Painted in Green Hell Magno after its Nurburgring spiritual base and air-freighted in from Germany, the Mercedes-AMG GT R will this weekend make its local debut at Australia’s premier motoring circuit – Mount Panorama, before the annual Bathurst 12 Hour race.
Although the left-hand drive hardcore coupe still wears Affalterbach number plates, and will be driven around our famous 6.172km track by five-time Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters (DTM) champion and AMG brand ambassador Bernd Scheider, production right-hand drive models will arrive in Australia in July priced from $349,000 plus on-road costs.
The figure undercuts the $360K tag expected for the 430kW/700Nm GT R, thrusting AMG’s most track-focused model against the 397kW/610Nm 911 Turbo at $384,600 plus on roads. Plus, the facelifted 991 Series II GT3 is only weeks away from a Geneva motor show reveal.
Driven in the February 2017 issue of MOTOR – on-sale today – the GT R is more than just a lightly tweaked version of the GT that has been around for a couple of years.
The monstered 4.0-litre twin-turbocharged V8 engine makes peak torque between 1900rpm and 5500rpm, before peak power arrives at 6250rpm and drills through the seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. The 1555kg GT R claims a 3.6-second 0-100km/h – not quite 3.0sec-quick like 911 Turbo – teamed with a 318km/h top speed.
Active aerodynamics can create up to 155kg of downforce at speed, four-wheel steering can twerk the back wheels in either direction by up to 1.5 degrees to ‘virtually’ lengthen or shorten the wheelbase, track widths push out to match the pumped guards; and carbon ceramic brake discs (402mm front/360mm rear) hide behind 19- and 20-inch alloy wheels wrapped in 275mm- and 325mm-wide Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tyres respectively.
Meanwhile, familiar V8 Supercars driver Shane van Gisbergen will help punt the #22 Mercedes-AMG GT3 entry at the weekend’s Bathurst 12 Hour race, alongside Schneider in #83 and David Reynolds in #61 – all contesting a win in the outright GT3 class.