Since 2007, the AMG badge on a Mercedes-Benz has been a symbol of performance excellence, speed, and agility that you won’t find in other European luxury cars. While the subsidiary has pumped out some of the most acclaimed vehicles over the past decade, the company may have hit their stride with the 2018 Mercedes-Benz AMG GT R. A track-worthy street racer, the GT R blends impeccable design with a muscular engine for a sports car unlike any other. In a town like Washington, D.C., where status speaks, the GT R will have you at the top of your game.
Beneath the lengthy hood of the Mercedes-Benz AMG GT R lies an engine with the brawn that you’ve come to expect from AMG. A 4.0-liter, twin-turbo V-8 provides a blistering 577 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque, an increase of 74 horsepower and 37 pound-feet of torque over its GT S sibling. The two BorgWarner turbos improve these numbers thanks to an increase in boost, larger compressor wheels, and custom-drilled exhaust ports in each cylinder head to improve flow.
Push the gas to the floor to take advantage of this engineering marvel, propelling you from zero to 60 in 3.5 seconds and topping out at a highly illegal yet heart-pounding 198 mph.
A bigger engine doesn’t always equate to an enhanced driving experience, and that’s why Mercedes-Benz and AMG went the extra mile to equip the vehicle with a customized seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. Although the Mercedes-Benz AMG GT and the GT S use this same transmission, the GT R’s has an adjusted gear ratio to deliver no hesitation to acceleration or deceleration when you’re at high speeds or cruising through traffic on 14th Street NW or Beach Drive.
If you take a drive in the GT R and don’t find it to your liking, don’t give up on the car just yet. It offers a comprehensive array of features to adjust nearly every performance aspect to your specific tastes. Both the chassis and powertrain response can easily be altered with five drive modes that include Racing, Sport, Sport Plus, Individual, and Comfort.
Once you’ve found the mode that suits you, use buttons inside the cockpit to fine-tune your driving experience to adjust the dampers, exhaust, stability control, and — exclusive to the GT R and a first for AMG — a nine-position knob for traction control.
Improving the weight-to-power ratios was one of the most vital changes for the GT-R, and no expense was spared in the process. By lowering the weight and increasing power, the GT R supplies superb handling, even at high speeds. To achieve this ratio, AMG removed many of the aluminum parts found on the GT and GT S and replaced them with carbon fiber components. The roof, rear spoiler, front fenders, rear diffuser, a torque tube under the hood, and the carbon ceramic brakes all lighten the load, making the GT R a beast on the road.
The need for speed is an insatiable mistress, yet the 2018 AMG GT R is sure to satisfy. Look for it to hit showroom floors starting in summer of 2018.