Goodwood ’16. Mercedes-AMG GT R

*NOW UPDATED WITH VIDEO* Mercedes unveils its ‘next level of performance’ with the 577bhp AMG GT R at the 2016 Goodwood Festival of Speed

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The most badass Mercedes AMG GT yet has finally made its debut at this year’s Goodwood Festival of Speed.

The new range-topping AMG GT R (first teased HERE) is effectively a road-going version of the company’s GT3 racer, pushing 577bhp from its 4-litre turbocharged V8 as a result as well as boasting heavily revised bodywork as the model aims to deliver ‘the next level of performance’.

But let’s start with that engine first. The most powerful version yet, the 3982cc V8 features new turbochargers, a more aggressive engine remap and a higher compression ratio, thus lifting overall power by 74bhp over the 503bhp AMG GT S and increasing torque by 37lb ft to 516lb ft. Performance has consequently improved too, the GT R hitting 1000kph off the line in 3.6 seconds. That’s two-tenths quicker than the S, although this still lags behind its principal rival – the Porsche 911 GT3 RS – which gets the same distance done in 3.3 seconds.

This is particularly notable given Mercedes’ work on weight reduction, including a carbon fibre roof and front splitter plus new 20in light alloy wheels to help shave the AMG GT R’s overall kerb weight to 1555kg (that equates to a 371bhp/ton power-to-weight ratio). The AMG-Speedshift DCT seven-speed transmission meanwhile has also received some performance-honed tweaks and now features a long first gear ratio and shorter top gear for more accelerative pick-up.

The more menacing exterior look now features a new ‘Panamericana’ front grille (a nod to the 1952 300 SL that won the event) as well as an active diffuser setup underneath in an effort to reduce drag and lift over the front axle while simultaneously improving downforce at the rear. The latter is aided by a sizable new rear wing, which offers an additional 155kg of downforce at 250kph. Traction meanwhile is covered by wider Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 325/30 ZR 20 at the rear compared with size 275/35 ZR 19 at the front (effectively road legal slicks).

Underpinning the AMG GT R is a new carbon fibre engine brace and carbon fibre cross member under the exhausts for added torsional stability, plus revised double wishbone suspension developed from the GT3 racer itself. The AMG Dynamic Select offers a choice of three damper setups – Comfort, Sport and Sport+ – although interesting this also features nine different configurations.

Perhaps most significant though is the inclusive of rear-wheel steering for the first time on a Mercedes AMG GT. Below 100kph, the rear wheels turn in the opposite direction to those at the front for added manoeuvrability, whilst above that, all four wheels turn in the same direction for added high-speed stability.

Finally the package is completed with carbon-ceramic (optional) brake package, which feature 402mm discs at the front and 360mm at the rear, finished in ‘Green Hell Mango’ in reference to the Nürbrurgring where most of the development work took place.

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Categories: Road


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