First Drives

2018 Mercedes-AMG GT R First Look Review

Raising Hell With 577 HP

Raising Hell With 577 HP

When we crowned the Mercedes-AMG GT S our Best Driver’s Car last year, we called it the “best sports car Mercedes has ever built.” So it’s hard to imagine what a hotted-up, much more powerful version could feel like.

The Beast of the Green Hell, which spent its formative years playing on the Nrburgring, looks noticeably different from the standard model. It has wider front and rear fenders and a new front fascia with large air intakes. Instead of the standard grille with a single horizontal bar running through the Mercedes logo, the GT R borrows its grille from the track-oriented AMG GT3. Vertical bars decisively slice through the grille, lending the model an entirely new look. Out back, you’ll notice a new rear fascia with a double diffuser. There are two things about the GT R you certainly can’t miss: the daring rear wing and that exclusive “AMG green hell magno” paint job.

More importantly, the Mercedes-AMG GT R packs a boatload more power from the familiar twin-turbo 4.0-liter V-8 used on standard GT models. It produces 577 hp and 516 lb-ft of torque, up from the 503 hp and 479 lb-ft of torque of our Best Driver’s Car. Backed by a seven-speed dual clutch transmission, the rear-wheel-drive car hits 60 mph in an estimated 3.5 seconds, although that number could be conservative considering we’ve tested an AMG GT S at 3.2 seconds. Top speed is 198 mph (319 km/h).

The GT R utilizes aluminum alloys for the chassis and body, as well as magnesium for the front deck and steel for the trunk lid. Carbon fiber comprises the front fenders, roof, and torque tube between the engine and transmission. All in all, the car weighs 3,428 pounds (1,555 kg) in Euro-spec form.

Just like we predicted, the GT R features active rear-wheel steering, which should make it even more responsive to steering inputs to improve handling. This system replaces the traditional rear control arms with two steer-by-wire electro-mechanical actuators. The AMG GT R also benefits from an AMG coil-over suspension designed for track performance. Drivers can personalize the setup and adjust the spring pre-load manually. The coil-over suspension pairs with AMG Ride Control and AMG Dynamic Select drive modes of “Comfort,” “Sport,” and “Sport Plus.” Slap some Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires on those unique 19-inch front and 20-inch rear 10-spoke wheels and you’re ready to go.

Inside the cabin, you’ll find AMG Performance Seats covered in Nappa Leather and DINAMICA microfiber material. Yellow seat belts are optional, as is a new Interior Night package, which features high-gloss black accents on the shift paddles, steering wheel, bezel, and door sills.

The 2018 Mercedes-AMG GT R will arrive in the American dealerships by mid-2017. Price will be announced at a later date, but it should slot above the $130,000 USD-plus price tag of the GT S.