Mercedes joins the GT4 class with a new racing version of the AMG GT sports car

Unveiled in 2014, the Mercedes-AMG GT is the company’s latest halo sports car and replaces the SLS AMG in the lineup. However, the [AMG GT is smaller than its predecessor and aimed at a slightly different market niche, having been developed as a competitor for the Porsche 911. The sports car was also used to introduce AMG’s brand-new engine, a twin-turbo, 4.0-liter V-8. Launched in GT and GT S variations, the two-door gained higher performance GT R (coupe) and GT C (roadster) models, as well as a GT3-spec race car version in 2016. In 2017, Mercedes-Benz is rolling out a second race car based on the AMG GT, this time around in GT4 specification.

If you’re not familiar with the GT4 class, it’s a less powerful, more affordable version of GT3 and it’s mostly dedicated to amateur drivers. The cars are also equalized in order to allow driving skill to become key. The Mercedes-AMG GT4 was optimized for a wide range of championships, including the IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge and the Pirelli World Challenge in the U.S., the Blancpain GT Series Asia in Asia and the Australian GT Trophy in Australia. In Germany, the VLN endurance racing championship, and the Nürburgring 24-hours are the series that will see new race car in action. The GT4 European Series Northern Cup and the GT4 European Series Southern Cup are among the international GT4 series that Mercedes developed the AMG GT4 for.

Continue reading to learn more about the Mercedes-AMG GT4.

  • 2017 Mercedes-AMG GT4
  • Year:
    2017
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    V8
  • Transmission:
    Sequential six-speed AMG competition
  • Horsepower @ RPM:
    503
  • Torque @ RPM:
    443
  • Displacement:
    4.0 L
  • 0-60 time:
    4 sec.
  • Top Speed:
    155 mph
  • Price:
  • car segment:
  • size:
  • Purpose:
  • body style:

Exterior

2017 Mercedes-AMG GT4 Exterior High Resolution
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2018 Mercedes-AMG GT R High Resolution Exterior
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2017 Mercedes-AMG GT4 Exterior High Resolution
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2018 Mercedes-AMG GT R High Resolution Exterior
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Mercedes-AMG GT4 Mercedes-AMG GT R
Styling-wise, the GT4 is an AMG GT R with enhanced aerodynamics and a bigger rear wing.

Much like any GT4-spec vehicle out there, the AMG GT4 is a less aggressive version of the GT3 race car. To paint a better picture, it’s an AMG GT R with enhanced aerodynamics and a bigger rear wing.

This is mostly visible up front, where the GT4 is heavily based on the road-going GT R. Unlike the GT3, which has a wide trapezoidal opening in the bumper, the GT4 sports the GT R’s big intakes at each corner. However, the bumper is enhanced by a significantly larger carbon-fiber splitter that extends toward the wheels, while the grille includes a race-spec tow hook just like the GT3. The engine hood is also based on the GT3’s, featuring a big vent in the middle and quick-release pins.

2017 Mercedes-AMG GT4 Exterior High Resolution
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Less visible but equally important at the track, the GT4's flat front section has the radiator grille tilted to the front.

Moving onto the sides, there are more similarities to the GT R model. For instance, the vents on the front fenders are smaller than the GT3 and mimic the shape of those seen on the road-going car. The side skirts also seem to be borrowed from the GT R. On the other hand, the GT4 features extra vents atop the rear fenders, while the standard wheels have been replaced by lightweight rims wrapped in slick tires. Around back, things are pretty simple, as the GT4 is essentially a GT R with a larger wing and vented rear glass. The wing is not as big as GT3’s, but it’s large enough to matter in the downforce department.

Less visible but equally important at the track, the GT4’s flat front section has the radiator grille tilted to the front. This design lowers the stagnation pressure point on the car and improves both the aerodynamic performance and the flow of the cooling air through the hood. The rear wing has a very wide adjustment range, allowing the driver to select the required combination of low drag and high downforce levels. Up front, the wide splitter reduces the lift on the front axle, to which the flics mounted to the side of the front bumper contribute as well.

