Mercedes-AMG GT 4-Dor COUPÉ

Right now, AMG can do no wrong. On a wave of con­fi­dence, they are un­leash­ing this, a four-door GT, to ter­rify ev­ery­one from As­ton Martin to Porsche

Car India - - CONTENTS - Story: Ge­org Kacher

The GT in its new four-door avatar

‘ Ev­ery­thing you see from us — the hy­per­car, the GT — is con­sid­ered a piece of the puz­zle,’ says AMG’s Tobias Mo­ers. ‘Take the two-seat GT. We repo­si­tioned that car com­pared to the SLS be­fore it. We’ve also ex­tended the AMG port­fo­lio, mov­ing up with the hy­per­car and down with the AMG 43s. Pre­vi­ously, we didn’t have the breadth or the vol­ume. And now the GT 4-Door takes us in an­other di­rec­tion. For now, it’s as lux­u­ri­ous as an AMG should be.’

Sa­loons are out, four-door coupés are in, and so the AMG GT 4-Door joins the line-up, just months af­ter the new CLS. Un­veiled at the re­cent Geneva show, this is the pro­duc­tion ver­sion of last year’s GT Con­cept four-door and its take on mod­ern high-per­for­mance luxury. With soar­ing sales, on­go­ing For­mula 1 dom­i­na­tion and a road­go­ing hy­per­car set to re­quire the cre­ation of an en­tirely new dic­tionary of su­perla­tives, right now AMG is charged with con­fi­dence. The car you see here — the snap­pily ti­tled GT63 S 4MATIC + 4-Door Coupé — is the man­i­fes­ta­tion of that con­fi­dence.

Based on a mod­i­fied ver­sion of the MRA plat­form that un­der­pins most of Mercedes’ rear-wheel-drive pas­sen­ger cars and crossovers, and specif­i­cally the new third-gen­er­a­tion CLS, the GT’s de­sign uses no lit­tle alchemy to sum­mon a hand­some car from AMG’s es­tab­lished GT nose and the kind of sub­se­quent vol­umes re­quired to house four peo­ple in some com­fort and with a door each.

‘For the first time we have trans­ferred the AMG de­sign DNA to a four-door model,’ says a proud Volker Hell­wig, AMG’s head of de­sign. ‘Char­ac­ter­is­tic el­e­ments in­clude multi-beam head­lamps, a shark-nose front end, our jet-wing front apron, slim LED tail­lights, and low-drag wheels. Com­pletely new is the ta­pered green­house; sleek with a low roofline de­spite the large rear doors.’

In Gor­den Wa­gener style, the GT’s fuse­lage is a pretty re­strained af­fair, sum­mon­ing its visual im­pact from fine pro­por­tions and stance. It’s also a shape that should lend it­self well to be­ing turned up or down, to full AMG men­ace and back to some­thing more time­less and re­strained.

‘The GT can be any car you like — a butch prowler in matte black with match­ing dark rims or a su­per-sleek boule­vard cruiser with chrome ac­cents and the body painted a friendly colour,’ says Hell­wig. ‘The GT has its own wide-track front sus­pen­sion as well as

restyled front wings, sills and wheels, not to men­tion our trade­mark Panamer­i­cana grille.’

To bend the pass­ing air to its will, the GT fea­tures a lowfly­ing front bumper, a multi-stage pop-up rear spoiler, and a prom­i­nent rear dif­fuser. But it’s the wide-body, road-hug­ging stance that’ll send Toy­ota Priuses flee­ing — that and the four fat ex­hausts that can switch be­tween neigh­bour-friendly and hooli­gan-loud.

En­gine op­tions are lim­ited to three at this point: the en­trylevel GT53 4MATIC +, the 585-PS GT63 and the 315-km/h, 639-PS GT63 S 4MATIC +, the car that you see here. It’s ca­pa­ble of launch­ing to 100 km/h in 3.2 sec­onds; a tri­umph of brute force and trac­tion over physics. While all are about as so­cially ac­cept­able as a Cuban cigar in a no-smok­ing area, the 53 does at least em­ploy a 48-volt hy­brid sys­tem, with a buffer bat­tery and a mod­est (22 PS) elec­tric mo­tor for zero-emis­sion crawl­ing and park­ing. The e-mo­tor can also bol­ster torque by 250 Nm for a few sec­onds at a time, help elim­i­nate turbo lag at low revs and restart the en­gine with vel­vet gloves when coast­ing. Of more in­ter­est might be the PHEV — AMG can rel­a­tively quickly pull one out of the bag should leg­is­la­tion or mar­ket forces re­quire it.

Based around a 3.0-litre en­gine, this pow­er­train com­bines a 435-PS straight-six with a 48-volt sys­tem and a 200-PS e-mo­tor. In to­tal, that’s over 600 PS and around 900 Nm of torque, not to men­tion a zero-emis­sion driv­ing range of 100 km. Says Tobias Mo­ers: ‘As a per­for­mance car guy, I’m ab­so­lutely ex­cited by hy­brid pow­er­trains. They give you more power, more per­for­mance, you’re faster on a race­track and you’re more ef­fi­cient — what’s wrong with that?’ Noth­ing, Tobias. Noth­ing what­so­ever. A blun­der­buss, then? There’s cause to think not. These days AMG’s chas­sis en­gi­neers are ev­ery bit as gifted as their friends in the en­gine depart­ment, with Af­fal­ter­bach’s cars en­joy­ing feel­some steer­ing, strong body con­trol, and clearly tele­graphed lim­its. The new GT also throws ev­ery­thing at the prob­lem of get­ting a car this big and this fast to han­dle, from torque vec­tor­ing through vari­able-rate power steer­ing to rear-wheel steer­ing, as de­ployed so suc­cess­fully on the range-top­ping GT R two-door. While the 63 and 63 S em­ploy ad­justable triple-cham­ber air sus­pen­sion, the 53 will use steel springs mated to elec­tron­i­cally con­trolled dampers.

And in­side? Space — and a lot of it. Yes, the arc­ing roofline is the stuff of night­mares for pack­ag­ing en­gi­neers but there’s room enough here for four in com­fort, and the cho­sen ones will be spoiled rot­ten in a co­coon of fine ma­te­rial, twin-screen Co­mand in­fo­tain­ment and suf­fi­cient stand­out de­tail­ing to jus­tify the en­try fee. Ex­pect to pay north of £110,000 (Rs 99 lakh) for a car that, for AMG’s sake, needs to sit well clear of the fastest, most ex­pen­sive CLS.

With the four-door GT’s ar­rival AMG marches on, ex­pand­ing its port­fo­lio in ev­ery di­rec­tion and re-defin­ing what’s pos­si­ble for a sub-brand that, not too long ago, was so niche it made M Di­vi­sion look ut­terly main­stream.

In to­tal the PHEV will sum­mon over 600 PS and around 900 Nm of torque

NINE-SPeeds, all fast Af­fal­ter­bach’s new boy will use a nine­speed gear­box with its quick-act­ing wet take-off clutch Chameleon vents Like the CLS, the GT’s jet turbine vents turn red when you warm things up, blue when you turn the air-con down A litle...

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