The new sports coupe is as wide and low-slung as ever, but features a new look that is simpler and more in-line with the automaker's latest models. Where the SLS Coupe used gullwing doors, the GT has a pair of conventional doors. The rest of the vehicle, however, is no less exotic than its predecessor.
Under the skin is an aluminum space frame that weighs just 509 pounds (before the engine, body, interior, and the rest of the car are added to reach the final unstated curb weight). The aerodynamics have been redesigned to enhance performance and cooling. And the new turbocharged engine is, according to Mercedes, the first of its kind.
Power train and performance
Under that wide bonnet you'll find a newly developed 4.0-liter V-8 biturbo engine, internally dubbed the M178. Rather than hanging the turbos off of the side of the engine, AMG has tucked them into the middle of the V-shaped cylinder bank. This "hot inside V" configuration, as Mercedes calls it, should optimize turbocharger responsiveness, aid in reduce exhaust gas emissions by boosting thermal efficiency, and allows the engine package to be more compact.
That compact construction combined with dry sump lubrication -- like what you'll see on purpose built racing cars -- also allows the engine to be mounted lower in the chassis and farther back behind the front wheels, giving the GT its "front midengine" configuration. By going dry-sump, the engine is also able to better lubricate itself during high-G cornering. Mercedes-AMG claims that the new GT is the first sports car to use this combination of turbocharger placement and dry-sump lubrication.
As it tradition with AMG's engines, each of these M178s is hand-assembled by a single master engine builder who then signs the engine plate.
Mercedes-AMG's new coupe will be available in GT and GT S trim levels, differentiated by stated output and a few optional performance technologies. The base-level GT outputs 456 horsepower 443 pound-feet of torque, slinging its lightweight chassis from zero to 60 mph in just 3.9 seconds and onward to a top speed of 189 mph. The step-up GT S is good for a stated 503 horsepower and 479 pound-feet of torque. Zero-to-60-mph times drop to 3.7 seconds, while the top speed climbs to 193 mph.
Like its predecessor, the SLS AMG, the rear-wheel driven GT uses a rear-transaxle configuration for its gearbox. The engine ahead of the driver is connected to the seven-speed dual-clutch transmission that sits behind the passenger cell by a prop shaft. This spreads the power train's weight across the wheelbase and contributes to the coupe's rear-biased 47/53 front-to-rear weight distribution.