Replacing a well-loved leader is never easy, but that is the task that the Mercedes-AMG GT S will have to do, as it takes the place of the iconic Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG, a car that cemented the AMG name once and for all as a bona fide performance badge.
But it is a job that the AMG GT S does well, and it proves again that Mercedes-Benz is ready to push AMG to the next level. The AMG GT S follows its predecessor in being fully designed and developed solely by the AMG brand, and this two-door two-seater proudly takes its place at the top of the Mercedes-Benz range, being the Stuttgart carmaker’s flagship sports car model.
Unlike the SLS AMG however, which was a brute force of a car designed to pummel rivals into submission with its muscular power, the AMG GT S take a slicker approach to things. The new car is smaller, and is now targetted at that other icon from across Stuttgart town, the Porsche 911. This is demonstrated by its dimensions, with the AMG GT S both shorter and lower than the SLS AMG, giving it a taut look that helps it assert a rather intimidating stance. The dramatic gull-wing doors are now absent too, replaced by regular-looking items on the AMG GT S.
Things have been downsized under the bonnet as well, with the AMG GT S now sporting a 4.0-liter bi-turbo V8 engine. Sure, it is not quite the sledgehammer that is the previous car’s monster 6.3-litre V8, but that doesn’t mean that the AMG GT S is incapable of rattling your senses. The handcrafted powerplant churns out a hefty 503bhp and 650Nm of torque, which is still enough to send you rocketing from 0-100km/h in a mere 3.8 seconds, and continue to a dizzying top speed of 310km/h, enough to get you into plenty of trouble with the authorities.
And you do this while cocooned in a snug and sporty interior that has been designed to let you know in no uncertain terms that this car means business. The suede-covered steering wheel complements the plush leather upholstery, and the car is assembled with precision Teutonic quality, as you’d expect from Stuttgart’s best. Sporty metal bits such as the pedals add further to the occasion.
As the highlight of Mercedes-AMG’s range, the AMG GT S proves to be absolutely deserving of its place at the top. All hail the new king, slimmer, trimmer but equally powerful and exciting as before. Business as usual for AMG then.
Text by Ben Chia
This article first appeared in Men’s Folio Singapore.