Mercedes-AMG GT Sneak Preview

When: 2015
Why? This time, AMG targets the Porsche 911.

Where Mercedes-Benz has failed, perhaps Mercedes-AMG can succeed. The high-performance sub-brand engineered its first complete car with the just-now-departing SLS AMG. That car’s gull-wing doors, 6.2-liter V-8, and $200,000-plus price tag, made for a high profile but low volumes. The follow-up will come down from the supercar ionosphere in order to take on one of the most oft-targeted sports cars in existence: the Porsche 911.

The Mercedes-AMG GT (note the newly hyphenated brand name) will be smaller, less powerful, and considerably less expensive than its predecessor. Priced in the $115,000-to-$135,000 range, the two-seater launches as a hardtop coupe—alas, with conventional doors. No roadster is planned. The GT does follow SLS practice with its aluminum body structure, rear transaxle, and control-arm suspension. The characterful normally aspirated big-block engine is replaced by AMG’s 4.0-liter turbo V-8. Expect a standard output of 465 hp, a 495-hp S version, and an eventual Black Series offering 525 hp. An entry-level model, powered by a 365-hp, 3.0-liter straight six, is a possible midcycle addition. Engineering highlights include a new nine-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission, available carbon-ceramic brakes, and active engine mounts.

Mercedes has already released pictures of the interior ahead of the new car’s September reveal. The cabin features aggressively bolstered high-back bucket seats and a wide center console whose electronic shifter and touch-pad Comand unit are flanked by eight round buttons arranged to echo the cylinder placement of a V-8 engine.

AMG chief Tobias Moers calls the new entry “a GT car in its purest form.” Whether that will be enough to steal sales from the iconic Porsche remains to be seen.

Stay tuned for much more on the AMG GT soon from our man Georg Kacher.

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