The all-new second-generation 2024 Mercedes-AMG GT super sports car wants to be your friend. It wants to coddle you in luxury, carry more of your stuff (maybe even your kids in the back “seats”), yet also deliver the expected blistering performance. What it doesn’t want to do is scare the pants off you, which its feral rear-drive predecessor was quite good at when all that AMG V8 mojo got unleashed on the rear tires.
Indeed, the first-generation AMG GT, launched in 2014, was an exciting piece of kit. Its bite was as vicious as its bark, and you couldn’t tear your eyes away from the freakish proportions — a blister of a cockpit trailing a hood long enough to land a bi-plane on.
Ten years on, this 2024 reinvention asks you to forget about all that. Built on the current Mercedes-Benz SL roadster platform, the new AMG GT veers more towards the mainstream. It’s wider, longer, gets standard all-wheel drive, rear-wheel steering and even a couple of vestigial rear seats if you want. Lead designer Mayya Markova and her team have done a commendable job of dressing the SL platform in a dramatic and decidedly AMG GT identifiable aluminum skin with all the right cues: long hood, gaping front maw and rear haunches to have a Kardashian blush. The door is the only carry over part.
No matter where I went in this Spectral Blue 2024 Mercedes-AMG GT, be it the crowded streets of Granada or quiet country villages, it drew admiring glances, thumbs up and a few gestures that I’m quite sure meant “Light ‘er up!” And I could have obliged, as the standard AMG Performance 4Matic+ all-wheel drive system gets a drift mode that decouples the front axles, allowing for tire-shredding antics.
The first thing you notice when sliding into the firm and supportive sport seat is how much roomier the cabin is in this 2024 model. Outward visibility is exponentially better too — the sensation of sitting in a well-appointed bathtub wearing a droopy sombrero is no more. The 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster and 11.9-inch central touchscreen are familiar Mercedes fare, as are the ways to interact with the GT’s MBUX infotainment system — voice control, touchscreen and an array of haptic points on the flat-bottom AMG steering wheel.
The delicate electronic shift wand spouting from the steering column is familiar too, if not particularly sporty, but it’s a far sight better than the oddly placed console shifter of the old model. With available seat ventilation, massage, quilted Nappa leather, photo-dimming glass roof, and array of pre-programmed “experiences” that adjust audio, lighting, and massage, etc. to create a mood, buyers can pack their AMG GT with S Class levels of luxury kit. Merc’s full arsenal of safety systems is accounted for as well. Whichever way you spec’ it, the GT’s cabin is an exquisitely crafted visual delight.
Under hood, we find AMG’s 4.0L bi-turbo “hot-vee” V8 masterpiece offered in two states of tune. The Mercedes-AMG GT 55 4Matic+ makes 469 hp and 516 lb-ft of torque while the pricier 63 4Matic+ spits out 577 hp and 590 lb-ft of torque. Both engines get active mounts, brag AMG’s “one man, one engine” build cache and are mated to a nine-speed AMG Speedshift MCT 9G transmission. Rear-wheel steering is also standard on the new AMG GT. If you’re counting, the 55 blows through to 100 km/h in 3.9 seconds while the 63 does the deed in 3.2 seconds on its way to an electronically limited 315 km/h top speed.
Ah, but let’s get to the driving.
At this international launch event, we are driving only the full-phat 63 4Matic+ thank-you-very-much, and AMG found some fine roads here in southern Spain on which to wring out its reinvented two-door projectile. The route is smooth, sinuous, scenic and mostly free of traffic, although we did get to test the brakes a couple of times when encountering a wandering dog and a flock of sheep high in the mountains resting on the road. Standard are ventilated and perforated composite brake discs that measure 390 x 36 mm at the front, with six-piston fixed callipers, and 360 x 26 mm at the rear, with single-piston floating callipers. Larger ceramic composite brakes are available.
While the previous rear-drive only AMG GT rode on its own bespoke front/mid-engine rear transaxle chassis with a 47/53 front rear weight balance, this new GT’s corporate all-wheel drive Mercedes platform has the engine sitting farther forward with the transmission bolted directly to it. That switches the balance around to a 54/46 front to rear split.
