• 2018 Mercedes-AMG GT R

Mercedes’ new sports car goes hardcore

LISTEN 13:42

Unveiled to the public at the 2014 Paris Motor Show, the Mercedes-AMG GT is a two-seat sports car designed to replace the SLS AMG. However, the new coupe is smaller than its predecessor, and unlike the SLS, it was developed as a rival for the Porsche 911. The GT is also the first AMG to use the new "Mercedes-AMG" nomenclature and the first model to make use of the new twin-turbo, 4.0-liter V-8 engine. Just like the SLS, the AMG GT spawned a GT3-spec race car and will also receive at least two higher performance versions.

One of them is the GT R and was unveiled on June 24, 2016 at the Brooklands track in England, where the sports car was driven by both Tobias Moers, CEO of Mercedes-AMG, and Lewis Hamilton, reigning Formula One world champion with the German brand.

"With the new AMG GT R, we have reached the next level of driving performance. This road-going sports car with motor-racing genes and innovative technical solutions offers an ultimate driving experience that allows people to feel our motorsport origins in every fiber. It combines the driving dynamics of our AMG GT3 racing car with the everyday practicality of the AMG GT," said Moers.

The Mercedes-AMG GT R is the third member of the AMG GT family and the most powerful version of the sports car as of June 2016. It will go on sale in November 2016 with deliveries to commence in March 2017. Until then, let’s have a closer look at Mercedes’ rival for the Porsche 911 GT3.

Updated 04/06/2017: Mercedes announced U.S. prices for the 2018 AMG GT R which will be put on sale later this summer.

Continue reading to learn more about the 2018 Mercedes-AMG GT R.

  • 2018 Mercedes-AMG GT R
  • Year:
    2018
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    V8
  • Transmission:
    7-speed dual-clutch
  • Horsepower @ RPM:
    577 @ 6250
  • Torque @ RPM:
    516 @ 5500
  • Displacement:
    4.0 L
  • 0-60 time:
    3.5 sec. (Est.)
  • Top Speed:
    198 mph
  • Price:
    160000 (Est.)
  • Price:
  • car segment:
  • body style:
  • Overall:
    8.8/10

Live Unveiling

Exterior

2018 Mercedes-AMG GT R High Resolution Exterior
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2018 Mercedes-AMG GT R High Resolution Exterior
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2018 Mercedes-AMG GT R High Resolution Exterior
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Styling wise, the GT R is a significant departure from the standard GT model. A lot more aggressive in appearance, it shares many design features with the GT3 race car. Up front, the most striking feature is the larger grille with vertical slats. Dubbed "AMG Panamericana," this grille is similar to the GT3’s and goes back to the Mercedes-Benz 300 SL racing car that won the legendary Panamericana road race in Mexico in 1952. Down below, it features larger side intakes and a redesigned center vent and splitter. The former includes active aerodynamic elements.

The "Green Hell" is a reference to the Nurburgring Nordschleife, the race track where the new coupe was developed and tested

The GT R also sports wider front and rear fenders that increase its width by 46 mm (1.8 inches). This created space for the larger 20-inch wheels and the wider track and gives the coupe a more planted, menacing appearance. Moving onto the sides, changes include redesigned side skirts, black mirror caps, and lightweight forged wheels in matte black. Wrapped in high-performance tires, the rims are exclusive to the GT R.

Around back, there is a fixed rear wing for increased downforce on the rear axle, a large aerofoil, and a massive double diffuser. A further distinguishing feature of the AMG GT R is the large center-mounted exhaust tip flanked by two smaller outlets on left and right of the diffuser. Definitely unique!

The sports car’s menacing design is rounded off by the AMG Green Hell Magno paint, also exclusive to the GT R. The "Green Hell" is a reference to the Nurburgring Nordschleife, the race track where the new coupe was developed and tested. Finally, the GT R features high-grade carbon roof that not only complements the flashy paint, but also reduces the car’s curb weight. Naturally, the GT R will be available in a wide array of exterior colors.

Interior

2018 Mercedes-AMG GT R High Resolution Exterior
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The interior also bridges the gap between the stock AMG GT and the GT3 race car. While the dashboard, center console, and center stack are virtually identical to the road car, other features have been revised to give the GT R a more race-inspired feel. First up, the coupe received lightweight, manually adjustable sport bucket seats wrapped in Nappa leather and Dinamica microfiber. Another important addition is the new AMG Interior Night package. Included as standard equipment, it adds shift paddles, steering wheel bezel, door sills, and boot cross member in high-gloss black. Combined with the standard-specification AMG Interior Piano Lacquer package, it further emphasizes sportiness. As an option, customers can order the trim in matte black carbon-fibre.

