Nice Merc if you can get it

The racy Mercedes AMG GT puts Bob Arora in a nostalgic frame of mind

I remember watching Dallas every week (now I’m guessing any street cred I had has just totally gone). However, in my defence, apart from wanting to know who shot JR, there was one other reason I loved this programme – JR’s fabulous cars. Actually, come to think of it, I also loved watching Hart to Hart. And I didn’t watch it because of the dog called Freeway if I remember rightly, or because of Max who had the gruffest voice in the world. It was for the stunning Mercedes SL, if you hadn’t already guessed. This car just oozed sex appeal and I had a real soft spot for this beauty.

With that classic in mind, my next review was the new AMG GT. If you look quickly you’d be forgiven for thinking it was just an SLS. At first glance the car does look the same but it is actually smaller than the SLS and doesn’t have the gull wing doors. When the SLS came out it was a firm favourite of football players; we had a few guys who lived near our restaurant and when they drove down the bank they would slam the brakes on and the air brake would rise to help slow the car down. I am sure they didn’t need this additional braking but it looked great in action. The SLS’s other claim to fame was being the safety car in Formula One. The other difference between both cars is the GT is about £60,000 cheaper and this puts the car firmly in 911 territory.

The 911 is always the benchmark in this category and it would take something special to take its crown. Taking a look at the GT, it seems like the rear haunches have been lifted straight from a 911. The front of the car is very low, lean and very Mercedes indeed. The rear looks a little bit strange if I am being honest and I think it is very colour dependent. The car’s bonnet is massive and its side profile looks a little bit strange.  Mercedes has clear lineage to previous sporting Mercs in history and it’s easy to see this in the GT. Customers can choose from a range of carbon, chrome or black exterior detailing packages. Stepping inside the car the interior is really beautiful – the buttons and dials just ooze quality. The steering wheel is half trimmed with Alcantara and the car’s gear lever looks fantastic. An iPad-type tablet is in the middle of the dash and this controls all of the navigation and radio etc. The car’s interior is a cross between an S Class and the new C Class Mercedes. For a sports car it’s a very chilled out place to be sat. The car’s command control wheel and touch wheel are located where you would expect the gear lever to be. There are two models available; the GT has a 4.0 litre twin turbo engine which drives the rear wheels via a 7-speed gearbox. The engine pumps out 456bhp and it gets to 62mph in just four seconds. The GTS pumps out 503bhp and it has a top speed of 193mph and it gets to 62mph in 3.8 seconds. The AMG still has the famous one engine one man policy – all engines are built to the highest quality standards; each engineer’s signature and name is inscribed on each engine.

Starting the car and hearing the noise from the exhaust, it’s possible to imagine what it must be like to be behind the wheel of a Formula One vehicle. The only real shame is that this amazing sound isn’t really heard inside the car. There is a nice blip on the downshift accompanied by pops and bangs from the exhaust. This car was really made for German Autobahns as it feels at home on well-maintained fast roads. The car’s steering feels very fast – indeed, it is super responsive. It has a brilliant sense of directional stability and has very little body roll at all. But on choppy roads it’s a totally different story as the car fidgets quite badly. Put it in comfort mode, however, and it drives decently enough for you to feel at ease.

Its wide tyres generate a bit of road noise, especially at speed. Chunky ‘A pillars’ make moving off from junctions quite tricky. With the high bonnet, it’s quite hard to see over the top. The car’s boot has a maximum of 350 litres of space or, for keen golfers, enough room for two golf bags as long as they are stored lengthways.

This car will be a very rare sight on the roads  and the 911 has a real competitor on its hands. For anyone looking to buy a great two-seater sports car for £100k, this has to be on your must-have list.


Car supplied by Mercedes Newcastle | mercedes-benzofnewcastle.co.uk

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