Of course AMG has its own suspension tune, ESP, rear diff and rear wheel steering settings, and it uses a semi-active roll stabilization system dubbed AMG Active Ride Control that does away with standard mechanical anti-roll bars altogether. This makes for a wider spread between comfort and performance driving. The AMG GT rides on 21-inch alloys wearing wide 295/30ZR21 Michelin Pilot Sport 5 rubber in the front to give the snout more bite and mitigate understeer. The rear tires measure 305/30ZR21.
When asking lead driving dynamics engineer Rene Szczepek what his biggest challenge was when developing this car, he says it was tuning and integrating all the systems so that they worked in seamless and transparent harmony. Mission accomplished, I’d say.
Initial impressions are of a taut, firm riding GT that, while its steering is not particularly communicative, feels planted and poised. Build up some pace and the 2024 AMG GT becomes more reassuring. You start to trust the car’s grip and accurate path control, and before long blasting from bend to bend and flicking through the fast shifting nine-speed with the shift paddles is a thrilling and confidence inspiring pursuit.
And damn, this AMG GT 63 4Matic+ is quick. The heart of the matter is the epic 4.0L V8 with its dual twin-scroll turbochargers nestled in the vee. A little plaque atop the engine tells me it was hand assembled by Hans-Georg Kinzinger. Danke mein freund. It bellows like no turbocharged V8 has any right to, and with quick throttle response and bags of low-end torque, the GT catapults forward with an aural and mechanical fury that puts a heck of an exclamation mark on this “End of the ICE (internal combustion engine) Age” thing.
There are six selectable drive programs: Slippery, Comfort, Sport, Sport+, Individual and Race. AMG tells us the fastest way around a race track is either Sport or Race, but Sport+ mode is the most “emotional.” It allows for more sideways stuff, further sharpens throttle response, and offers “increased acoustic emphasis on throttle blipping during downshifts.” That’s a polite way of saying the exhaust woofs, howls, barks and farts like a love sick Blood Hound. This is not a bad thing. Further to this are four selectable AMG Dynamics settings — Basic, Advanced, Pro, Master — which pertain solely to ESP (electronic stability control) parameters. Yes, there’s a lot going on here.
Active aerodynamic elements under the body and a four-position integrated rear spoiler tweak drag and downforce, although (ahem) law-abiding Canadian drivers will never see the latter rise beyond Position 1 (+6 degrees) that deploys from 80-140 km/h. Position 2 (140-160 km/h) is off limits, as is Position 3 that optimizes drag, downforce and stability from 160 km/h up to the car’s V-max. The most extreme Position 4 (+ 22 degrees) deploys for aggressive circuit driving when the most downforce is needed. The latter position can also be called up independently via a button on the steering wheel. Alternatively, an optional aero package replaces the integrated unit with a fixed carbon-fibre spoiler.
So what if you don’t want to drive the 2024 Mercedes-AMG GT like you stole it? This is where the 2024 really separates itself from the previous model. Select Comfort mode and it becomes a convincing luxury GT tourer, eating up the kilometres with rock solid stability, comfort and relatively quiet. While its ride quality will never approach S Class levels of cushiness, it is certainly acceptable.
Practicality gets kicked up several notches as well. The optional 2+2 seating means you can bring two extra short humans along, and the hatch has 250 litres of space — 75 more than before. Folding the split rear seat down expands that to 675 litres, and the powered hatch features hands-free activation. Without the 2+2 seating, there is a parcel shelf behind the two front seats.
There is no bad angle on this new Mercedes-AMG GT . Devoid of any extraneous frippery, it’s a timeless beauty, both graceful and muscular. Customers have a choice of 10 colours, several 21-inch wheel designs, and a couple of exterior treatments — the AMG Night Package and AMG Carbon Exterior Package.
The 2024 Mercedes-AMG GT will be landing in Canada, in both 55 and 63 guises, during the second quarter of 2024. Pricing will be announced closer to availability.2023-11-13T17:54:57Z dg43tfdfdgfd