The 2015 Motor Trend Best Driver’s Car
We Like: That it eclipses performance benchmarks, looks amazing.
We Don’t Like: The tiresome road noise, that the ride is sometimes too firm.
Every once in a great while, a car so singularly special comes along that it causes jaded auto critics like us to recall with fondness and in great detail the first mile in the driver’s seat, the first sweep of the tachometer to redline, the first lap of a racetrack, and the first time we closed the door and floated away uttering: “I’ve never driven anything like that. I was expecting great things, but this surpasses all of them and showed me a few more I hadn’t thought possible.” The Mercedes-AMG GT S is such a car.
Stay tuned to MotorTrend.com as the 2016 Motor Trend Car of the Year contenders and finalists are revealed in advance of the official winner announcement on the evening of November 16. Learn about other Car of the Year contenders and finalists at the links below. Check out the Car of the Year introduction HERE, read about the evaluation process HERE, and discover how our Of The Year awards have evolved HERE.
Component by component, our judges waxed poetic and hyperbolic. “This is the best steering of the year by 1.609 kilometers,” gushed Jason Cammisa. Angus MacKenzie posited, “As much as we loved AMG’s naturally aspirated, 6.2-liter engine, this 4.0-liter, twin-turbo V-8 is an engine for the ages.” Whoever programmed the transmission at AMG deserves knighthood, or at least Oberherr status. Of the car’s optional carbon-ceramic brakes, Christian Seabaugh surmised they “could stop the Earth itself.” But the AMG GT S is also more than the sum of its parts. It’s a cohesive, dynamic masterpiece. Pulling all elements together, it left Seabaugh grasping for words. “It really left me speechless after taking it out on the winding road,” he said. “It’s everything I like about the Miata but 50 times faster.” These are all excellent and appropriate reasons why we awarded the Mercedes-AMG GT S its well-deserved Motor Trend 2015 Best Driver’s Car award.
Lest we become blinded by the AMG’s blistering performance, MacKenzie reminded us that “Car of the Year criteria demand a more rounded evaluation of the car.” More than a couple of us shared Seabaugh’s opinion when he said he wouldn’t want to drive the GT S daily. “It does lots of things normal cars can do well—for a supercar,” he said. “It rides well—for a supercar. It’s practical—for a supercar. It’s efficient—for a supercar.” Surely its engineering and design are award-worthy, but the question of its efficiency and value hinges on its owner’s vast wealth to dismiss them both, which we cannot for this award. “The Grand Tourer,” Jonny Lieberman mused. “Elegant, tanklike, luxurious, solid. Could I afford it, I would have it.”
Will that be enough to win the Car of the Year trophy? We’ll have to wait and see.
|2016 Mercedes-AMG GT S|
|PRICE AS TESTED||$154,420|
|VEHICLE LAYOUT||Front-engine, RWD, 2-pass, 2-door coupe|
|ENGINE||4.0L/503-hp/479-lb-ft twin-turbo DOHC 32-valve V-8|
|TRANSMISSION||7-speed twin-clutch automatic|
|LENGTH x WIDTH x HEIGHT||179.0 x 76.3 x 50.7 in|
|CURB WEIGHT (F/R DIST)||3,688 lb (48/52%)|
|ACCELERATION, 0-60 MPH||3.2 sec|
|QUARTER MILE||11.4 sec @ 123.7 mph|
|BRAKING, 60-0 MPH||102 ft|
|LATERAL ACCELERATION||1.04 g (avg)|
|MT FIGURE EIGHT||23.2 sec @ 0.92 g (avg)|
|EPA CITY/HWY/COMB FUEL ECON||16/22/18 mpg|
|ENERGY CONS., CITY/HWY||211/153 kW-hrs/100 miles|
|CO2 EMISSIONS, COMB||1.06 lb/mile|
|REAL MPG, CITY/HWY/COMB||19/23/21|