Mercedes AMG GT3 Ultra-High-Performance Preview
Previewed first by a couple of sketches and now by a slightly retouched photo of the actual model, the track-only Mercedes-AMG GT3 is nearing its 2015 Geneva Motor Show reveal. A recurring rumor is that the racing car will also spawn a road-going version, something not as hardcore as a Black Series but blindingly fast nonetheless. As the normal Mercedes-AMG GT and GT S are aimed at the Porsche 911 Carrera S and GTS, subsequently, there are plenty of reasons to believe that the racing-derived Merc will go head-to-head with the 911 GT3.
Back in 2014, Autocar got together with Mercedes-AMG boss Tobias Moers and discussed the possibility of a track-ready version of the sports car, with the CEO sounding anxious about the prospects of such a vehicle. "I don’t want to make a dragster that’s only good for doing 0-100km/h [0-62mph] in 2.8sec. We need more power, less weight, better aerodynamics and different suspension, but the targets should be the power-to-weight ratio, driveability, lap time and tremendous feel." Moers told Autocar.
In other words, the target for a Mercedes-AMG GT R (name is just speculation on my part) would be less weight, a new aerodynamic package derived from the upcoming GT3 race car and just a tad more power from its twin-turbocharged, 4.0-liter, V-8 engine. Around 550 horsepower and the aforementioned modifications would be more than enough to shave a couple of tenths from the GT S’ 3.8-seconds naught to 62 mph time, along with a 10-second drop from its Nurburgring Nordschleife time.
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Why it matters
Since the internally codenamed M178 engine in the Mercedes-AMS GT and GT S was created by bonding two M133 four-cylinder mills from the 45 AMG models, it may be safe to say that the powerplant is under-stressed. Actually, Tobias Moers thinks the same as I do, but AMG is likely to refrain from unleashing over 600 horsepower for the GT3-derived model, since its performance will mostly come from a better power-to-weight ratio and not monster horsepower and torque numbers.
After the Mercedes-AMG GT3 gets unveiled I’m sure that we will have a much better picture about the body kit sported by the road-going version, but the preview so far brings an interesting detail into focus, and that is the engine grille. As you can see, it harks back to the original Mercedes-Benz 300 SL (W198) racing car that won the Le Mans 24 Hours race in 1952. The inverted V-shape and vertical lines are a pretty cool-looking retro motif that will probably find itself on the road-going version as well, or so I hope. That, along with some extra aerodynamic splitters, wider wheel arches and a larger wing should make for a pretty scary-looking sports car.