Mercedes-AMG’s long-awaited four-door GT has been revealed at the Geneva motor show. Joining the two-seat GT in the AMG lineup, it’s been developed exclusively by the performance division and is set to go head-to-head with cars like the Porsche Panamera.
The new GT 4-door is certainly visually distinctive. While it lacks the exaggerated front-engined, rear-drive proportions of the GT coupe, and while the side profile is perhaps a bit close visually to the Panamera and to Audi’s A7, translating the GT sports car’s features onto a longer four-door form seems to have gone fairly well.
The front end features the familiar wide grille and low-set headlights of the regular GT, while the slim tail lights also evoke the more compact coupe. The rear spoiler of the 63 S model pictured is a little heavy-handed, but less potent models are likely to have a more subtle treatment that should restore the sleek looks of the standard GT’s rump.
Inside – accessed through coupe-like framless doors – there’s been a similar transformation in the move to four doors, with a dashboard layout combining elements of both the existing GT and Mercedes’ more conventional models notably the E-class.
That, and you get a pair of extra seats in the back, bringing with them an element of practicality as yet unavailable in the GT range. For its exterior styling and interior layout alone, the GT 4-door is likely to find plenty of fans.
So too for the performance, which is supplied by a brace of twin-turbocharged four-litre V8s (in AMG GT 63 and AMG GT 63 S form) and AMG’s recently-introduced “53” powerplant, a hybrid-assisted, three-litre turbocharged inline six.
Even this model supplies plenty of performance – 0-100kph in 4.5sec, 285kph at the top end – while the hybrid tech allows it adequate fuel consumption of around 7.6L/100km. The 429bhp and 384lb ft efforts of the petrol engine are bolstered by an “EQ boost” of 22bhp and 184lb ft when required, sent through a 9-speed dual-clutch transmission to a fully variable all-wheel drive setup.
Next up is the GT 63 4Matic, again touting all-wheel drive, and developing 577bhp and 590lb ft from its 4-litre twin-turbo V8. It slices 1.1sec from the 53’s 0-100kph time and raises top speed to 310kph. Quicker still is the 63 S, whose outputs of 630bhp and 664lb ft allow a 3.2-second 0-100kph time and top speed just shy of 322kph. It too is all-wheel drive (and uses a 9-speed torque converter auto, like the 63) but in common with the E63 S, its 4Matic system features a rear-drive “drift mode”.
Below is a conversation between Adam Towler had with AMG boss Tobias Moers at the launch of the AMG GT Concept in Geneva last year.
Tobias Moers on the Concept GT
We grabbed a few minutes Mercedes-AMG CEO Tobias Moers back at the Geneva motor show, who gave us a little more insight into the unique new fastback – and the company’s increasing commitment to hybrid powertrains and their potential performance benefits.
When did you start work on the Concept GT?
‘The idea of the car was born three years ago, the idea of the hybrid drivetrain was born two years ago, and the idea to do a concept car was born a year ago: this car is the outcome of a lot of work, and looking for the future of performance.’
Can you describe that future?
‘Hybrid gives you a lot of opportunities for driving dynamics. Yes, you have to deal with the added weight – that can’t be eliminated. But beyond 2020 electrified powertrains will be the key to expansion. With 99,000 cars sold last year we’re no longer a small player in the performance segment, and I think it’s up to us to define what future performance looks like.’
How does the Concept GT illustrate that?
‘You will see a totally different approach to hybrid with the GT (than from Mercedes). It’s not about long range – although we can do that – but it’s about performance that gives more power and efficiency; the freedom to have electric range 30-50km – or more depending on battery size and weight – but that provides 0-100kph in under three seconds. This is not just a showcase: we do have a car, we know how it drives, and we do see improvements on the racetrack. The secret is having a driving strategy that gives you ‘always on’ with the batteries – instant throttle response, but torque vectoring, too.
‘The batteries are done by us. They are different to the ones Mercedes uses, because a performance hybrid means you push more amps back and pull more amps out in the same period of time – it’s about the cells, the chemistry and the cooling. We have a lot of experience now, coming from the SLS Electric Drive.’
This article originally appeared at evo.co.uk
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