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Future models - Mercedes-Benz - AMG GT

GT to add spice to Mercedes line-up

Ring leader: Mercedes’ global chief says the GT coupe is quicker around the Nordschleife circuit of the famed Nurburgring than the Porsche 911 Carrera S.

Mercedes-AMG GT coupe to become the brand’s halo sportscar

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Mercedes-Benz logo11 Sep 2014

By TIM NICHOLSON

MERCEDES-BENZ says it is expecting its AMG GT coupe to inject some thrill into its brand image as it enters the mid-size sportscar segment for the first time with a direct rival for the Porsche 911.

The German luxury car-maker tore the sheets off the swoopy sportster in Germany this week and signaled its intention to become a serious player in the segment.

Speaking with Australian media at the launch event in Germany this week, Daimler AG chairman and head of Mercedes-Benz Dieter Zetsche said the GT would provide Mercedes-Benz with a new halo car, as well as increased profits.

“Certainly it will sell very well and we will make money with it,” he said.

“But definitely on top of that, it is a brand shaper for Mercedes-AMG, but as AMG is part of Mercedes, for Mercedes as well. So it is definitely a very, very important day today.” Dr Zetsche talked up the performance capabilities of the 4.0-litre bi-turbo V8-powered coupe, saying that it could beat the 7:37.9 lap time of the Porsche 911 Carerra S around the Nordschleife circuit of the famed Nurburgring.

He said the GT had been timed around the circuit at “seven minutes thirty something” – just under the Porsche time.

“This one (the GT) will be number one,” he said.

Mercedes-AMG chairman Tobias Moers said the GT should not be compared with the gullwing SLS-AMG supercar that was produced between 2010 until production stopped earlier this year, as they offered entirely different experiences.

“It’s a different price level,” he said. “In Europe, the GT is underneath €100,000 ($A140,000), without tax, which is an incredibly different segment than SLS.

“We provide a V8. It sounds like an AMG. We achieved lap times of seven minutes thirty something at the Nordschleife, which is pretty fast.”

Mr Moers dashed any hopes for a direct replacement for the 420kW/650Nm $400,000-plus SLS AMG, saying AMG had no plans to produce a new range-topping sportscar.

“Not in the very near future,” he said. “Because SLS is an iconic car. Since we announced we stepped out of production three months ago, used car prices increased.

“With the gullwing doors, you have to leave that car a little bit on its own.”

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