Mercedes-AMG GT 4-Door Coupe

New four-door GTs seek to bridge the gap be­tween AMG’s sports cars and its sledge­ham­mer sa­loons

Evo India - - BRIEFING - WORDS by ANTONY IN­GRAM

EN­GINE & TRANS­MIS­SION

Per­haps the most no­table en­gine op­tion is Mercedes’ new 3-litre in-line six, badged GT53. It de­vel­ops 429bhp and 519Nm, but as with the new CLS53 it also utilises hy­brid tech­nol­ogy, an elec­tric mo­tor ca­pa­ble of adding up to 21bhp and 249Nm when required. The GT53’s 0-100kmph dash takes 4.5sec; top speed is 285kmph.

From there, the range steps up to the GT63, which uses a 577bhp vari­ant of the ‘hot vee’ 4-litre V8, with no hy­brid as­sis­tance. This slashes the 0-100kmph time to 3.4sec and lifts top speed to 311kmph. The range tops out (for now) with the GT63 S, which has 630bhp and 900Nm at its dis­posal, trim­ming a fur­ther 0.2sec from the 0-100kmph sprint and adding 5kmph flat-out. A V8 hy­brid, like the 800bhp GT Con­cept, is due in around two years.

All GT 4-Doors send their power to all four wheels, though each takes a slightly dif­fer­ent ap­proach. The 53’s sys­tem isn’t per­ma­nent, but can fully vary torque split be­tween front and rear axles, and drive is first sent through a nine-speed twin-clutch trans­mis­sion. Both 63s use a per­ma­nent sys­tem with a vari­able split, while the GT63 S adds the drift mode found in the E63 S. Both V8s use a nine-speed torque-con­verter au­to­matic gear­box.

CHAS­SIS

Like the two-door GT and the SLS be­fore it, the 4-Door Coupe has been de­vel­oped en­tirely by AMG, but un­like the two-door GT, the new car doesn’t use a unique plat­form. AMG boss To­bias Mo­ers has con­firmed that the 4-Door in­stead sits on a re­vised E63 S plat­form, as the two-door’s front-mid-en­gined, transaxle lay­out pre­cluded its ex­pan­sion to a four-door, four-seat model.

The 4-Door has had work to im­prove its tor­sional stiff­ness, how­ever, and also gets the rear-wheel steer­ing set-up from the twodoor GT, which Mo­ers says gives the car a com­pletely dif­fer­ent feel to more main­stream AMGs. We’re told it’ll also be a bet­ter cruiser than other AMGs and that an even more hard­core model hasn’t been ruled out.

IN­TE­RIOR & OP­TIONS

So the GT 4-Door isn’t merely a stretched ver­sion of the low-slung GT coupe, and one look at the cabin con­firms this – the vibe is much closer to that of the E-class’s in­te­rior than it is to the two-door GT’s.

It’s not iden­ti­cal to the E-class’s cabin, of course, with the big­gest dif­fer­ence sit­ting promi­nently be­tween the driver and front pas­sen­ger: a large cen­tre con­sole, with a gear selec­tor lo­cated in the same slightly awkward place as it is in the coupe.

The driver-cen­tric lay­out melds sur­pris­ingly well with the wide TFT dis­play in front of the driver, and the jet-style air vents are classier than those of the coupe. And there are those rear seats, of course, ac­cessed through frame­less doors.

BODY

If we’ve learned any­thing about four-door coupes since their wide­spread adop­tion by the in­dus­try, it’s that opin­ion is split on their styling. For what it’s worth, the GT 4-Door is a rea­son­able ef­fort in trans­lat­ing the GT coupe’s styling onto a longer form.

It’s far from perfect, though, be­ing per­haps too bul­bous around the rump and los­ing some of the ap­peal­ing long-nose, short­tail pro­por­tions that give the coupe such a dra­matic pres­ence on the road. From the side it’s bet­ter, but there are shades of both Panam­era and Audi A7 to the car’s flanks and win­dow-line.

It’s bet­ter in the metal, but lacks real dis­tinc­tion com­pared with the CLS, at least un­der the glow of mo­tor show lights.

EVO COM­MENT

As a styling ex­er­cise, the GT 4-Door Coupe leaves us a lit­tle cold, lack­ing the dra­matic pres­ence of the ear­lier con­cept and the low and sleek GT coupe. But while it may look like lit­tle more than a stylised CLS, AMG’s other char­ac­ter­is­tics are present and cor­rect.

A chat with Mo­ers sug­gests that a shoot­ing brake ver­sion (sorry, Panam­era Sport Turismo fans) has been ruled out and that it’s a lit­tle too early for a ful­l­elec­tric model, but a bru­tal hy­bridised V8 ver­sion looks likely. In the mean­time it sounds like the three launch ver­sions could make an in­ter­est­ing bridge be­tween the brand’s ded­i­cated sports cars and the more prac­ti­cal sledge­ham­mer sa­loons and es­tates we’re used to see­ing from AMG.

Rear-wheel steer­ing from the GT coupe should give the car a com­pletely dif­fer­ent feel to more main­stream AMGs

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