2017 Mercedes-AMG GT4 Exterior High Resolution
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The design includes plenty of weight-saving measures too, such as racing-specific bodywork parts. The hood, the front bumper, and the front splitter have been made of a particularly lightweight composite material. Mercedes didn’t say if it uses carbon-fiber or not, but it’s very likely since the road-legal GT R already uses it.

Exterior Dimensions

Wheelbase (Inches) 103.5
Length (Inches) 181.8
Width (Inches) 78.6
Height (Inches) 49.8

COMPETING DESIGNS

2017 Ford Mustang GT4 High Resolution Exterior
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2016 Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport
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2016 McLaren 570S GT4
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Since all GT4-spec cars are beefed-up version of their road-going counterparts, styling depends on the design of the vehicles they’re based on. This doesn’t really matter out on the track, but it’s important to note that no current GT4 car is notably more radical than the others. Whether we’re talking about the Ford Mustang GT4, Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport or McLaren 570S GT4, they’re all road-legal vehicles with added splitters, wings, and race-spec wheels. On the other hand, the 570S GT4 looks a lot more menacing on the race track thanks to the sports car’s aggressive and sleek design.

Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport McLaren 570S GT4 Ford Mustang GT4 Mercedes-AMG GT4
Wheelbase (Inches) ‎97.8 105.27 107.1 TBA
Length (Inches) 174.72 181.33 188.3 TBA
Height (Inches) 49.84 46.41 54.9 TBA
Width (Inches) 77.87 (FA)/78.81 (RA) 82.48 75.9 TBA

Interior

2017 Mercedes-AMG GT4 Interior High Resolution
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Not surprisingly, the GT4's cabin is almost identical to the AMG GT3, which we’ve already seen in 2015.

Not surprisingly, the GT4’s cabin is almost identical to the AMG GT3, which we’ve already seen in 2015. It has the same swoopy dashboard and aircraft inspired center console as seen in the road car. The steering wheel lacks the usual rim and has a wide adjustment range. For easy handling and good visibility at night, the controls on the steering wheel are illuminated as are the large switches on the center console. Air conditioning, which is quite necessary during summer races, is available as an option.

2017 Mercedes-AMG GT4 Interior High Resolution
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2017 Mercedes-AMG GT4 Interior High Resolution
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Other race-spec gear includes lightweight door panels and bucket seats, and a full roll cage built per FIA specifications. The high-strength steel cage that’s bolted to the car’s aluminum spaceframe will complement the Head and Neck Support feature of the racing seat, the HANS restraint system, and a six-point harness with reinforced anchor points. Mercedes claims that because of its design, the safety cell also provides a very high level of protection for the driver’s shoulders, hips and legs.

Drivetrain

2017 Mercedes-AMG GT4 Exterior High Resolution
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Depending on the balance of performance, the GT4 should deliver up to 503 horsepower and over 443 pound-feet of torque.

As expected, the GT4-spec car shares the engine with its GT3 sibling and just about every road-legal AMG GT sports car out there. There’s no word on specific output, but the firm says that depending on the balance of performance, the GT4 should deliver up to 503 horsepower and a maximum torque of over 443 pound-feet, which is similar to the road-going AMG GT S.

Like in the Mercedes-AMG GT3, the sequential six-speed competition gearbox in the AMG GT4 is linked to the rear axle in a transaxle layout and is pneumatically operated. This configuration results into a more race-suitable weight distribution and a lower center of gravity. A differential that is adjustable from the outside optimizes the driving characteristics for each track layout.

An intelligent mix of aluminum and carbon-fiber has been used for the chassis. As a result, the structure of the GT4 consists of a very light and extremely rigid. The suspension system consists of double wishbones and dampers with adjustable rebound and compression, which gives more direct and clear feedback to the driver. A powerful competition brake system with multi-adjustable ABS ensures maximum stopping power.

Drivetrain Specifications

Engine AMG 4.0L V8 biturbo engine
Capacity 3,982 cc
Output 503 HP
Max. torque 443 LB-FT
Drive rear wheel drive;
transaxle construction: front engine, gearbox on the rear axle, linked by a torque tube
Gearbox Sequential six-speed AMG competition gearbox with mechanical (adjustable) differential and magnesium casing;
pneumatic operation;
shift paddles on the steering wheel
Acceleration 0-60 mph under 4 seconds
Top speed over 155 mph
Weight approx. 3,064 lbs

COMPETING PERFORMANCE

As mentioned earlier, the performance of GT4 cars is equalized on a power-to-weight basis in order to allow driving skill to become key, which means that the type of engine and specific horsepower figures aren’t as important as they would be in a road-car comparison. However, it’s worth mentioning that the GT4 racing class is as diverse as it gets when it comes to drivetrains, with nearly all vehicles using revised versions of production powerplants. For instance, the Mustang GT4 shares its 5.2-liter V-8 engine with the road-going Shelby GT350, while the McLaren 570S GT4 has the same 3.8-liter V-8 offered across the entire lineup. Other cars, like the Cayman GT4 Clubsport, hit the track with the exact same engine and output as the production model. Finally, the GT4 class allows both naturally aspirated and turbocharged engines.

Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport McLaren 570S GT4 Ford Mustang GT4 Mercedes-AMG GT4
Engine 3.8-liter Flat-six 3.8-liter V-8 5.2-liter V-8 4.0-liter V-8
Horsepower 385 HP 562 HP 526 HP TBA
Transmission 6-Speed PDK 7 Speed SSG six-speed six-speed transaxle
Weight 2,866 Lbs TBA TBA TBA

Price

2017 Mercedes-AMG GT4 Exterior High Resolution
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Pricing for the AMG GT4 is set at €198,850, which makes it significantly more affordable than the GT3 customer cars, priced at a whopping €372,000. U.S. pricing is not yet available, but the European sticker converts to around $231,670 as of July 2017.

Reference

2016 Mercedes-AMG GT High Resolution Exterior
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Read our full review of the 2016 Mercedes AMG GT

Competition

The AMG GT4’s competition will depend on which series it will be raced in, as this class has been adopted by many national and continental championships. For instance, the GT4 European Series was contested by no fewer than the ten vehicles. Entries include the Aston Martin Vantage GT4, already a classic among gentleman racers, the Maserati GranTurismo MC GT4, as well as the GT4 versions of the BMW M3 and M4. KTM also makes a GT4-spec variant of the X-Bow, while Ford and Chevrolet have their very own race cars. In all, there are more than 15 GT4 vehicles used around the world. That’s far more than we can mention in detail here, but let’s have a closer look at some of them.

Ford Mustang GT4

2017 Ford Mustang GT4 High Resolution Exterior
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2017 Ford Mustang GT4 High Resolution Exterior
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Brand-new for 2017, the Mustang GT4 is based on the GT350R-C, which has already won its class in the 2016 IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge. Although similar in appearance with the Shelby, the GT4 car has revised aerodynamics and a massive wing atop its trunk lid. Motivation comes from the same 5.2-liter, flat-plane crankshaft V-8 that’s also offered in the road-going GT350. The Mustang GT4 is eligible for the Grand Sport class of IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge, the Pirelli World Challenge GTS, and European GT4, among other racing series’, and will definitely run against the Mercedes-AMG GT4 in the future.

Learn more about the Ford Mustang GT4.

McLaren 570S GT4

2016 McLaren 570S GT4 High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
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2016 McLaren 570S GT4 High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
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So far the only the only race-spec version of the 570S, the GT4 was unveiled in early 2015 and sent on the track during the 2016 season. However, McLaren used just one car for development purposes in the British GT championship, with the homologated, production model made available to customers for 2017. Raced by the revived Ecurie Ecosse team, the 570S GT4 won two out of nine events and promises to be very competitive in the GT4 European Series. Essentially a beefed-up version of the road-going sports car, the 570S GT4 is powered by the same award-winning, twin-turbo 3.8-liter V-8 that propels every production McLaren. Pricing starts from £159,900, which converts to around $201,000 as of December 2016.

Find out more about the McLaren 570S GT4.

Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport

2016 Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport High Resolution Exterior
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2016 Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport High Resolution Exterior
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Launched in late 2015, the Cayman GT4 Clubsport is not as extreme as the AMG GT or McLaren 570S, but that’s mostly because the road car it is based on, the Porsche Cayman GT4, is already a potent track toy. Unlike its rivals, the Clubsport received only minor aerodynamic modifications and uses the exact same engine as the production model (output figures are also identical). However, the German carmaker equipped the coupe with a bespoke transmission with a mechanical locking differential, an 88-pound weight reduction, and suspension components from the 911 GT3 Cup. The car had a tremendous season in the GT4 European Series, helping PROsport Performance win the teams’ championship. The Cayman GT4 Clubsport is priced at $165,000 in North America.

Read more about the Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport.

Conclusion

2017 Mercedes-AMG GT4 Exterior High Resolution Wallpaper quality
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With the Mercedes-AMG GT3 having already achieved success in its first season in the Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup and the ADAC GT Masters, it’s not surprising that AMG wants to expand its motorsport program. Now that the GT3 has arrived Stateside to race in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, it makes a lot of sense for AMG to look for more exposure and enter the lower, more affordable GT4 category. It’s too early to say whether the AMG GT4 will be as successful as the GT3, but I have plenty of reasons to believe that it will give its competitors a run for their money.

  • Leave it
    • * Tough competition

Press Release

On the occasion of the 2017 24-hour race at Spa-Francorchamps, Mercedes-AMG is presenting its latest competition car: the Mercedes-AMG GT4. The new model is based on the Mercedes-AMG GT R and has been made to meet the requirements of international GT4 race series. Its production-based concept combines fully-matured racing technology with the highest level of safety and efficiency. With the Mercedes-AMG GT4, the sports car and performance brand from Affalterbach expands its Customer Racing Program with a promising vehicle category. Since 2010, Mercedes- AMG has been enjoying outstanding achievements in the GT3 class, initially with the SLS AMG GT3 and since 2016 with the Mercedes-AMG GT3. After an intense testing and trial phase, the Mercedes-AMG GT4 will be delivered to the first Customer Racing Teams at the end of 2017.

Affalterbach – A production-based concept, convincing safety features, proven competition technology, high efficiency, fully matured vehicle development: that is the Mercedes-AMG GT4. With the new GT4 race car, Mercedes-AMG is entering another GT racing category that stands out for its dynamic growth. Race series all over the world provide an attractive mix of demanding sprint races and legendary endurance races that allow for an increasing number of opportunities to compete with GT4 machinery.

2017 Mercedes-AMG GT4 Exterior High Resolution Wallpaper quality
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"The GT4 segment is getting more and more popular. The production-based concept is an important factor, especially when you want to get started in motorsport as a team or as a driver. For some teams, the GT4 category also serves as a sensible addition to their existing involvement in GT3, for instance to support young drivers," says Tobias Moers, Chairman of the Board of Management of Mercedes-AMG GmbH. "For us as a manufacturer, GT4 competition is a logical next step to extend our Customer Racing Program. After the achievements in GT3 racing, the Mercedes-AMG GT4 is opening another valuable platform for us to prove our competence as a globally successful sports car and performance brand. There is no doubt that we will once again be setting new benchmarks in the segment with the latest member in our Customer Racing Program."

Production-base meets racing technology

The Mercedes-AMG GT4 is based on the Mercedes-AMG GT R that was revealed in June of 2016 and already has a particularly high level of race track performance. The highly dynamic characteristics of the road-legal sports car were developed further in a consequent way. In every area where the production specification could mean a compromise for racing purposes, it is replaced by racing technology for the Mercedes-AMG GT4. The many years of experience from the GT3 segment has clearly been incorporated into the development.