Drivetrain

As expected, AMG redesigned the twin-turbo, 4.0-liter V-8 engine for the GT R. By using new turbochargers with modified compressor machining, increased boost pressure from 1.2 to 1.35 bar, smaller wastegate aneroid capsule, and sharpened engine mapping, the Germans managed to enhance the V-8’s output to 577 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque, which accounts for a 74-horsepower and 35-pound-foot increase over the AMG GT S.

2018 Mercedes-AMG GT R High Resolution Exterior
- image 680722
The AMG GT R charges from 0 to 60 mph in 3.5 seconds, two tenths quicker than the GT S

Mercedes-AMG also optimized the exhaust ports, modified the compression ratio, retuned the entire combustion process, and updated the seven-speed dual-clutch transmission for quicker shifts. As a result, the AMG GT R charges from 0 to 60 mph in 3.5 seconds, two tenths quicker than the GT S. Top speed has also increased to 198 mph, six mph more than the GT S and nine more than the GT model.

The new active aerodynamics are also responsible for these impressive performance figures. One particularly important feature is the carbon-fiber active profile concealed in the underbody, in front of the engine. At a speed of 80 km/h in Race mode, this carbon component automatically moves downward by about 40 mm (1.57 inches) and changes the airflow beneath the car. This process results in what is known as the Venturi effect, which "sucks" the car onto the road and reduces the front-axle lift by around 40 kilograms (88 pounds) at 155 mph.

The lighter materials used in the GT R also aids performance. The coupe employs an intelligent material mix for the structure, consisting of various aluminium alloys for the chassis and body, steel for the trunk lid, and magnesium for the front deck. The spaceframe is made of die-cast and extruded aluminium sections, while carbon-fiber has been used for the front wings, the roof, and the torque tube between engine and transmission.

Chassis and Suspension

2018 Mercedes-AMG GT R High Resolution Exterior
- image 680727

Mercedes-AMG meddled with the chassis as well, adding revised adjustable coil-over suspension, a nine-way adjustable traction control system derived from the GT3 race car, and electronically controlled limited-slip differential, and active rear steering. The latter is similar to the one available on the Porsche 911 and improves handling and stability, while allowing higher cornering speeds.

Mercedes-AMG meddled with the chassis as well, adding revised adjustable coil-over suspension, a nine-way adjustable traction control system derived from the GT3 race car

How does it work, you ask?

Up to a speed of 62 mph, the rear wheels are turned in the opposite direction to the front wheels, which makes the car more agile when steering into bends, even on narrow racetracks. Further benefits include increased responsiveness and a smaller turning circle in everyday driving situations, such as when turning or parking.

When the AMG GT R exceeds 62 mph, the system turns the rear wheels in the same direction as the front wheels, improving stability and increasing steering input due to the higher lateral force that builds up on the rear wheels.

At the same time, the vehicle benefits from massive grip on the rear axle and strong stability during fast changes in direction.

Drivetrain Specifications

Engine Handcrafted AMG 4.0L V8 Biturbo with Dry-Sump Lubrication
Displacement 3,982 cc
Output 577 hp at 6,250 rpm
Peak torque 516 lb-ft at 1,900-5,500 rpm
Driven wheels Rear-wheel drive
Transmission AMG SPEEDSHIFT DCT 7-speed dual-clutch transmission
Weight 3,428 lbs (Euro spec; US spec may vary)
Power-to-weight ratio 5.94 lbs/Horsepower (Euro spec; US spec may vary)
Acceleration 0-60 mph 3.5 s (est.)
Top speed 198 mph

Prices

U.S. pricing for the AMG GT R starts from $157,000, while German customers can get if for €165,410 before. In North America, it acounts for a $45,800 premium over the base AMG GT and a $25,800 increase over the AMG GT S. This sticker also makes the GT R nearly $14,000 more expensive than the Porsche GT3.

