Chris Harris Drives the Mercedes AMG GT S on Laguna Seca: Video
Few cars define a segment like the Porsche 911. The pedigree, the refinement, the image… it’s all there. But no car is unassailable, even Porsche’s flagship. That’s why Mercedes created the 2016 GT S, the supercar with a dual personality. It can be a 500-horsepower track weapon, or luxury highway cruiser, something to demolish lap times, or caress your backside. It’s got heaps of composites and aluminum, making it lighter than the SLS, while inside, there’s leather and other top-shelf luxury materials sitting astride bucket seats and the paddle shifters for a seven-speed dual clutch transmission.
That’s what Chris Harris set out to find in this video. When it comes to no-nonsense super car reviews, this guy definitely knows his stuff. He doesn’t just ooh and ahh over horsepower figures or big sticker prices (although there is plenty of that). He also digs under the surface of the vehicle in question before coming to some authoritative conclusion, providing ample power slides as entrainment along the way.
That’s the formula on hand here. We start with a breakdown of the rolling chassis, as Harris points out several of the design features of the AMG GT S, including the v-mounted twin-turbos and hydraulic steering rack. The new rear axle assembly also gets a once over, as does the exhaust system.
Speaking of making turns and loud noises, we later find Harris exploring the limits of grip in a full body AMG GT S on the inimitable curves of the Laguna Seca Raceway in northern California.
While a 911 never ends up crashing the party, watching the Merc get crossed up everywhere on track (and we do mean everywhere) as Harris fawns over both the vehicle and the setting is a joy. Spoiler alert: the verdict is a positive one, but honestly, that shouldn’t be very surprising.
Click past the jump to read more about the Mercedes AMG GT.
Although it’s the successor to the SLS, the AMG GT is a more refined approach to the same concept. The gullwing doors are gone, and in their stead we find a shorter body that retains the same muscular lines, with a long hood, short rear end, and front fascia that directly feeds two turbos spinning furiously behind it. Those boost-makers are plumbed to a 4.0-liter V-8 engine mounted far back into the chassis. Output is rated at 503 horsepower and 479 pound-feet of torque, which twists the pavement through an electronically controlled rear-axle locking differential on the GT S (the GT is equipped with a mechanical unit).
Inside, the theme of the day is aviation, with a low seating position, wing-like dashboard, and large buttons and toggles. At an estimated $150,000, this Merc is pricey, but for the money, you get quality, fit, and finish second to none.