NEW ERA FOR MERC: The Mercedes-AMG GT is a thoroughbred sports car says the automaker. It uses a two-seat layout with a bi-turbo V8 engine enabling it to reach 304km/h. Image: Quickpic
JOHANNESBURG, Gauteng - Mercedes-Benz has a lot riding on its new GT sports car. The new GT, part of the new nomenclature that is Mercedes-AMG, is a mid-engine coupe powered by an AMG 4.0-litre V8 biturbo engine.
The V8 is available in two versions, the 340kW GT and more powerfull 375kW GT S. Mercedes says its GT is at home on the race track but can also be a comfortable cruiser as it has a large, rear luggage compartment for use on cross-country trips.
MODERN SPORTS CAR
The GT has all the hallmarks of a modern sports car; aluminum space frame, V8 bi-turbo engine, seven-speed dual clutch transmission, locking differential, sports suspension with aluminum double-wishbone suspension and weighs 1540kg.
Fuel consumption is rated at 9.3 litres/100km.
A long bonnet with dual powerdomes dominate the front, while a broad rear adds to its sleek design. It has a three-dimensional diamond radiator grille, central Mercedes star (no badge), AMG badging and LEDs.
IMAGE GALLERY: 2015 Mercedes-AMG GT
It has a black diffuser insert with large twin tailpipes integrated into the rear bumper.
The new AMG 4.0-litre V8 biturbo is similar to the engine powering the Mercedes AMG C63, a beast Wheels24 drove in May 2015.
The new engine has two turbochargers which are not mounted on the outside of the cylinder banks but rather inside the V configuration - experts call it a 'hot inside V'. The benefits are a compact engine design, optimum response from the turbochargers and low exhaust gas emissions thanks to optimum air flow for the close-coupled catalytic converters.
The company says the performance exhaust system has variable exhaust flaps for an even greater roar.
The GT S is fitted with an AMG performance exhaust system with fully variable exhaust flaps as standard, allowing the driver to vary the engine sound: depending on the selected mode. Drivers can press a separate button to control the exhaust flaps directly an the selectable exhaust system is also available as an option for the Mercedes-AMG GT.
AMG DRIVE SELECT
A sports suspension with electronically controlled damping comes as standard on the GT S, and an optional on the the GT. At the push of a button, the driver can alter damping settings with three drive modes - comfort, sport and sport plus.
A special 'race' mode, only available with manual (M) transmission mode, is perfect, Mercedes says, for use on a track.
Brakes in a sports car need to be excellent and Mercedes has given their latest sports car the high-performance braking system: on the GT with internally ventilated, perforated 360mm discs all-round; on the GT S with discs measure 390mm in diameter at the front, and the callipers are painted red.
A ceramic high-performance composite brake system is available for both models as an option. The carbon brakes weigh less: lower weight, longevity and better fade resistance. The ceramic discs have a diameter of 402mm at the front and 360mm at the rear.
Mercedes-AMG GT S/ GT at a glance:
*In conjunction with AMG Dynamic Plus package
Mercedes-AMG GT S - R1 981 000
Mercedes-AMG GT - R1 642 000
Media spent time with the GT and GT S at Zwartkops raceway: