golden yellow shade we drove made it even more special and drool worthy!
The interiors are as exemplary as the exteriors in terms of the built quality, but lacks somewhere in the ergonomics. The seats are tight-fit, rather than comfort fit and the sloping centre console with the oddly placed gear knob ensures you don't have a good time in the cabin, apart from when you are driving it on a race track (and that credit belongs to the engine!).
It's a handsome cockpit inspired cabin nevertheless and has a lot of things going its way. We, especially liked the minimalist design approach, which helps you concentrate on the road while driving! All the buttons from the exhaust noise and damper settings to manual gears and traction control are aesthetically placed around the COMMAND knob on the centre console.
Engine, Performance and Gearbox
You don't get to be a safety car in the Formula One for nothing! To tame the 350kmph+ machines, you need to have something fast and equally quick. And the AMG GT S is nothing short in performance, thanks to a 4.0-litre twin turbo V8 petrol motor which produces 503 bhp and 650 Nm, a healthy 47 bhp more than the standard GT version.
The 7-speed AMG dual clutch gearbox sends power to the rear wheels. Made 93% with aluminium, the AMG GT S sits at only 1600 kg, providing a weight to power ratio of 3:1 kg/bhp. These numbers translate to a performance figure of 0-100 kmph in 3.8 seconds with an electronically limited top speed of 310 kmph. If those numbers can't excite you, we wonder what else will!
Driving the car of such ferocity is like doing violence on self - brake, race, brake, race! You need to be in good physical condition to be in this car for long. Add to it the perfectly engineered sound of the V8 bi-turbo exhausts, you will hardly take your foot off the accelerator, because who doesn't like to listen to the grumbly and rowdy exhaust note!
Ride and Handling
With a machine as fast as the AMG GT S, you need support from the steering wheel, brakes and suspensions. For what we experienced, the steering wheel has a nice feeling to it and easily goes from left to right following the orders quickly. As for the suspension, we can't really comment on something which we haven't experienced as we drove the car on a race track.
The ride quality is very good and the coupe sticks to the ground, even while taking curves at speeds upward of 150kmph. While the handling is superior at high speeds, it's nothing less on slow speeds too, and maneuvering the GT through tight corners will not be a pain. Which brings us to the city driving experience. Though the handling is superior, the low set seats and the wide body will make it immensely tough to place the car accurately in tight spots.
The Mercedes AMG GT S is all about the drama and excitement that will elevate both your visual and aural cortex. The coupe offers best of both the worlds - it's refined yet aggressive and striking yet menacing! In short, it's a worthy replacement for the SLS AMG. At around Rs 2.40 Crores (ex-showroom) you will buy yourself an experience and not just a Sportscar!
Images by Mohd. Nasir