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New York show: Mercedes-AMG GT R details emerge

Back in black: The ballistic SLS AMG Black had a top speed of 315km/h and could race from 0-100km/h in 3.6 seconds.

Mercedes-AMG GT R confirmed to be faster than the supersonic SLS Black trackside

28 Mar 2016


MERCEDES-AMG is preparing an even faster version of its flagship GT coupe, with performance that is said to eclipse the brutal 464kW/635Nm SLS AMG Black Edition that saw out the series in 2014.

Dubbed the GT R, it will sit above the existing GT S as the non-competition performance flagship. No power or torque outputs have been revealed, but Mercedes-AMG chairman Tobias Moers suggested that it might be one of the quickest production cars the company has ever built.

“The GT R stands for maybe better than SLS Black,” he told GoAuto at the New York motor show.

“It’s faster on the track than a Black. That’s what we aim for. It’s even faster than a C204 Black (C63 AMG Black Series), and this gives us a clear indication (that we shouldn’t) slow down with that product. So we need some new ideas (compared to what we’ve done with the Black series) that is unexpected.”

The SLS AMG Black Edition, released in Australia in 2014, was reportedly capable of topping 315km/h, while the C63 Black Series could reach 299km/h.

While this does not necessarily mean the GT R will surpass the SLS AMG’s straight-line speed on the road, the AMG chairman’s claim does imply a 300km/h-plus top speed.

With conquest sales in mind, Mr Moers added that the GT R would be priced significantly less than the discontinued SLS Black, which started at $639,000 (plus on-road costs), which added a $150,000 premium over the regular version.

The GT S, that launched in Australia mid-last year, starts at $294,610. Using that as a guide, expect the AMG GT R to be positioned somewhere between the $387,300 Porsche 911 GT3 RS and $444,500 911 Turbo S.

“The GT and the GT S are not in the same high-price level as the SLS and SLS Black were,” he said. “It’s at a lower price level, and it’s competitive to (direct rivals). This gives us a new chance to compete and to conquer as well.

This is the role of the GT R, being the new driving dynamic, and the brand ambassador for AMG.”

Along with a significantly modified version of its 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8, other mechanical changes over the GT S are believed to include a four-wheel steering system for improved handling and road-holding, as well as active aero technology to help enhance high-speed stability.

“It’s unbelievably fast, yet unbelievably stable even if you are near the limit, you feel like a better driver. I’m one of the most experienced drivers in the company, one of the faster ones. The other guys, who are not at that level, these guys felt like where they drove the cars, they felt like better drivers. Even when we drove them on the racetrack, or in a comparison, or wherever. It’s that sort of car.

“Even at the limit, the GT R is so predictable, it’s so easy to handle. It’s so fast, yet there is another level of traction even compared to the GT S. It’s really cool.”

Timing for an Australian market launch is unclear.

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