Mercedes-AMG Working on a Porsche 911 GT3 Competitor
Although the recently unveiled Mercedes-AMG GT has yet to hit dealerships, the German automaker is already working more powerful iterations of the sports car. Having already confirmed plans to develop a Black Series model, the AMG division is now talking about yet another performance version, this time aimed at the Porsche 911 GT3. The news comes straight from AMG boss Tobias Moers, who told Autocar that a street-legal version of the company’s GT3 race car "sounds like a pretty good idea."
Moers also confirmed AMG is developing a Mercedes-AMG GT-based race car to replace the successful SLS GT3. The track-exclusive machine will be available for the 2016 racing season, meaning the AMG SLS GT3 will continue its motorsport career for another year. It is safe to assume the street version of the GT3-spec AMG GT will arrive around the same time, although Moers had nothing to say about that. "We will find another name for our car," he added, hinting the GT3 moniker won’t be carried over to the road-legal sports car.
The aim with the ultra-high-performance AMG GT is to offer a car that’s more powerful, lighter and with better aerodynamics, Moers stressed. AMG targets a weight reduction of 176 to 200 pounds and an output increase to around 550 horsepower. The range-topping AMG GT S is rated at 503 ponies. Mechanical updates will also include a race-bred suspension, and wider front and rear tracks. Naturally, the bodywork will include flared fenders, a revised front bumper, a rear diffuser and a fixed rear wing.
Click past the jump to read more about Mercedes-AMG’s future car.
Why it matters
Competing against the Porsche 911 is one of the biggest challenges of the sports car segment. Mercedes was mighty brave to aim its brand-new halo car at the legendary 911, and although a head-to-head comparison is not yet possible, it seems the Germans are determined to tackle Stuttgart’s No. 1 sports car on more than one front. Granted, this is not an easy task, but given Mercedes’ experience with GT3 racing, a street-legal version of the upcoming GT3-spec AMG GT seems like an achievable goal. And 550 horses sounds downright exciting, even if AMG’s track-ready car is likely to be heavier than the 911 GT3.
Unveiled to the public at the 2014 Paris Motor Show, the Mercedes-AMG GT is considered the spiritual successor of the SLS AMG. Smaller and lighter that the SLS, Mercedes-AMG GT is aimed at a different segment, the one in which the Porsche 911 sets the benchmarks. Unlike its predecessor, the AMG GT dropped the large, naturally aspirated, 6.2-liter V-8 in favor of a bi-turbo, 4.0-liter eight-banger. The mill is available in two guises, churning 456 horsepower and 503 ponies in its base and S models, respectively.
In its base form, the AMG GT needs 3.9 seconds to reach 60 mph from a standing start and hits a top speed of 189 mph. The more powerful AMG GT S, on the other hand, charges from naught to 60 mph in only 3.7 seconds before reaching a top speed of 193 mph. The latter arrives in U.S. dealerships in the spring of 2015, while the former is set to reach American customers in 2016.