A limited run of AMG’s most focused variant, the GT R Pro, will be sold in Australia despite previously being ruled out for our market.
Mercedes-Benz Australia has confirmed that 15 AMG GT R Pros will be offered to customers locally, taken from a global production run of 750 units.
The most hardcore GT variant (for now) will be sold with a lofty $453,200 price tag, which puts it $84,500 clear of the top of the range. The next most expensive GT is the $368,700 GT R.
The GT R Pro is available to order from one of Mercedes-Benz’s AMG Performance centres, and first deliveries are expected to arrive in the country in September.
So, what do you get for the money? Well, you don’t score any extra power. The GT R Pro shares the same 430kW/700Nm 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 as the GT R, but given it is pitched as a stepping stone between the existing GT road cars and AMG’s racing cars, it does add a raft of track-focused additions.
These focus on three key areas: chassis, weight and aerodynamics.
A new coil-over suspension set-up is introduced compared to the ‘regular’ GTs, with manually adjustable dampers at each corner. The compression and rebounds rates are variable, along with the spring pre-load length. Adjusting the suspension doesn’t require a special set of tools, and can be done via a ‘click system’ on the damper.
Fancy new anti-roll bars (carbonfibre up front, and hollow steel at the rear) are used to increase stiffness and reduce weight, while spherical bearings are used on the lower and upper rear wishbones.
AMG has also installed electronically controlled dynamic engine mounts. Ceramic brakes are standard, naturally, along with forged (i.e lighter) 20-inch rims. All up, the Pro is 25kg lighter than the GT R.
New active aero has been added, along with a more aggressive front splitter and a redesigned rear diffuser. The rear wing is made from milled aluminium and also includes a small but all-important Gurney flap. AMG says the changes bring an extra 99kg of downforce at 250km/h.
AMG’s ‘Track Pack’ is standard on the GT R Pro (optional on other GTs) and adds a steel roll cage, seat braces, and four-point safety harness for both occupants.
For a quick refresher on the M178 powerhouse under the bonnet, peak power arrives at 6250rpm, while maximum torque is on tap from 2100rpm all the way to 5500rpm. Grunt is shifted to the rear wheels via a seven-speed dual-clutch transaxle. The GT R Pro has a claimed 0-100km/h time of 3.6 seconds.
All these changes combine to make the GT R Pro six seconds quicker around the Nordschleife than the GT R it is based on.
When the GT R Pro was revealed, it was thought the track-focused variant wouldn’t lob in Australia, with Mercedes locally waiting out for the even more hardcore Black Series flagship.
However, there is clearly demand enough for both models to be sold in Australia.
With pricing for the Pro confirmed, the GT Black is now expected to cost in the region of $500,000 when it finally arrives.
Yet to be officially revealed, the GT Black will have a visual design with a striking resemblance to the AMG GT3 race car.
It’ll be fitted with more aggressive aero additions compared to the Pro – which will be needed to chase down its Porsche GT2 RS nemesis.
Unlike the Pro, the Black will gain a substantial power hike with rumours suggesting around 520kW.
To achieve that figure, outgoing AMG boss Tobias Moers confirmed that a “new” engine is in the works.
“It’s still a 4.0-litre engine and twin turbo, but it’s a different engine. It’s not a typical AMG V8,” he said.
A 48-vold mild-hybrid system is off the table, while the engine block will remain the same as the M178 unit found in other GT variants. New cylinder heads and a revised crankshaft are thought to be the biggest contributors to the power boost.
If you can’t wait until next year to get your hands on the bonkers GT Black, the GT R Pro will be the fastest AMG in the land for the time being. You’ll want to get in quick though, we don’t suspect the 15 Aussie units will be available for long.