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Car Review: Mercedes-AMG GT R and other new AMG models

Getting to know ‘the Beast from the Green Hell” at Kyalami’s racetrack…

While Mercedes-AMG celebrates 50 years of Driving Performance, three new members of the AMG GT family have been introduced to the South African market. This expands the AMG range to include the AMG GT Roadster and AMG GT C Roadster as well as the much-talked-about AMG GT R.

In the spirit of AMG, the GT family now combines extended road-going qualities with motorsports performance and includes success factors such as advanced motor racing technology. The AMG GT R is one such model that offers an extremely exhilarating driving experience and we were lucky enough to join Mercedes-AMG at Kyalami’s racetrack to get behind the wheel of this “Beast”.

The AMG GT R – an elite athlete

Dubbed ‘The Beast from Green Hell’, there’s been much hype and excitement about the introduction of the AMG GT R to the South African market. Mercedes-AMG claims that “aerodynamics meets performance” is what it’s all about, with a number of enhanced features to qualify this.

These features include the front mid-engine concept with transaxle, the V8 Biturbo engine producing 430 kW and 700 N.m of torque, modified suspension, new aerodynamic features and the intelligent lightweight construction. All laying the foundation for exceptional driving dynamics.

The exclusive “AMG green hell magno” paintwork gives away the GT R’s origins, as it spent most of its time being developed in the “Green Hell” and air tunnels of the Nürburgring racetrack. If you haven’t already seen the GT R’s signature colour on social media, you’ll know when you do. Its perfectly matched to the characteristics of the GT R.

Driving the Beast from Green Hell 

It’s not every day that you get offered the chance to drive a car like this, and when I saw the look on everyone’s faces when they’d finished their laps, I knew I was in for a once-in-a-lifetime experience. My turn came soon enough and I must be honest, I felt a tad out of my depth driving a performance car as mighty as this. I needn’t have worried though, because the adrenaline that followed was enough to make me completely forget about my initial nervousness. Once inside and behind the wheel of the GT R I could almost hear my heart pounding through the seatbelt…that is until the iconic AMG growl from its V8 engine started resonating through the cabin.

During some sprint races on the track we learnt just how easy (and quick) it is to take off in the GT R with its  0 – 100 km/h sprint in just 3,6 seconds! It wasn’t long before I was feeling pretty comfortable behind the wheel. This was mostly thanks to the very patient and experienced instructor seated next to me, (who gave me a few pointers to grow my confidence a bit) but also because the GT R really is a happy place to be. This car is confidence inspiring and make you WANT to push things a bit and test its capabilities, once you’re over the initial rush of nerves!

Once back in the pit lane, I stepped out of the Beast from Green Hell with a feeling of complete euphoria, similar to the way I’d felt after bungee jumping off the Bloukrans Bridge. I’d just driven the fastest car I’d ever driven, and on South Africa’s famous Kyalami racetrack too! Bucket list item, check!

The AMG GT Roadster and GT C Roadster 

While the GT R was , for many, a highlight of our day spent with Merc-AMG, two other models were present that day, and they too have a great deal of features worth mentioning. The AMG GT Roadster and AMG GT C Roadster also make up the hallmark of AMG driving performance. In the entry-level model, the AMG GT Roadster’s 4-litre V8 biturbo unit produces an output of 350 kW and 630 N.m of torque.

The AMG GT C Roadster boasts an even more striking and dynamic appearance with a power output of 410 kW and peak torque of 680 N.m and is a brand new model variant that slots in between the AMG GT S and GT R.

To mark the landmark year of the company, the AMG GT C Roadster Edition 50 offers an exclusive equipment package and is available in two exclusive special paint finishes: Designo Graphite Grey Magno and Designo Cashmere White Magno. It’s exterior has a more distinctive look with black chrome features.

These new editions to AMG’s family represent the next performance level of street-legal race cars. Combined with everyday road-going qualities, I have no doubt the excitement will continue to impress not just performance car enthusiasts, but innovative drivers too. The star of the show, for me, was of course the powerful AMG GT R. This car is packed with high-tech performance qualities that real petrol heads will be sure to pay special attention to. Speaking of which, Top Gear’s Chris Harris recently tested the GT-R and said he was ‘mightily impressed’ by this king of the road!

Pricing

Mercedes-AMG GT Roadster: R2, 199, 900

Mercedes-AMG GT C Roadster: R2, 599, 900

Mercedes-AMG GT R: R2, 689, 900

Mercedes_AMG GT C Roadster Edition 50: R2, 864, 000 (R2, 599, 000 + R265, 000)

 

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