The fastest, most advanced, range-topping model of Mercedes-AMG’s GT series of cars, the GT R, is expected to launch in India within a month. The model has been billed as a road-going version of the German carmaker’s Nürburgring 24-hour race-winning GT3 and is the current title holder of the fastest rear-wheel drive car around the Green Hell.
Powered by Mercedes-AMG’s 4.0-litre, twin-turbo, V8 engine (codenamed M177) that makes 585hp (75hp more than the GT S currently on sale in India) and 700Nm (up by 50Nm), the GT R’s claimed 0-100kph sprint takes just 3.6 seconds and it pushes on to a top speed of 317kph. The engine is mated to the same seven-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox found in other GT model cars, though it has different gear ratios.
The car may weigh about 1.5 tonnes, but Mercedes-AMG has also focused on making the GT R lighter than the GT S. To that end, it has forged 20-inch aluminium wheels and a titanium silencer. There is also a carbon fibre roof, less sound deadening material and less equipment. The resultant power-to-weight ratio is 376hp per tonne.
In order for the GT R to handle the added potential, a raft of changes to the exterior include the adoption of a co-called Panamericana grille from the GT3 and an active diffuser element mounted within the underbody that motors forward by 40mm above 80kph in Race mode. It should reduce front axle lift by 40kg at 250kph. AMG has also fitted the GT R with a carbon fibre rear wing that combines with the wider body to give an added 155kg of downforce at its top speed of over 300kph.
The AMG GT flagship is underpinned by a heavily reworked double wishbone suspension system developed from the GT3 racer. The AMG Dynamic Select function provides a choice of three damping characteristics: Comfort, Sport and Sport Plus.
The biggest change to the chassis, however, is reserved for the steering. Together with a speed-sensitive variable-ratio rack, the GT R is the first Mercedes-AMG model to have rear-wheel steering as well.
Below 100kph, the rear wheels turn in the opposite direction to those at the front to give the GT R added manoeuvrability and agility. Above 100kph, the rear wheels turn in the same direction as the front wheels, giving the car added steering response and stability at high speeds.
In light of the various changes to the chassis, AMG claims a 47/53 percent front-to-rear weight distribution. The standard brake package is the steel ventilated and perforated 390mm front and 360mm rear discs. However, buyers can also opt for the optional carbon-ceramic brakes, with 402mm front and 360mm rear discs.
As the Mercedes-AMG GT S is priced at Rs 2.09 crore (ex-showroom, India), expect the range-topping GT R to cost quite a bit more. The GT R will rival the Porsche 911 Turbo and the Aston Martin Vantage V12 in the Indian market.
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