If you thought ‘going green’ in the auto world meant swapping your Porsche for a Prius, think again. May we introduce you to Mercedes’ brand new mean, green racing machine, the 2018 AMG GT R.
This is Mercedes’ new, hard-core version of its sexy AMG GT two-seat coupe. It’s aimed at serious enthusiasts who like to spend their weekends burning rubber at the race track – and getting to the office very fast during the rest of the week.
As you’d expect from a hotted-up AMG, it comes with a boatload of power. Its 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 packs a whopping 577-hp – up from the regular AMG GT’s 503-hp – courtesy of faster-reacting turbos and a freer-breathing exhaust.
That gives it this new GT R – no word yet from Nissan what they think about the use of those letters – all the oomph to rocket from standstill to 60mph in just 3.5 seconds, and not quit till the speedo is showing 198mph.
But this Kermit-green beast – Merc calls the paintwork ‘AMG Green Hell Magno’ – isn’t just about straight line sprinting. The chassis and suspension have been completely re-worked to transform the GT into a true, curve-carving track demon.
That includes plenty of new, lightweight, forged-aluminum suspension components, unique lighter-weight 19-front and 20-inch rear 10-spoke wheels, new coil-over suspension with adaptive dampers, and a new traction control system with no fewer than nine levels of intervention.
But perhaps the piece de resistance is the GT R’s new active rear-wheel steering system to make the car even more laser-responsive through the curves.
The system is similar to that on Porsche’s 911 GT3 road-racer in that at speeds below 62mph, the rear wheels are turned in the opposite direction to the fronts, aiding low-speed agility.
Above 62mph, the rear wheels point in the same direction as the fronts – by as much as a degree and a half – to increase stability at higher speeds. It’s the stuff that gets race car drivers salivating.
But what us mere mortals will likely get more excited about is the way this mighty Merc looks. And here the artisans at Mercedes’ AMG performance division have done wonders to separate the GT R visually from the more mainstream GT.
The biggest change is the revised front end with that new shark-nose grille with its vertical blades. It’s the same design as the one used in the AMG GT3 race car that won this year’s Nurburgring 24-hour endurance race.
Other visual mods include a new rear fascia with a huge double diffuser and exhaust pipes from hell. Add to those a rear wing that could have come off a F-16 fighter jet and you have a car just waiting to have vinyl race numbers stuck to its doors.
Sadly, you’ve have to wait a full year to get your hands on this beastly Benz – first U.S. cars get delivered next summer. And right now there’s no official word on pricing.
But while a regular AMG GT S will set you back around $130,000, I’d be surprised if you’d get much change from $175,000. That’s quite a lot of ‘green’ for this racer for the road.