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Mercedes-AMG GT set to spawn more variants

Watch this space: The Mercedes-AMG GT could lose its lid if the go-fast division decides to go ahead with a range expansion.

AMG chief says GT coupe variants are ‘just the beginning’ for hot new sports line

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Mercedes-Benz logo11 Sep 2014

THE new Mercedes-AMG GT coupe might spawn a number of variants, including a convertible, as the German brand’s go-fast division seeks to expand its line-up.

Revealed in full this week after a five-month teaser campaign, the 4.0-litre bi-turbo V8 GT sportscar initially will be restricted to a choice of powertrains – 340kW/600Nm in the GT and the more potent 375kW/650Nm in the GT S.

Asked by GoAuto at the GT’s global unveiling in Germany if a convertible version was on the cards, Mercedes-AMG chairman Tobias Moers remained coy, but hinted that further variants could be released.

“This is just the beginning,” he said, adding: “Whatever that means.”

While a drop-top version of the low-slung Porsche 911 rival is yet to be confirmed by Mercedes, more derivatives are highly likely as the company has previously confirmed that the GT will be a full-series model, unlike the SLS-AMG supercar that ended its limited production run earlier this year.

If a convertible GT gets the go-ahead, it would go head-to-head with drop-top versions of the Porsche 911, Jaguar F-Type, Aston Martin V8 Vantage Roadster and the Maserati GranCabrio.

It would also likely carry a premium over the regular coupe versions, which should start from about $240,000 plus on-roads when they roll into Australian Mercedes dealerships in the second quarter of next year.

More hardcore GT variants could surface if Mercedes’ performance skunkworks decides to wring more power out of its AMG-developed-and-built 4.0-litre bi-turbo V8 engine that lurks under the rounded bonnet of the coupe.

The new unit has turbochargers housed inside the V configuration for better engine response, and drives the rear wheels via a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission in transaxle configuration at the rear axle, which borrows the layout of the SLS-AMG.

An expansion of the GT range could fit with AMG’s plans to continue its global sales growth, but Mr Moers said he was unsure how big the performance sub-brand could get.

“I don’t know,” he said. “We will achieve more than 40,000 cars this year.

Exclusivity is a question of how to fit the car to the brand. We never dilute that. We never dilute the driving performance.” Mr Moers said AMG had room for more production capacity, given the location of the facility in rural Germany.

“Yeah for sure.,” he said. “You see, Affalterbach is a nice countryside town.

We have a lot of green fields outside there so there is space to expand.”

Mercedes-Benz offers a number of AMG performance variants in its local line-up, including the E63 AMG, A45 AMG and S63 AMG.

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