Trouble in paradise? Publishing editor James discovers the hardships of an everyday supercar with our long term Mercedes-AMG GT S
|Engine||Power||Torque||0-100kph||Top speed||Weight||Basic price|
|V8, twin-turbo, 3982cc||503bhp @ 6250rpm||479lb ft @ 1750-4750rpm||3.8sec||310kph||1570kg||$172,000|
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|Date acquired:||September 2016|
|Kilometres this month:||2157|
|Costs this month:||$0|
|L/100km this month:||Really?|
Surprise, surprise. Who’d have thought that the day The Management Fleet 503bhp Mercedes-AMG GT S landed in our office car park (full story HERE) would also be the day the crankandpiston.com team began fighting over car keys. Extraordinary coincidence…
Don’t ask me how – I’m not really sure myself – but somehow I’ve ended up with the first month of custodianship, and I’ve quickly learnt a few important lessons. Firstly, suppressing inner smugness and appearing humble before vanquished colleagues is really quite difficult. And secondly, turns out day-to-day life with an AMG GT S is not the cakewalk I’d expected.
For starters, the cabin is quite tight. Plenty of legroom in the footwell, absolutely, and just – JUST – about enough headroom for my particular driving position. Repeated entry and exit through those beautifully curved doors though has taken its toll on my back, as have the stiffened AMG sport seats: it’s what I imagine doing multiple stomach crunches on a carbon fibre chopping board might feel like. Sympathy from my beloved colleagues has, understandably, been on the slim side, they assure me this is a result of my, ahem, questionable fitness, and I will agree there may be something in that. To call the AMG GT S uncomfortable for instance would be a disservice, the ride quality – regardless of driving mode – almost astonishingly smooth despite those hyper stiff suspension arms.
Visibility has proven another occasional pitfall. Those beautifully slim A-pillars make looking out over that enormous bonnet mercifully straightforward, but gauging the distance of said rippled hood is another teeth-drying leap of faith entirely. Especially when you consider those AMG double spoke alloys and carbon fibre front splitter. Not exactly what you’d want to graunch over a low kerb. Those enormous C-pillars also prove a bit of a bugger to peer around when you’re gingerly ‘darting’ your $172K sports car during the early morning rush hour.
Final quibbles before I get onto the stuff you’re really here to read about. Boot space is surprisingly good, even if its concave design and that rear brace bar suggests it would be flummoxed by anything larger than a laptop case. Plant the right boot and the sunroof shade will invariably slide backwards on its mountings. It’s a cool tribute to that aggressive opening burst of speed, but can start to grate after a while. And I realise I’ve moaned about this in the past, but why – oh why – is the switch for the hazard warning light on the roof? WHY?
‘Hardships’ aside though, it’s difficult to hold these niggles against the AMG GT S, easily one of the best performance weapons that’s ever come our way. That biturbo V8 for instance is just astonishing, fiery when poked with a stick and with a raw, dirty soundtrack in accompaniment, the revs continue to build in ferocity all the way to the redline, and whoa betide those who don’t use each and every one of them. The steering is beautifully weighted and feedback under cornering wonderfully textured. A little inconsistent lock-to-lock, admittedly, but you’ll be too busy keeping the back end from stepping out to pay much attention to that. That alone is a wonderful contrast to those grippy front Pirellis, that – even with that massive 3982cc twin-turbo lump hanging over the front axle, hold their respective lines like industrial polymer. It’s lairy and aggressive, and yet simultaneously refined, and – most importantly – tremendously exciting. As any self-respecting AMG should be. Regardless of stomach crunches and/or a sentient sunroof shade.
- Technical specifications available on page 2