Mercedes-Benz is currently riding high with its recent winning of the 2017 Formula One Constructors’ Championship as well as the Drivers’ Championship (via Lewis Hamilton) with a few races left to the season, and this is a positive boost to its Mercedes-AMG brand of performance models. So it’s no surprise that Mercedes-Benz Malaysia has taken this opportunity to introduce a very niche model that rides on this positive momentum to advance the three-point star’s leading position in the Malaysian premium (and performance) car segment(s).
With a ‘One (Wo)Man-One Engine’ 4.0L twin turbo V8 engine, from the AMG facility in Affalterbach, sending 585 hp and 700 Nm through the 7-speed AMG Speedshift DCT dual clutch transmission to the rear wheels to take the car from zero to 100 km/h in a brisk 3.6 seconds, and lapping the Nürburgring Nordschleife in 7 minutes and 10.92 seconds, the Mercedes-AMG GT R is a bona fide race car.
With an estimated pricing of RM 1.7 million (excluding insurance), the AMG GT R sits above the GT S which Mercedes-Benz Malaysia launched in 2015.
Every bit of the car shouts performance, from the wide front splitter which reduces lift in front, to the front air curtains which guides airflow for improved aerodynamics, to the active aerodynamic profile underneath the car that produces a Venturi effect that pulls the car lower to the road when you reach 80 km/h in Race mode.
The active air management system which involves electronically controlled vertical louvres in the lower front fascia also help to improve airflow and aerodynamics. The louvres stay closed at top speed, under braking, or at high speed corners to reduce drag and front lift; it opens for cooling.
Rounding out the sporty exterior are the new AMG Panamericana front grille which takes inspiration from the chrome plated vertical fins of the AMG GT3 race car, and the enlarged rear wing.
Holding up the GT R on its lightweight AMG 10-spoke titanium grey forged wheels and Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires (19″ front, 20″ rear) are a set of new AMG coil-over suspension specifically designed for the GT R. The suspension system also has an electronically controlled AMG Ride Control adaptive damping system which automatically adapts damping on each wheel according to speed, handling and road conditions.
You can select the adaptive damping characteristics in the AMG Drive Unit or AMG Dynamic Select drive modes; modes are available are: Comfort, Sport, Sport Plus and Individual (for a customized setting). The ‘M’ button on the center console activates manual transmission mode.
The GT R is also the first Mercedes-AMG model to use a new active rear-wheel steering system where the rear wheels turn in the opposite direction of the front wheels at up to 100 km/h allowing for tighter turns and better agility. Above 100 km/h, the rear wheels will turn in the same direction of the front wheels for improved handling stability.
To stop the GT R, Mercedes-AMG has kitted it with internally ventilated and perforated brake discs (390 mm in front; 360 mm in rear), with striking yellow brake calipers. As an option, the ceramic high performance composite brake system (402 mm in front; 360 mm in rear) shaves off 17 kg, while offering a longer service life and better fade resistance.
Controlling the GT R is a speed-sensitive sports steering with a variable steering ratio for better handling and agility at low speeds and stability at high speeds. Power assistance of the steering is determined by a combination of lateral acceleration, speed and the selected drive mode.
Standard for the GT R interior are the AMG Performance seats (lightweight, manually-adjusted AMG sport bucket seats upholstered in nappa leather and Dinamica microfiber are an option) and AMG Interior Night package. This package offers shift paddles, steering wheel bezel, door sills and boot cross member in high-gloss black finish; and works in combination with the AMG Interior Piano Lacquer package. There is also an option to switch to matte black carbon fiber.