• Let Your Senses Be Shocked By The Brutal 6.2-liter V-8 Of The Mercedes-AMG GT3

This is Mercedes-AMG’s take on building a GT3 race car and it’s one of the most popular options out ther

LISTEN 05:41

If you’re fed up with the bore-fest that is Formula 1 and are looking for another racing series to devote your attention to, may we suggest an entire formula that sees action across the globe in a variety of championships? That formula is known as GT3 and now, 14 years since its launch, is the most popular GT category in the world with as many as 70 cars lining up in its marquee events. The Mercedes-AMG GT3 is one of the most popular GT3 cars and we think its soundtrack plays a part ints massive appeal as well.

600 horsepower and a ludicrous body kit, that’s what defines the AMG GT3

Let Your Senses Be Shocked By The Brutal 6.2-liter V-8 Of The Mercedes-AMG GT3
- image 946384

Mercedes-AMG joined the GT3 arena all the way back in 2010 with a GT3 variant of the gull-winged SLS AMG, the first Mercedes model built by AMG. As the frenzy of customer racing grew further, Mercedes-AMG saw fit to replace the SLS AMG GT3 with the AMG GT3, a race-prepped version of the car that also superseded the SLS AMG on the streets, namely the AMG GT.

Now, some five years since its introduction, the AMG GT3 has gone through a restyling procedure having been bestowed with the honor of receiving an 'Evo' kit.

This update focuses on improving the car’s drivability as AMG wants to make its package ever more appealing to semi-professional or amateur drivers. You won’t see the changes that make the 2020-spec AMG GT3 easier to manhandle at speed but you will see its mammoth grille that’s been taken straight from the Nurburgring-bending AMG GT Black Series.

Let Your Senses Be Shocked By The Brutal 6.2-liter V-8 Of The Mercedes-AMG GT3
- image 946383

Like the latest Black Series Mercedes, the AMG GT3 is adorned with a variety of dive planes, scoops, and vents. There’s a protruding diffuser just below the edge of its mouth and an almighty diffuser out back that helps the car stick to the ground. A huge wing that’s as tall as the roof is glued to the car’s curvy, yet short tail, and all of these aero elements divert your attention from the fact that the AMG GT Black Series and the AMG GT3 aren’t, actually, that similar.

Sure, GT3 is a production-based formula but even the engine in the AMG GT3 is different from that in any AMG GT model you can buy and drive on the road. If the Black Series’ 720 horsepower heart is the 4.0-liter, twin-turbocharged M178 V-8, the AMG GT3 rocks on with a race-bred iteration of the 6.2-liter M159 naturally aspirated V-8. AMG anoraks will recognize that as the engine in the SLS AMG and the SLS AMG GT3.

Due to a process called BoP (Balance of Performance) that allows all of the different types of cars built to GT3 regulations to race together in something that’s close to complete parity, the GT3 car, even in Evo trim, never puts out more than 600 horsepower while the AMG GT Black Series develops 720 horsepower.

Let Your Senses Be Shocked By The Brutal 6.2-liter V-8 Of The Mercedes-AMG GT3
- image 946386

The GT4 version of the AMG GT does have the twin-turbo engine under its elongated hood but, because that car is built to compete in a category inferior to GT3, it’s even less powerful at about 450 horsepower.

Moreover, the AMG GT3 is not really faster than the AMG GT Black Series around the Nordschleife with the car clocking in a benchmark time of 8:14,515 minutes around the 25.378-kilometer-long version of the track. To put it into perspective, the AMG GT Black Series purportedly set a 6:43 minutes lap around the Northern loop that doesn’t include any sections of the GP course. If we remove the GP course’s four-odd kilometers from the mix (or about 90-95 seconds), we get to about the same time for the GT3 race car.

Does that matter? We think it does because, well, it’s a testament to how far road cars have evolved. They’re now so good that they can literally turn in race car lap times while shod with DOT-approved rubber. Having said that, the AMG GT3’s high-downforce package makes it unable to surpass 185 mph while the AMG GT Black Series can reach 202 mph which matters considering the ’Ring’s straight bits including the famed Dottinger Hohe.

Let Your Senses Be Shocked By The Brutal 6.2-liter V-8 Of The Mercedes-AMG GT3
- image 946385

The sensations you experience behind the wheel of the $450,000 race car (that costs about $15-per-kilometer to run) are indescribable. "The steering is light, it’s incredibly accurate, while the chassis is astonishingly composed, too," wrote CAR Magazine, adding that "the naturally-aspirated 6.2-liter V-8 engine is so beautifully linear in its delivery there are no spikes to worry about to upset its fine balance, the V8 filling the stripped, focussed cabin with a raucous, intense V-8 soundtrack that’s absolutely intoxicating in its intensity." Wanna hear how that engine sounds like? Simply check the video below!

P.S. If you’re curious to know just why Mercedes-AMG elected not to put the bi-turbo engine in the GT3 car as well, AMG has the answer for you and it’s along the lines of, well, this is a tried-and-tested package and, as always, an N/A engine is less complicated and finicky than a turbo’ed unit. Plus, AMG factory driver Thomas Jaeger says that the mill is "bulletproof."

Michael Fira
Michael Fira
Associate Editor and Motorsport Expert - fira@topspeed.com
Mihai Fira started out writing about long-distance racing like the famous 24 Hours of Le Mans. As the years went by, his area of interest grew wider and wider and he ever branched beyond the usual confines of an automotive writer. However, his heart is still close to anything car-related and he's most at home retelling the story of some long-since-forgotten moment from the history of auto racing. He'll also take time to explain why the cars of the '60s and '70s are more fascinating than anything on the road today.  Read full bio
About the author

Related Articles

2016 Mercedes-AMG GT3

What do you think?
Show Comments
Car Finder: