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Tuesday, November 17, 2015

The Mercedes-AMG GT Should Come With A Heart Rate Monitor: Review

BOLD RIDE

Copyright © 2015 Bold Ride LLC.
 
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AMG and GT. Both acronyms represent something important. AMG stands for Aufrecht, Melcher and Großaspach, which is the founder’s name (Hans Werner Aufrecht), followed by his birth town. GT, on the other hand, stands for Grand Touring, a term used to describe a luxurious, high-end sports car built for cruising. Combine the two, and what happens?
 
Hypothetically, the final product would be a car built for both grand touring, while still putting to use AMG’s balls-to-the wall way of doing performance. And in a less hypothetical sense, the Mercedes-AMG GT is that car. The marriage of two acronyms so great, not even Kim Davis could stop it.



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Suave; Sophisticated
 
A long hood and round derrière are plenty good no matter what you’re describing. The Mercedes-AMG GT has both in spades, and works it like a plus-size runway supermodel
Feeding off the energy of the outgoing SLS Gullwing, the AMG GT buttons things up a bit with a smoother, more appealing fascia.

The rear also gets a touch more class with better angles and a modern lighting setup. The only thing we wish the AMG GT would have carried over were the Gullwing doors, though we can truly live without them.


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On the road, there’s nothing that would lead you to believe you’re driving what’s essentially a German super-muscle car. The ride is smooth and the handling is as light as a feather. MPG return is an impressive 16 city/22 highway.

 And yet the potent, 503-horsepower Biturbo V8 will make you scratch your head as to how Mercedes engineers managed such a feat.

But that sophisticated persona goes out the window when you start playing with buttons.


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Embrace the Fear

The mark of any good supercar is how fast it can get your blood pumping to levels warranting a doctor’s visit. For the AMG GT, it comes quick and without warning.

 Transfer the drive mode into “S+” or “Race,” and the car comes alive, rising from its sedated slumber. Normally restrained and well-behaved in anything S and below, the GT transforms into a fire-breathing supercar of epic proportions.

The engine is more aggressive, the exhaust bellows, and the suspension stiffens up like hardened steel. But the real mark of this car is the way it handles.


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If you’re not giving the steering wheel a firm grip, it will bite back. The car shakes and snarls in turns at speed, forcing you to coral it back to decency before you find yourself and it sideways into a wall.
 Get it right, and the AMG GT handles on a dime, sticking every atom of its thick rubber to the pavement in the process
It may sound slightly terrifying (and it is), but you’ll love every second of its madness.

 It feels like a real supercar, unwilling to abide by the laws of science and nature, giving you centimeters to work with in every corner. It’s that raw, unrefined performance that gives the GT such charm.


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Keep It Simple, Stuttgart

Driving modes on the AMG GT include Comfort, Sport, Sport+, I (“Individual”), and Race. That’s one too many options, in this writer’s opinion.

The minuscule changes from “Comfort” to “Sport” can barely be felt, other than a decibel or two increase in the exhaust note. And from S+ to Race, the only noticeable difference is the limited traction control, which can go on even further to be manually turned off. The overloaded infotainment system follows suit.


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A knob, a touchpad, and tactile buttons will force you to open an encyclopedia to figure out how it all works. The Bluetooth system is not-so-charming in its faults, and the over abundance of on-screen options will drive you mad.

 Not to mention the general layout of all these buttons and knobs that will have you searching for options longer than you’d like to admit.

For such a refined and handsome looking thing on the outside, and in the way it drives, Mercedes engineers tried to do too much to make the interior match.



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The Verdict

The Mercedes-AMG GT isn’t a car you’ll fall in love with immediately—but a vehicle you will learn to respect. Think of it as a cobra, and you the snake charmer. There’s a mutual respect that draws a line. Cross that line, and you’re wandering into uncharted territory of fear and danger. In that sense, the Mercedes-AMG GT is overly charming.

But charm doesn’t come cheap. Starting at $129,000, it makes it daftly more expensive than some of the competition (read: Jaguar F-Type). As tested, Mercedes somehow managed to include $27,150 worth of options, bringing the total MSRP to $156,150. That includes a $2,650 “Exclusive Interior Trim” option. What the hell does that even mean?

Nonetheless, if you have dumb amounts of money to spend, and want something both sophisticated and satanic, the Mercedes-AMG GT ticks all the right boxes.


Specs

Engine: 4.0L Biturbo V8
Horsepower: 503
0-60: 3.7 seconds
Price (as tested): $156,150


Positives

Sophisticated design
Luxurious ride
Hell-raising performance


Negatives

Extremely pricey
Confusing interior



Photo Credit: Jeff Perez for BoldRide