AMG GT4 takes aim at Panam­era

Panam­era ri­val mooted

Auto Car (UK) - - THIS WEEK - MATT SAUN­DERS

Mercedes-amg GT Con­cept

Mercedes-amg boss To­bias Mo­ers has con­firmed to Au­to­car that he has the new Porsche Panam­era squarely in his sights for the pro­duc­tion ver­sion of the four-door GT Con­cept, which took cen­tre stage on Mercedes’ Geneva show stand.

Mo­ers said: “Maybe we can’t be bet­ter [than the Panam­era] in ev­ery way, but we can cer­tainly be dif­fer­ent.”

Mo­ers’ ad­vice was to ex­pect class-lead­ing power and driv­ing dy­nam­ics from the road-go­ing ver­sion of the car, which is co­de­named X290 and re­ferred to by AMG in­sid­ers as ‘GT4’. “Sim­ple com­bus­tion-en­gined ver­sions can be po­si­tioned above 600bhp,” he said. The GT Con­cept sug­gests peak power could go as high as 800bhp for a hy­brid ver­sion.

“We al­ready have an S-class, so [with the GT4] we have more free­dom to cre­ate a re­ally dy­namic driv­ing ex­pe­ri­ence than many of our com­peti­tors do with their equiv­a­lents,” Mo­ers said. “This is our chance. We have to make this a true four-door, four-seat sports car like no other.”

Although the GT Con­cept’s stylis­tic sim­i­lar­i­ties with AMG’S ex­ist­ing two-seat GT are many, the pro­duc­tion ver­sion is be­ing de­vel­oped not on the sports car’s alu­minium space­framestyle plat­form but on the MRA un­der­pin­nings, which sev­eral AMG su­per-sa­loons use.

But Mo­ers warned not to un­der­es­ti­mate the amount of chas­sis tech­nol­ogy from the GT’S tool­box that could be used in the GT4. “MRA just gives us a floor­pan,” he said. “It doesn’t limit us. The new car can have its own wheel­base and track widths and can have the same kind of ac­tive aero­dy­nam­ics, four-wheel steer­ing and spe­cial ESP sys­tems that you see on the AMG GT.”

Mo­ers sug­gested the styling of the GT4 will be very much like the GT Con­cept’s: “The pro­por­tions of the pro­duc­tion car re­ally aren’t so dif­fer­ent.”

The com­pleted GT4 is ex­pected to be pre­sented at a mo­tor show some time dur­ing 2018 and will partly fill the gap left by the de­part­ing CLS63 Shoot­ing Brake, which will not be re­placed.

Fi­nal ver­sion will look sim­i­lar to the show car

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