“It looks like a Porsche.”

That’s what one observer thought of the new Mercedes-Benz AMG GT S, a sinewy, sleek slab of Teutonic muscle that actually channels Mercedes-Benz’s racing heritage – such as the 300 SLR (W 194) from 1952.

In its look and vision, this stunning machine brings that car forward to modern times, slathered with a liberal dose of modern technology.

Still, the Porsche comment is accurate, for the new AMG GT line is a compelling challenger to the Porsche 911, not to mention other high dollar sports cars from Jaguar, McLaren and others.

Starting at $129,900, the AMG GT S features a 4.0-liter, twin-turbocharged V-8 engine that produces 503 horsepower and 479 pound-feet of torque and which rockets you to 60 mph in 3.7 seconds. A base model, the AMG GT, debuts in the spring, powered by the same hand-built engine.

Power is slightly lower, at 456 horsepower and 443 pound-feet of torque, and reaching 60 mph takes an extra 0.2 second.

And while you might find some 911 models that top those figures, numbers aren’t the story here. In fact, aside from its market segment, and the fact that it has four tires, this Mercedes bears no resemblance to its competitor. It’s a very different animal.

For the AMG GT S won’t post the fastest 0-60 mph time, nor boast the lightest weight or power-to-weight ratio. But it delivers on its promise, producing massive amounts of thrust, not to mention a soundtrack that’s raucous, loud and decidedly evil, although how much depends on whether the Drive Mode selector is set to C, S, S+ or R mode.

With its enormous nose, long hood and broad shoulders, this machine’s mammoth prow stakes its claim as the engine unleashes its full force. The powerplant’s small size belies its fierce forcefulness. Engineers installed the V-8’s turbochargers inside the V to keep the engine size small and optimizing responsiveness, so there’s no real turbo lag.

AMG also used dry sump lubrication, which allows them to mount the engine lower, giving the car a lower center of gravity.

Thankfully, the car also has hydraulic power steering that’s precise, quick and brimming with feedback. The AMG’s impressive grip in corners and flat cornering behavior is exactly what you’d expect. The seven-speed dual-clutch transmission snicks off the shifts so quickly, you’ll rarely use the paddle shifters mounted on the steering wheel.

As you’d expect, the cabin is far from a peaceful retreat, with a thunderous exhaust note backed by lots of road and tire noise. You’ll have little doubt as to this car’s true intent.

Oh yes, the cabin.

It’s dominated by a large center console that takes up a remarkable amount of space. Eight random controls line the edges, placed there more by whims of fashion, than of logic.

A large palm rest and scroll wheel activate the infotainment system, and their placement just aft of the giant cup holders pushes the stubby transmission lever far back on the center console.

The seats are extraordinarily firm, with prominent side bolsters to hold you in place. A seeded steering wheel and seat fabric also helps keep you in place during spirited manure era, while the leather instrument panel trim adds a touch of warmth. And I loved the red seat belts that offset the black interior.

As for storage, well, this car rewards those who travel light. The center console bin has a connector for an iPhone, although the bin isn’t very deep. The glovebox isn’t large enough to hold your gloves, let alone the voluminous owner’s manual, while the cargo hold will hold a duffle bag, perhaps two.

But such logical trifles fall by the wayside when you realize this car’s intent is to deliver fast thrills, a massive dose of Mercedes-Benz magic, and more than a little eyeball. Even if you rarely drive it, you could consider it great garage art.

I would suggest driving it, however. You’ll never stop smiling.

Augusta and Waterville news

Get news and events from your towns in your inbox every Friday.


  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.