You don’t have to be in your middle-age years—or even your thirties—to recall a time when Mercedes-AMG’s barnstorming offerings were good mostly at two things: Melting their tires off of the line and torching unrestricted sections of autobahn at speeds extending far into triple-digit territory. Cornering, however, was often an entirely different matter that left more than a little to be desired, at least when it came to especially curvy roads or actual racetracks. But those days are over. In recent years, the AMG team in Affalterbach, Germany, has given its modern performance-car offerings not only the timeless gift of big-time straight-line speed, but also steering, handling, and braking talents to match.
None of its cars demonstrate this better than the Mercedes-AMG GT R, the beefy spiritual successor to racing SLs of decades ago. Thanks to 577 horsepower and 516 lb-ft of torque from its 4.0-liter twin-turbo V-8, it’s plenty quick and plenty fast, capable of running from zero to 60 mph in just 3.3 seconds and scorching on to a top speed of 198 mph. But it’s also one of the most well-balanced, fun-to-drive cars produced by any manufacturer in the past couple of years—in fact, it’s so good, so rewarding, and so easy to drive that we without hesitation named it one of our 2018 Automobile All-Stars.
In this installment of Pro Racer’s Take, Andy Pilgrim breaks down what makes the GT R such a gem, and then uses it to blitz the NCM Motorsports Park road course to, literally, drive the point home.