AFFALTERBACH, Germany - Mercedes-AMG will in March welcome the 2015 motorsport season with a sonorous V8: it'll be in Mercedes-AMG's GT3 with which the high-performance brand is expanding its motorsport presence and it will debut at the Geneva Motor Show.
The car, developed to comply with the International Automobile Federation's GT3 race rules, will compete in what claims to be the world's most hotly contested "customer race series" with "cutting-edge racing tech and spectacular design".
It's based on the Mercedes-AMG GT that's about to be launched at the 2015 Geneva auto show and the first units will be shipped towards the end of 2015 after intensive testing. Merc-AMG says: "The GT3 will blaze trails in customer sports with its intelligent vehicle concept. The excellent track performance of the standard GT already provides the best possible basis for this."
Tobias Moers, chairman of the Mercedes-AMG management board, added: "We're entering a hard-fought environment. The high technological standard and fair race-rules are spurring us to push for pole with our new customer race car. You can only prove your ambition to lead if you're beating the very best in the game."
The standard Mercedes-AMG GT, the automaker says, has the ideal prerequisites for the GT3 conversion with its low centre of gravity, perfect distribution of weight, and wide track. "This layout guarantees precise cornering, first-class agility, a high level of traction and low inertia when having to change direction fast.
"On various circuits all these attributes give the driver the advantages to achieve top places."
AMG 6.3 V8 'FURTHER ENHANCED'
Every modification to the body, AMG says, has been made to maximise power and aerodynamic performance. As in the road version, the GT3 has a very light, yet extremely rigid, aluminium space frame to protect the driver; more protection comes from the carbon-fibre seat pan and a steel rollover cage.
More weight is saved by using carbon fibre for the engine cover, doors, front wing, front and rear aprons, sidewalls, side skirts, diffuser, boot lid and rear aerofoil.
Power comes from the seasoned but now further enhanced AMG 6.3-litre V8 of the SLS AMG GT3. AMG says it's "the engine of choice for the new AMG customer sports model".
The six-speed sequential racing gearbox - as in the standard GT - is in a trans-axle configuration on the rear axle for balance. The standard and racing machine also share the double-wishbone aluminium suspension.
"Once again," Merc-AMG says, "these solutions demonstrate how close-linked regular production technology and racing technology are at AMG."