Competition

Porsche 911 GT3

2018 Porsche 911 GT3 High Resolution Exterior
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2018 Porsche 911 GT3 High Resolution Exterior
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While the AMG GT was developed specifically to take on the Porsche 911 Turbo, the GT R is aimed at the track-ready 911 GT3. Unlike the Merc, the Porsche has a rear-engined layout and uses a naturally aspirated engine (one of the very few 911s to do so). Revised for the 2018 model year, the GT3 gets its juice form a 4.0-liter flat-six engine that develops 500 horsepower and 339 pound-feet. The standard transmission is the already iconic seven-speed, dual-clutch PDK, but Porsche also reintroduced the six-speed manual as an option. Charging from 0 to 60 mph takes 3.2 seconds with the PDK and 3.8 seconds with the manual, meaning that the AMG GT R falls right between the two versions. Top speed is rated at 197 and 198 mph, respectively, which is on par with the Merc. Pricing starts from $143,600 in the U.S., which makes the 911 GT3 a bit more affordable than the AMG GT R.

Find out more about the Porsche 911 GT3 here.

Conclusion

2018 Mercedes-AMG GT R High Resolution Exterior
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Mercedes’ AMG division has been rolling out spectacular vehicles for decades now, but the GT R is solid proof that the German brand has yet to reach its full potential. Sure, it might be slower than the 911 GT3, but it’s a much more frendlier car for public roads and the front-engined, grand tourer-like configuration makes it an instant classic. It’s also based on a downright gorgeous coupe and the added aero features makes it one of the sexiest track-ready machines on the market right now. Impressive doesn’t even begin to describe it and if rumors that Mercedes is planning a wilder version turn out to be true, we’re in for quite a treat.

  • Leave it
    • Could have more aggressive aerodynamics on the side
    • Slower than the 911 GT3
    • Pretty expensive

Updated History

Updated 11/21/2016: Mercedes announced European prices for the new AMG GT R which will be put on sale in the spring of 2017. Check the "Prices" section for the full details.

Updated 06/24/2016: You can now watch the live unveiling of the new AMG GT R here. Continue reading for the live streaming.

Updated 06/21/2016: With the official debut of the AMG GT R getting closer, it was to be expected to learn more about the upcoming sports car. Check the "Drivetrain" section to learn more about the GT R’s official specification figures.

Updated 06/20/2016: Mercedes continues to tease the upcoming AMG GT R and while the new videos show pretty much nothing, it is always good to know that the official debut is getting closer. Stay tuned, official details are coming on June 24. Hit "play" to watch the new teaser video!

Updated 06/15/2016: Mercedes dropped the first teaser images of the new AMG GT R. Continue reading to check them out! Official debut will be made later this month at the Goodwood Festival of Speed.

Updated 05/24/2016: The upcoming Mercedes-AMG GT R was caught testing once again, this time on the public roads of Germany. Hit "play" to watch the car in action.

Updated 04/11/2016: British magazine Autocar managed to obtain a series of new details on the upcoming AMG GT R. The model is expected to be unveiled at the Goodwood Festival of Speed in June and has been described as the "the most aggressive incarnation of the GT yet."

Updated 03/29/2016: The upcoming Mercedes-AMG GT R was caught out for some testing session on the Nurburgring. Hit "play" to watch it in action.

Updated 02/18/2016: Our spy photographers caught the upcoming AMG GT R our for a new testing session, this time wearing less camouflage than usual. The model is expected to be unveiled in the summer of 2016.

Teaser images

2018 Mercedes-AMG GT R High Resolution Exterior
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2018 Mercedes-AMG GT R High Resolution Exterior
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2018 Mercedes-AMG GT R High Resolution Exterior
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Spy Shots

February 18, 2016 - Mercedes AMG GT R testing in the snow

2018 Mercedes-AMG GT R Exterior Spyshots
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2018 Mercedes-AMG GT R Exterior Spyshots
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2018 Mercedes-AMG GT R Exterior Spyshots
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Rendering

2018 Mercedes-AMG GT R Exterior Exclusive Renderings Computer Renderings and Photoshop
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Ciprian Florea
Ciprian Florea
Senior Editor and Supercar Expert - ciprian@topspeed.com
Ciprian's passion for everything with four wheels (and more) started back when he was just a little boy, and the Lamborghini Countach was still the coolest car poster you could hang on your wall. Ciprian's career as a journalist began long before earning a Bachelor's degree, but it was only after graduating that his love for cars became a profession.  Read full bio
About the author

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