De­cod­ing the ex­panded GT range

Sports Mercedes now avail­able in hot, hot­ter and siz­zling flavours

The Star Early Edition - - NEW MODELS - MO­TOR­ING STAFF

THE MERCEDES-AMG GT line-up is quickly grow­ing into a big happy fam­ily of sports cars, but you’ll have to learn their codes or re­main con­fused about where they fit into the per­for­mance hi­er­ar­chy.

From least to most pow­er­ful, the let­ter-less GT kicks off the range, fol­lowed by the GT S and then the GT C, which un­til now has only been avail­able in Road­ster form. Top dog is the 430kW/700Nm GT R and that doesn’t change for 2017, but the rest of the range has been given a makeover of sorts, with lower mod­els re­ceiv­ing more power and a few styling up­dates.

The en­try-level GT gains 10kW and 30Nm, its 4-litre twin-turbo V8 now push­ing 350kW and 630Nm, while the GT S is now good for 384kW and 670Nm, up 9kW and 20Nm.

Pos­si­bly hit­ting a sweet-spot in the range is the GT C, which will now be of­fered in Coupé for­mat for the first time, al­beit ini­tially avail­able ex­clu­sively as a spe­cial Edi­tion 50 model to cel­e­brate AMG’s half-cen­tury an­niver­sary. GT C builds a neat lit­tle bridge be­tween GT S and GT R, with out­puts of 410kW and 680Nm, and also sports the GT R’s wider rear track and ac­tive rear axle steer­ing sys­tem, the lat­ter al­beit now op­tional on the GT S.

Ac­cord­ing to Mercedes-AMG, even the stan­dard 350kW GT will get you from 0-100km/h in four sec­onds flat, with the GT S cut­ting that down to 3.8, the GT C to 3.7 and the GT R to 3.6. Re­spec­tive top speeds are 304, 310, 315 and 319km/h.

All GT mod­els re­ceive a vis­ual perk-up with an AMG “Panamer­i­cana” grille in­spired by the lat­est GT3 race car. All ver­sions in­herit the GT R’s ac­tive air man­age­ment sys­tem, which opens and shuts the ver­ti­cal lou­vres in the front apron as re­quired.

In ad­di­tion to a new range of al­loy wheel de­signs, the GT and GT S mod­els gain a snazzy new ar­ray of ex­te­rior and in­te­rior styling pack­ages, with var­i­ous high-gloss chrome, black and car­bon fi­bre fin­ishes to set them apart.

Mercedes-AMG GT C (left) and GT S (right) have re­spec­tive out­puts of 410kW and 384kW.

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