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Geneva show: Mercedes-AMG reveals GT Concept

Green and mean: The 600kW under the hood of the Mercedes-AMG GT Concept trumps the output of the Porsche Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid by 100kW.

600kW hybrid four-door GT Concept gives glimpse of Merc-AMG powertrain direction

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Mercedes-AMG logo8 Mar 2017

By ROBBIE WALLIS

MERCEDES-AMG has lifted the covers from its Porsche Panamera-baiting four-door GT Concept at the Geneva motor show, revealing a 600kW bi-turbo V8-hybrid powertrain that will give a preview of the alternative drivetrain technologies being developed by the company.

The GT Concept teams a 4.0-litre bi-turbo V8 from the GT coupe family with an electric motor that employs Mercedes’ 4Matic all-wheel-drive system that can reportedly launch the GT Concept from standstill to 100km/h in less than three seconds.

Unlike the rear-drive two-door GT’s, the GT Concept uses the V8 to power all four wheels, with the electric motor giving supplementary power to just the rear axle for an instantaneous boost.

The battery system in the GT Concept is scalable and can be adjusted in performance and capacity for different models and markets, and potentially different hybrid set-ups in the future.

The system is able to charge itself while driving through regenerative braking as well as using the engine if charge has dropped beneath a certain threshold.

Three driving modes are available – full electric, full combustion or hybrid – however Mercedes-AMG has not shared details of any mode.

Peak torque is also unconfirmed at this stage but its 600kW power output makes it 100kW more powerful than the recently-announced range-topping Porsche Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid, which also uses a 4.0-litre twin-tubo V8 hybrid powertrain for a combined output of 500kW/850Nm.

If the current hybrid set-up makes it into a production vehicle, it would be the most powerful drivetrain in the Mercedes-AMG arsenal, comfortably out-gunning the monumental 463kW/1000Nm 6.0-litre twin-turbo V12 in the S65, which is facing extinction in a world of rising fuel and emissions regulations.

Visually, the GT Concept retains the overall look of the GT coupe with some distinctive tweaks, including redesigned headlights and aggressive body styling.

The headlights feature a narrower, slimmer LED cluster with two tubular rod lights that illuminate the road directly in front of the car, along with daytime running lights, a pulsing turn signal that sits at the top of the light cluster as well as a large LED main light, which uses three-dimensional autonomous lighting technology.

The tail-lights follow the GT design more closely with a slim cluster that wraps around the body of the car, and features the same 3D technology in the headlights.

A large front spoiler dominates the fascia of the GT Concept, with prominent side gills and a carbon-fibre splitter lending a more purposeful look than the GT or GT S coupe.

The Panamericana grille features vertical ribs like on the forthcoming GT R that have been painted red, as well as radiator shutters that can open and closed to prioritise aerodynamic or thermal efficiency.

Carbon-fibre side sills and B-pillars and side mirror cameras give the GT Concept a futuristic look, while the copper-and-silver alloy wheels with carbon-ceramic brakes and bronze brake callipers add extra flair.

The rear end is dominated by the chunky carbon-fibre rear diffuser and single-exit central exhaust, while the roofline manages to retain the shape of the coupe despite the addition of two doors.

Mercedes-AMG has not provided any images or information on the interior, which could suggest a production version may not differ greatly from the two-door version in terms of dashboard layout.

Mercedes claimed the GT Concept “heralds the further extension of the AMG GT family”, and it has previously been speculated that a production four-door GT will be made under the moniker of GT4.

The two-door range is currently offered in three states of tune, ranging from 340kW/600Nm in the GT to 430kW/700Nm in the GT R. It is unknown what version of the V8 is in the hybrid concept.

The GT4 could also potentially be offered in the future with a combustion-only powertrain featuring any of those three previous V8 set-ups.

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