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Mercedes-AMG GT R to sprint in from July

Growing family: The Mercedes-AMG GT line-up will expand again in July with the arrival of the potent GT R Coupe.

$350k pricetag for Mercedes-AMG’s 911 Turbo-baiting GT R flagship

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Mercedes-AMG logo1 Feb 2017

By TIM NICHOLSON

MERCEDES-AMG’S potent GT R flagship will sprint into Australian showrooms in July with pricing from $349,000 plus on-road costs – a $50,000 premium over what now becomes the mid-spec GT S Coupe.

The GT R performance halo that the German car-maker has described as the “spearhead of the Mercedes-AMG model range” was revealed mid-last year and will join the GT S and base GT that are already on sale here.

A pair of other variants – the GT C Coupe and the GT C Roadster – will also join the burgeoning line-up Down Under, with the drop-top landing by the end of the year, while the hard-top arrives in early 2018.

The price puts the GT R in competition with exotic fare such as the Maserati GranTurismo Stradale coupe ($345,000), Audi R8 V10 Quattro ($354,616) and the Lamborghini Huracan LP580-2 ($378,900) and not far off the Porsche 911 Carrera Turbo ($384,600).

The GT R Coupe – there is no Roadster version yet – uses the same front-mid-mounted twin-turbo 4.0-litre V8 petrol engine but tweaked to pump out 430kW of power at 6250rpm and 700Nm of torque from 1900 to 5500rpm. This is 55kW more power than the GT S but the same torque.

Compared with the GT and GT S, the R gains wider front and rear mudguards to house a wider track that in turn makes for better grip and “even higher cornering speeds”, according to the car-maker.

Aerodynamics are improved through “active elements” in the new front apron, a large rear aerofoil and a new rear apron with a double diffuser.

AMG says the R was designed for track use, and that its development was based on racing experience in AMG GT3 German Touring Car Masters.

The 0-100km/h sprint time is 3.6 seconds – 0.2s quicker than the GT S – and top speed is 318km/h which is 8km/h quicker than the S.

The unique ‘AMG green hell magno’ colour is an homage to the Green Hell, which is the North Loop of the famed Nurburgring circuit in Germany. It also gains the new Panamericana grille based on the grille from the AMG GT3 racecar.

AMG’s new traction control system “comes directly from motorsport”, according to the go-fast division, and features an ESP Off mode.

Depending on the mode, AMG says the system allows for more or less slip on the rear wheels, according to driver preference. The chassis also features four-wheel steering and adjustable coil-over suspension.

Mercedes-AMG CEO Tobias Moers said the company had reached the next level of driving performance with the new GT R.

“This road-going sportscar with motor-racing genes and innovative technical solutions offers an ultimate driving experience that allows people to feel our motorsport origins in every fibre,” he said.

“It combines the driving dynamics of our AMG GT3 racing car with the everyday practicality of the AMG GT. Those with petrol in their veins will be thrilled by the radical longitudinal and lateral acceleration, the precise turn-in, and the sensational grip. We have modified all performance-relevant components and linked them together intelligently for maximum driving dynamics.”

Full Australian specification will be revealed closer to the launch in mid-year.

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