The Mercedes Benz AMG GT was called competition to the Porsche 911 before a single journalist even drove the damn thing. Let me tell you right now. The AMG GT is not Porsche 911 competition. The foe is a feline. The AMG GT competitor is Jaguar's F-Type R.
Both the AMG GT and the Jaguar F-Type R use boosted V8 engines. Mercedes does it a bit differently with their "Hot V" turbo design which positions the two small snails between the heads of the 4.0 liter V8 rather than outside to conserve space. Jaguar uses a roots style supercharger on their 5.0 liter V8 for instant boost. Nothing fancy going on here. Interestingly enough, the AMG GT manages to make more torque almost 1000 RPM earlier. This means that boost lag may be non existent and the throttle feel more instant like a larger V8.
From the engine and dimensions, I peg the AMG GT as much more of a GT Cruiser with track capabilities than a track car for the street. Sounds a lot like the Jaguar, doesn't it? Take a look at the stats on paper and you decide.
|Performance||AMG GT S||F-Type R||911 Carrera S|
|Horsepower||503 @ 6250 RPM||550 @ 6500 RPM||400 @ 7400 RPM|
|Torque||479 @ 1750 RPM||502 @ 2500 RPM||325 @ 5600 RPM|
|0-60 MPH||3.7 sec||4.0 sec||3.9 sec|
|0-100 MPH||8.1 sec||8.3 sec||8.3 sec|
|Top Speed||Who Cares||186 MPH||187 MPH|
|Dimensions||AMG GT S||F-Type R||911 Carrera S|
|Wheelbase||103.5 in||103.2 in||96.46 in|
|Length||179.8 in||176.0 in||176.81 in|
|Width||76.3 in||75.7 in||71.2 in|
|Height||estimated 50.3 in||52.0 in||50.98 in|
From the numbers I read that the AMG GT's wheelbase is nearly identical to the Jag. Mercedes may have done this to keep the car under control during the power slides which are bound to happen. Sure, weight distribution is near ideal and the GT S can be shod with Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires but it has 480 pounds feet of torque that will hit like a freight train. It's only a matter of time until Chris Harris gets his hands on one and God only knows what that smoke show will look like.
Unless Mercedes has packed in the world's greatest traction control system every designed, Chris will say the AMG GT is exhilarating because it is a handful to drive fast and nearly impossible to keep on the straight and narrow through the tight corners. It's here that the 911 will put the power down and leave the AMG GT for dead. The lap times will prove it. The only chance the AMG GT has of rivaling the Porsche 911 would be at Road America or a desert highway.
The true competitor, the Jaguar F-Type R, will require equal amounts of coordination and focus to set a good lap. The difference here, I suspect, is that Benz will feel just that slight bit tighter and solid. The steering, communicating that extra word.
Interior wise, we can only go by photos but I'd venture to say both cabins are very nice places to spend time. The AMG GT's interior appears to have all the amenities you'd expect with a futuristic looking center console. It is a bit intimidating at first glance with the buttons, selectors and knobs stolen straight out of Star Trek Voyager. The seats themselves don't look to be all that sporty when compared to the buckets found in the Porsche. The Jaguar's interior is rather bland in comparison. I won't bore you with a photo.
Then there's the looks. The cat has them in spades. I'm afraid the AMG GT is a bit soft from the outside and the growl won't quite match the ferocity of the F-Type R. Owners of these cars will rarely take them to the track. They'll wind up at your local Cars & Coffee to pose for photos with the SLS and SLR.