Fully matured and competitive

Like with the introduction of the SLS AMG GT3 and the Mercedes-AMG GT3, aspirations for the new race car are high: the Mercedes-AMG GT4 is entering the scene as a fully matured and proven competition car. It arrives to set new benchmarks in its class relating to safety, ergonomics, drivability, performance as well as service- and user-friendliness.

"Our customers have high expectations when we are presenting a new car and rightfully so: the SLS AMG GT3 and the Mercedes-AMG GT3 were capable of winning from their very first lap of racing onwards and were able to prove it in an impressive way. That also is the benchmark for the new Mercedes-AMG GT4. Therefore, we have taken the time that was necessary for development and testing to be able to offer a perfect product in the end. We aren’t entering a new segment to finish second," Stefan Wendl, head of Mercedes-AMG Customer Racing, says.

2017 Mercedes-AMG GT4 Exterior High Resolution
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A comprehensive test and development program

As Test and Development Drivers, Bernd Schneider, Thomas Jäger and Jan Seyffarth are largely contributing to the maturity of the Mercedes-AMG GT4. Like with the SLS AMG GT3 and the Mercedes-AMG GT3, the cooperation between the experienced drivers and the engineers from Affalterbach is an important element in the complex vehicle development process. The close interaction between the experts results into excellent drivability, a characteristic that is typical for Mercedes-AMG Customer Racing cars.

Prior to the first deliveries, scheduled for the end of 2017, the Mercedes-AMG GT4 is to undergo further intense testing. The program includes a total of over 30,000 kilometers of track testing. The new car has already successfully proven its reliable endurance performance and high durability in a 30-hour endurance test at race speed at the Lausitzring.

To allow for experience from real racing conditions to be integrated into the development, three prototypes will be participating in selected test races during the current 2017 motorsport season. For these outings, the cars will be run in co-operation with development partner HWA AG and, if required, with support from partner teams.

Further development of a proven power unit

The Mercedes-AMG GT4 is powered by the 4.0 liter V8 biturbo engine with direct fuel injection, known from the road cars from Affalterbach. The proven production technology of the front-mid engine allows for particularly long service intervals and also provides sufficient performance reserves for the future. Depending on the balance of performance, this results into an output of up to 503 hp (375 kW) and a maximum torque of over 443 lb-ft (600 Nm).

Optimized gearshift for competition use

Like in the Mercedes-AMG GT3, the sequential six-speed competition gearbox in the Mercedes-AMG GT4 is linked to the rear axle in transaxle formation and is pneumatically operated. This arrangement results into a favorable weight distribution and a lower center of gravity. A differential that is adjustable from the outside optimizes the driving characteristics for the specific requirements of competition use. In the construction and the integration of the gearbox, the focus of the development was not only on performance, but also on service and rebuild ease.

2017 Mercedes-AMG GT4 Exterior High Resolution
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Award-winning light-weight construction

To achieve maximum performance at the race track, the Mercedes-AMG GT4 has been weight-optimized in every area. An intelligent mix of aluminum and carbon has been used for the chassis and the bodywork. The structure of the GT4 consists of a very light and extremely rigid aluminum spaceframe that can also be found in the Mercedes-AMG GT R and that has been honored with the ’Leichtbau Award 2017,’ an innovation award from the German engineers’ association VDI. As a part of the AMG Lightweight Performance Strategy, further measures and optimizations of details contribute to the weight reduction. Thus, racing-specific bodywork parts such as the hood, the front bumper or the front splitter have been made of a particularly lightweight composite material. In the production version of the GT R, carbon is already used as a material for the front fenders and the torque tube between the engine and the gearbox.

Benchmark-setting safety

The Mercedes-AMG GT4 has adopted the proven safety concept of its ’big GT3 brother’ and is thus setting new benchmarks in its class. The best possible driver protection has the highest priority. Here, the rollcage of high-strength steel and the aluminum spaceframe play a central role. The carbon driver safety cell meets the latest FIA homologation standards and features an integrated headrest. Optionally, this is also available for the passenger seat. Because of its design, the safety cell also provides a very high level of protection for a driver’s shoulders, hips and legs. Moreover, it is compatible with the HANS (Head And Neck Support) system. An extrication hatch in the roof and a powerful fire extinguishing system round out the competition- specific safety features.

