The Mercedes-AMG GT has not only snapped necks with its gorgeous design since its debut in the fall of 2014, but has also pulled back cheeks with the g-forces and grins its incredible performance induces. Not content to leave well enough alone, the perfectly off-kilter geniuses at AMG have decided to turn up the wick a bit further for the 2018 model year, delivering upgrades and improvements to the entire AMG GT line, as well as the all-new GT C Coupe model.
1. Headlining the 2017 Detroit show’s GT-related debuts, the GT C Coupe follows on from the GT C Roadster revealed at last year’s Paris auto show. This Goldilocks GT slots between the GT S and GT R with 550 hp and 502 lb-ft of torque, a wider rear track, wider rear tires, a 0.1-second quicker 0-60 mph time (3.6 seconds), 4 mph-higher top speed (197 mph), and, at launch, a special Edition 50 model that celebrates AMG’s 50th birthday.
2. The Edition 50 treatment translates to an exclusive designo Graphite Grey Magno paint job, black chrome trim, Panamericana grille, Edition 50 badges, and other subtle appearance tweaks, as well as a contrasting black and silver interior treatment in nappa leather with diamond-stitched seats, grey contrast stitching throughout, and special Night Package and carbon fiber interior treatments.
3. But it’s not all about the GT C or its Edition 50 special edition. The whole Mercedes-AMG GT lineup gets upgraded for the 2018 model year. The primary visual difference is a new front end, shared across all models (with minor differences based on trim level). The Panamericana grille is the centerpiece of the new front end, with 15 chrome-plated vertical bars designed to mimic the grille of the customer racing Mercedes-AMG GT3 race car. Larger air inlets also give a racier, more aggressive look.
4. It wouldn’t be a Mercedes feature fest if it didn’t include an inventively named, all-caps title like AIRPANEL, and the 2018 AMG GT doesn’t disappoint. AIRPANEL is the company name for the active louvre in the front bumper that is normally closed for lower drag and better aerodynamic efficiency (air that would normally flow through the nose is diverted under the car). When driving hard, however, and more cooling capacity is needed, the louvre opens (Mercedes lists a nominal “under 1 second” opening time) automatically to divert air through radiators and over heat exchangers. Due to this new airflow path, the oil cooler on all models has moved from the front of the car to the wheel arches.
5. More power! That’s right, as if the AMG GT weren’t powerful enough already, the 2018 models will all see a boost in performance. The base AMG GT gains 13 hp for a total rating of 469 hp, as well as 22 lb-ft more peak torque, now topping out at 469 lb-ft. AMG GT S models rise 12 hp to 515 hp, and 15 lb-ft to 494 lb-ft total. The new AMG GT C is rated at 550 hp and 502 lb-ft, while the range-topping GT R’s 577 hp and 516 lb-ft of torque leave no doubts as to which trim level is the boss.
6. Rear-axle steering on the GT C Coupe and Roadster. Like the AMG GT R, the new GT C models get active rear-axle steering to complement the 2.25-inch wider rear track (also like the GT R) and wider rear rubber. This should increase nimbleness at low speeds (below 62 mph) and stability at high speeds (above 62 mph) in comparison to the AMG GT and GT S.
7. New interior and exterior design options. The 2018 AMG GT range now offers a new AMG Interior Night package (standard on the GT R), which includes an AMG steering wheel with Dinamica microfiber and gloss black spokes and shift paddles. Black stainless steel door sill panels, a black cross-strut in the cargo area, and black trim in the backrest complete the Night Package look. For fans of carbon fiber, the AMG Exterior Carbon Fiber package adds a dose of the woven grey-black stuff to the front splitter, fender air outlets, side mirror housings, side skirt inserts on GT C models, and the rear diffuser.
8. Greater customizability. In addition to the new look packages and upgraded performance features, the 2018 model year sees buyers given more options for addition of individual equipment items, allowing greater personalization. Some of the new standalone options include a choice of 19-inch front and 20-inch rear wheel designs, nappa leather trim (including a new diamond-stitched macchiato beige specification), cooling ventilation for AMG Performance seats, and more.