Road Tests

Road Test: Mercedes-AMG GT R (2017)

198mph monster Merc is sub-lime

By Rob Gill Published

Sport | Mercedes AMG GT R

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THE letter “R” on the back of a car usually means one thing: Bonkers.

Take the Nissan GT-R for example. Bonkers.

Golf R. Bonkers.

Civic Type R. Bonkers.

They’re all naughty, bad-ass road cars with spicy performance
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They’re all naughty, bad-ass road cars with spicy performance.

And now Mercedes has cooked up the AMG GT R.

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Because the 193mph “S” version wasn’t quite quick enough.

The R adds 75 more horses and cuts the 0-62mph sprint to 3.6seconds. Top speed is about a billion. No, it’s 198mph. Which actually makes it FASTER than the legendary SLS Black Series, the old poster hero with the gullwing doors. And for much less money.

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Key facts: MERCEDES-AMG GT R

Price: £143,245

Engine: 4-litre V8 twin turbo

0-62mph: 3.6secs

Top speed: 198mph

Official economy: 24mpg

CO2: 259g/km

Out: May

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Of course, it’s easy to squeeze more power from a big, hairy twin-turbo V8 but these things still need to be driveable.

That’s why the R has also sprouted a fixed rear wing and trick aero flaps on the front bumper to help glue it to the road.

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Plus AMG has added rear-wheel steering, a nine-stage traction control system (taken from the GT3 race car), carbon bits, wider, stickier tyres and, praise the Lord, bigger brakes.

A five-star sports car that’s nosebleed fast and sounds like thunder

The result is a five-star sports car that’s nosebleed fast, sounds like thunder, and feels smoother, less twitchy than the GT S at high speed, with sharper steering.

How so?

Well, since you ask, up to 60mph the rear wheels turn the opposite way to the front wheels, requiring less effort. Above 60mph, the rears turn the same way as the front wheels, improving stability.

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But all this goodness comes at a price. The R starts at £143,000, which is £32,000 more than the S – and £10,000 more than a Porsche 911 GT3 RS, if you can find one.

And that’s before you tick the options list for mean green paint (£7,500) and those heroic carbon ceramic brakes (£6,000).

You’ll never get bored of throttle-blipping the seven-speed paddle shift
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There’s two more things I must share with you. First, the interior. It’s mega. It’s got serious attitude with that big central V with four buttons either side (V8 innit). This is a proper machine inside and out. And you’ll never get bored of throttle-blipping the seven-speed paddle shift.

Secondly, AMG isn’t done yet.

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Wait, what?

There’s something even more lairy in the pipeline?

Yep.

AMG boss Tobias Moers admitted: “This isn’t the end of the GT story . . . we might do a Black Series.”

Bonkers.

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