In terms of design and performance, the 2016 Mercedes-AMG GT is a bold move squarely aimed at the Porsche 911.
That’s not to say the sleek, stylish lines don’t pay homage to the incumbent; on the contrary. There are hints of the 911 throughout the AMG GT’s exterior design, but most especially at the rear, where the thing, semi-crescent tail lights and smooth, round forms produce a definite hint of the thing to be left, well…behind. At the nose, and from the side, however, there’s much more to remind the viewer of the previous SLS AMG GT, the qullwinged predecessor of this very similar yet very different car.
One of the primary differences from the SLS AMG GT to be found in the new Mercedes-AMG GT is the 4.0-liter twin-turbocharged V-8 engine. With 503 horsepower and 479 pound-feet on tap, the new engine is about 80 hp less powerful than the previous 6.2-liter V-8, but thanks to the turbochargers, there’s more torque on demand just about everywhere across the rev range.
Add to the shorter, stiffer platform of the AMG GT the new dynamic engine and driveline mounts found with the Dynamic Plus Pack on GT S models, and you have the most impressive handling to be found in an AMG car to date. In fact, you have handling that’s capable of rivaling the current 991 Porsche 911. And with the AMG GT’s hydraulic steering, the feel and finesse gets a nod in the Mercedes’ favor.
That’s right, the hydraulic steering on the AMG GT is simply brilliant. In a world of simulated steering feel, even with the very good solutions offered by Porsche in the 911 and Boxster, the hydraulic assist offered in the AMG GT is a breath of fresh vintage air—and a revelation for the fingertips.
At launch, and for the first year of sales, the AMG GT will only be available in GT S form, which includes the 503 horsepower engine and some other upgrades, including more packages to improve handling and other aspects of performance. For the 2017 model year, AMG will add the standard AMG GT, which downgrades output to 456 horsepower and 443 pound-feet of torque, as well as shunning some of the more complex or expensive performance options included standard with the GT S.
Inside the 2016 Mercedes-AMG GT there’s a lot to admire as well, except for space. Sure, there’s a snug cockpit for the driver and an even more cozy place for the passenger—but there’s not back seat to even sniff at—not even the vestigial nubs of the 911. Material, design, and quality are top-notch, however, with premium leathers, real metals, and top-tier plastics all making appearances.
There’s no crash data for the 2016 Mercedes-AMG GT at present, nor is there likely to be, as the $110, 000-130, 000 base price of the GT and GT S will keep it from seeing the offset impact sled. The EPA rates the AMG GT S at 16 mpg city, 22 highway, 18 combined, which is predictably thirsty.