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Mercedes-AMG GT four-door coming to Australia

Phwoar door: The production version of the rear-drive four-door GT is likely to pump out over 600kW from a combination of petrol and electric power.

Four-door Mercedes-AMG GT confirmed for Australia, along with CLS63 AMG

Mercedes-AMG logo7 Aug 2017

By TIM ROBSON in NEW ZEALAND

MERCEDES AMG’s fastest ever four-door will hit Australia before 2019, with the local arm confirming that the production version of its GT Concept sedan will be added to the roster.

“Yes,” Mercedes-Benz Australia/Pacific (MBAP) senior manager of public relations, product and corporate communications, David McCarthy, told GoAuto when asked if the car was destined for Australia. “I’ve seen it, and it’s pretty special.”

No orders have been received for the unnamed four-door version of the GT as yet, according to Mr McCarthy, but he identified potential customers from across the spectrum of Mercedes-Benz customers, including S-Class and GT buyers.

“It’s clearly related to the GT, but AMG customers, S63 customers and CLS customers are all expressing interest,” he said. “I think they’re looking for something different.”

The GT, which was previewed by a concept of the same name at this year’s Geneva motor show, is expected to use the brand’s 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 petrol engine in conjunction with an electric motor on the front axle as its motive force.

This may equate to a total power output of about 600kW in its peak performance mode and a 0-100km/h time of less than three seconds, although the GT is expected to offer different operating modes, including an all-electric function.

The term ‘EQ Power +’ was trademarked in Europe early in 2017, and is borrowed from the brand’s Formula One team.

Current F1 engine technology includes various forms of energy harvesting and electric assistance, and Mercedes-AMG is also developing a road-going version of an F1 powertrain for its Project One hypercar – technology that could also be used in the four-door GT.

The car – which in spy pics looks more like a hatch-equipped four-door than a true sedan – will compete with rivals like the Porsche Panamera, Audi’s RS7 and BMW’s M6 Gran Coupe.

Mercedes-AMG will also release a new version of its CLS, and in turn the hi-po CLS63 S in 2018, while Aston Martin, Bentley and Jaguar are all lining up new versions of high-performance sedans in the coming years.

“The market is hugely competitive, and it’s very, very price sensitive,” said Mr McCarthy. “We look at what others are doing but the secret is to actually concentrate on your own game. Do what you do and try and do it best.”

The production version of the GT Concept may well be unveiled at next month’s Frankfurt motor show.

Meanwhile, Mr McCarthy also confirmed that the C-Class would receive a mid-cycle facelift in 2018. While a specific date is yet to be locked down, the car will receive powertrain updates – including the 143kW/400Nm 2.0-litre four-cylinder diesel engine from the E220d – as well as new equipment and more options.

The C-Class is the second best-seller in the medium passenger-car segment, and with the demise of local Toyota Camry production in October this year, Mr McCarthy sees the gap closing further.

“It’s a car that starts at $60,000, so it’s got a huge part of that segment,” he said. “It’ll be interesting to see what Camry does next year when it’s an import. I don’t expect we’ll knock it off. We’re not aiming to but I think it will be interesting.”

Toyota has sold 14,083 examples of the Camry to the end of July this year, while Mercedes has moved 4980 C-Classes in the same period.

The Mazda6 barely stayed ahead of the Mercedes-Benz CLA, its 2114 sales just 55 units ahead of the swoopy Benz.

Supplies of the C-Class based GLC SUV continue to be restricted by overseas demand, according to Mr McCarthy, while C-Class wagon variants are in a similar position. Currently, wagons make up ten per cent of the C-Class mix.

“Sales of the C-Class haven’t tailed off, but it’s always good to inject a bit more interest into the segment,” he said.

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