2017 Mercedes AMG GT-R

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The Mercedes AMG GT-R is the high performance variant of the Mercedes AMG GT. This track focused, road legal rear wheel drive coupe is a masterpiece of German design and engineering.  It’s updated 4.0 litre twin-turbo V8 M178 engine puts out 577hp (430kW) at 6,250 rpm and 700Nm of torque at 5,500rpm. This gives the GT-R a top speed of 319km/h and a 0-100km/h time of around 3.6 seconds.

The V8 twin-turbo AMG engine and chassis

The engine sits behind the front axle helping to centre the weight which is a contributing factor for the enormous front bonnet.This M178 engine has a revised intake, new forged aluminum pistons, a higher compression ratio, and more turbo boost. Its lighter flywheel and its powertrain make the engine feel naturally aspirated with almost instant power. The rear mounted titanium exhaust includes the well known AMG V8 rumble, with a button on the mid console to quiet down or release the anger. It has a wide stance and big tyres, with carbon ceramic braking to help stop this monster. The carbon fibre front splitter, front outer vents, rear diffuser, manually adjustable rear wing and manually adjustable coilover springs all contribute to sticking this beast to the road.

Real world driving experience

Getting into the GT-R and powering it up is an intimidating experience if you haven’t experienced the unique V8 AMG startup bark and gurgle/rumble combination. It’s recommended starting the car with the door open for the full effect. 

After driving the first few blocks in comfort mode to help ease into the madness of this car, it was time to investigate the other driving modes. Turning the dial from comfort to race mode is how we roll, with a press of the exhaust button to let everyone know there’s a GT-R in the area.    

Don’t forget to switch to manual mode so everyone around can enjoy the downshift popping and crackling. It’s important to note that the big yellow dial in the centre of the console is the 9 stage traction control system. It seems Mercedes want you to know it’s there, so turn it to maximum traction to give you a +1 life bonus.

The scariest thing about the GT-R is how easy it is to drive. Everything is insanely precise from the steering to the gear changes, with the bigger tires and the aerodynamics of the car pinning you to the road. The rear wheel steering gives you so much added control and precision, and combined with the traction control at its highest traction level, it feels like corners can be taken at any speed.

For a track focused race car, the GT-R feels very usable out on public roads, especially with the added comfort, sport and sport + settings. It has loads of character and makes a serious statement when out and about with an open exhaust and race mode engaged. As for the track, flick to race mode and instantly feel what it’s like to be a professional race car driver!

It was an amazing opportunity to take this car out to its second natural environment (the back country roads) and park up for some photo content. The full experience of living with this car for an afternoon was one of ultimate pleasure with a small hint of fear…would recommend!

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