Optimal ergonomics in the cockpit

Ergonomics and functionality can be found in the interior of the Mercedes-AMG GT4: all the elements, systems and displays have been designed in such a way that less experienced drivers can also handle them quickly. In the large cockpit, even tall drivers find sufficient space, especially as the steering wheel has a wide adjustment range and the pedals can be adjusted as well. For easy handling and good visibility in the dark, the controls on the steering wheel are illuminated as are the large switches on the center console that is orientated towards the driver. The effective circulation of fresh air in the interior is particularly pleasant for the driver and, to allow the drivers to keep cool in all racing conditions, air conditioning is available for the Mercedes-AMG GT4 as an option.

2017 Mercedes-AMG GT4 Interior High Resolution
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User-friendly racing electronics

The electronics of the Mercedes-AMG GT R were revised to meet the requirements of the GT4 race car. A durably high user and service friendliness complements reliable operation under extreme pressure. Customer Racing Teams that are familiar with the Mercedes-AMG GT3 will particularly benefit as they will find proven menu structures and solutions. The racing engine control unit is the digital heart that guarantees an exact performance. A new torque control allows for excellent measurement and drivability. Further highlights include an optimized version of the AMG TRACTION CONTROL that enables the driver to adjust the slip on the rear axle in eleven levels to suit varying grip conditions.

Exact driving performance

The highly precise driving characteristics rank among the outstanding features of the Mercedes-AMG GT4. The suspension, with double wishbones and dampers with adjustable rebound and compression, gives direct and clear feedback to the driver in every situation. Drivers of every level quickly find confidence in the car as a result. Moreover, the Mercedes-AMG GT4 convinces with exact steering response, outstanding agility and excellent traction. A powerful competition brake system with multi-adjustable ABS ensures maximum stopping power. The Mercedes-AMG GT4 is equipped with 18 inch forged AMG light-alloy wheels.

Aerodynamically optimize design

The new Mercedes-AMG GT4 is bringing the characteristic design of its production counterpart to the race track. The unmistakable features include the flat front section with the radiator grille that is tilted to the front. This lay- out lowers the stagnation pressure point on the car to improve both the aerodynamic performance and the flow of the cooling air through the hood. All other design elements of the Mercedes-AMG GT4 are focused on the technical benefit and add to the overall performance. The aerodynamics are playing a leading role: building on the innovative aerodynamic concept of the Mercedes- AMG GT R, the race car was further optimized in a comprehensive wind tunnel test to achieve a handling that is as neutral as possible. Like this, it is easier for the teams to find an individual track set-up. To this end, the rear wing of the GT4 car has a very wide adjustment range to select the required combination of low drag and high downforce levels. At the aerodynamically optimized front, a wide splitter reduces the lift on the front axle, to which the flics mounted to the side of the front bumper contribute as well.

The main areas of competition for the Mercedes-AMG GT4

The boom of the GT4 class was initiated in Europe and is reflected in a rapidly increasing number of opportunities for competition, be it with exclusive GT4 formats or as separate vehicle categories within various series or events. Currently, the following series can be considered as the most important ’hunting grounds’ for the new Mercedes-AMG GT4: the IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge and the Pirelli World Challenge in the US, the Blancpain GT Series Asia in Asia and the Australian GT Trophy in Australia. In Germany, the VLN endurance racing championship and the Nürburgring 24-hours are the designated highlights for the new race car from Affalterbach. The GT4 European Series Northern Cup and the GT4 European Series Southern Cup are dedicated international GT4 series. The 24H Endurance Series also provides a large international platform for GT4 competition. Therefore, the new Mercedes-AMG GT4 is eligible to race at a large international platform where it can compete for victories and titles in the hands of the AMG Customer Racing Teams.

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