Were some­one fool­ish enough to ap­point me as some kind of ad­vi­sor to the mo­tor in­dus­try, there would be two ba­sic tenets to the phi­los­o­phy I would preach.

Top Gear (UK) - - AMG GT R VS RIVALS -

A good-look­ing bad car will al­ways out­sell an ugly good car. Never try to beat the Porsche GT3 RS, be­cause that way trou­ble lurks.

The rea­son­ing behind the sec­ond point is quite sim­ple: ev­ery time some­one comes along and pro­fesses to have bet­tered Porsche’s road-cum-track mis­sile they end up fail­ing. My warped imag­i­na­tion con­jures an im­age of Porsche GT cars boss An­dreas Pre­uninger chan­nelling Ivan Drago’s evil trainer from Rocky IV: “It’s sim­ple: what­ever the RS chal­lenges, it de­stroys!”

And it really does. Over the years they’ve all tried and been pum­melled: BMW, Mercedes, Maserati, Audi – even Fer­rari has never pro­duced a ma­chine that could match an RS’s mix of driver ap­peal, speed and stub­born dura­bil­ity.

At this point, I’d be tempted to in­tro­duce the Mercedes-AMG GT R with a note of in­evitable dis­ap­point­ment. But even be­fore I’d driven it, just one look at the list of mod­if­ca­tions Mercedes has slapped onto its GT sports car iden­ti­fes this as the most se­ri­ous chal­lenger the Porsche has ever en­coun­tered. Re­mem­ber when Drago’s torso was frst un­veiled? Gulp. And, yes, I’ll stop with the Rocky ref­er­ences now.

These are the ex­pur­gated highlights: 46mm wider front track, 57mm wider rear track. Ac­tive front aero­dy­nam­ics, a mas­sive rear wing, a car­bon prop­shaft, three-way ad­justable dampers, ninestage trac­tion con­trol and Miche­lin Pi­lot Cup 2 tyres. And Bernd Sch­nei­der. No, you don’t get him thrown in with the £143,245 price, but you do get his ge­nius for the car’s set-up.

Power is now 577bhp and torque from the 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 is 516lb ft. It weighs 1,555kg and has lapped the wig­gly place in Ger­many in 7:10. So, to re­cap. It is a small RWD coupe with a mas­sive amount of power that has been sub­jected to a very com­pre­hen­sive set of changes and then been to fnish­ing school with some of the best driv­ers and en­gi­neers. And it’s from the Stuttgart area, where we know the DNA is strong for driv­ers’ cars. The on-pa­per game is strong from AMG.

But the re­al­ity is even more eye-open­ing. It takes half a lap of any nor­mal-sized race­track to know you’re in some­thing spe­cial, the GT R

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.