Mercedes-AMG GT63 Premium Plus 2024 Review | First Drive

Enormously impressive, if not more sensible than its predecessor…

22nd June
Ethan Jupp


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The tale of the Mercedes-AMG flagship is one of diversification and dilution. When the SLS took over from the McLaren SLR, it was the supercar that took the place of a hypercar. AMG’s first full car was more affordable and built in greater numbers than the Woking-born Silver Arrow, but was still thoroughly exotic and bristling with flagship bravado, not to mention performance.

In the AMG GT, Mercedes debuted a successor that democratised the SLS’s lusty silhouette (while retaining wholesale its rear axle) in a raw, rewarding, bonafide 911 rival, with new-generation turbo V8 power. Now, the second-generation AMG GT has gone more sensible still (although more expensive, too), with all-wheel-drive, an SL-derived platform, a more cab-forward design, and more versatility than ever. Has AMG rounded the edges of its flagship down to the bone, or do the muscles of the bruiser from Affalterbach still ripple? We got an inclination with a brief but revealing drive around Milbrook.

We like

  • Still looks great
  • Muscular engine
  • Drives great in spite of...

We don't like

  • ...the weight
  • A hefty asking price
  • Screen overload


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Still a very pretty thing, is the AMG GT. We’ll get that out there now. But by the same token, this car in second-generation form is a changed beast. No longer is it a Viper-aping long-bonneted Greek god of a car with its seats near enough over the rear axle, straddling a transaxle gearbox. The new car does away with that. The shared SL platform on which this rides has thoroughly adjusted and centralised its proportions, possibly not for the better. The curvaceous cues and sculptural surfacing remain and still look great – the front, with those jewel-like lights and that Panamericana grille are a particular highlight, but they clothe a less athletic frame and make for a less exotic, less expensive-looking car to our eyes.

Then again, the old AMG GT always looked much more expensive than it was, following in the original Audi R8’s footsteps. A 911 next to either somewhat disappeared into the background. Perhaps now the new AMG GT falls into line, looking less upwardly mobile but still with class and presence to best the resolutely staid Porsche.

Performance and Handling

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This is by far the fastest AMG GT there’s ever been across ground, thanks primarily to all-wheel-drive that’s able to deploy the full strength of the 4.0-litre 585PS (430kW) twin-turbo V8. But with that capability comes a fear that the sense of naughtiness that made its GT R predecessor so compelling might have been dulled. The hooligan is there though, just hidden deeper within what is a more sophisticated, certainly stouter AMG GT. With the numerous modes you can tap into as much or as little of the brawler as you can handle. 

We spent most of our time in the car’s Sport+ setting, selectable via the right-hand steering wheel-mounted rotary control. Rolling into Sport+ makes everything light up red, from the instrument cluster and tombstone infotainment screen to the rotary dials, themselves featuring their own little screens. The other dial on the left-hand side of the wheel allows you to select your exhaust and damper modes independently of the driving mode on the fly, which is a great addition. The slab of pixels in the middle of the car depicts a virtual GT with strakes of red either side, with other driving modes including Comfort and Sport shown to the left and only ‘Track’ to the right. The latter fully lets the leash off the GT but as the name suggests, is ill-advised for the road.

And truthfully, you don’t really need it. Sport+ dials in the right amount of bravado and response to enjoy on the road. That engine remains a gargling grizzly, albeit over-augmented with pop-and-crackle fakery. The nine-speed wet-clutch transmission is responsive enough on the upshifts but occasionally a little tardy on the downshifts. Its services are called upon through a much more prominent set of paddles in this GT, too. Driven though all the wheels may be, there’s a real sense when you get up it that the new GT could unclasp its muzzle at any given moment. The inherent chassis balance is excellent, with a real sense of mobility and a centre of rotation. 


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The new GT is a significantly heavier car than its predecessor, which is weird given all the noise Mercedes made about how clever and light this new shared platform would be before the SL and GT’s respective reveals. This is now a 1,900kg+ car in 63S form, which climbs to well over two tonnes if you get the bonkers 800PS (588kW) hybrid. An awareness of the figures means you’re constantly peering through the car’s dynamic makeup in search for them, in how the car controls its mass and rides its sidewalls, thinking ‘isn’t this good for its weight!’ There’s always that last addendum, though. If you jump in and drive it hard without knowing the figures, you’ll feel relatively quickly the extra timber on its bones, especially with a 911 Turbo fresh in the mind. You find confidence in the AMG GT as a driver, if not total sportscar symbiosis.

Managing that mass is a task handled by an arsenal of dynamic systems, from the hydraulically-linked Active Ride Control suspension, to the rear-steering, to the rear e-diff. The capability it can all muster is awesome, even if it stops short of being a totally weight-erasing dream team. The all-wheel-drive system is great too, distributing power without corrupting the GT’s character with numbness and understeer. As for the steering, there’s weight if not much in the way of old-school feel, but the ratio and weighting is good, collaborating with the rear-steering for some fairly epic agility and that suspension for superb mass control. The brakes are decent, even in standard ceramic-coated-but-not-quite-full-ceramic form.

Overall, this is every bit the 911 Turbo rival AMG intended it to be, which is telling of how this differs from its predecessor. Could that weight mean the suspension has a tough time of balancing control and comfort on English highways? Possibly. We’ll need some sprawling road miles to make a full assessment where that’s concerned.


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Big change is afoot on the inside, too. The GT’s snug cabin is now an airier, more spacious place to be, with a more raked windscreen and the addition of token 911-like rear seats useful for grand touring luggage storage. Utterly dominating the experience is the screen, vertical and mounted atop the chunky transmission tunnel. The gearbox now hangs off the back of the engine, rather than sitting on the rear axle, with vents flanking and the starter button very hidden behind. It controls absolutely everything, will certainly age the GT, and is questionable in terms of safety in how it draws your attention away.

The dominance of the screen is a shame because some of the previous GT’s special character has made it through. Those circular metallic air vents are a thing of beauty, even if they’re controlled in near-totality from within the screen. The wheel is nice too, with a quality click-clack to the myriad buttons. The paddles are better than some rivals, too, if not with the quality and weight of a Porsche’s, or the drama of some more exotic options. To be clear, though the child in us is sad they’ve made the GT more practical, the space the rear seats offer and the fact the boot isn’t full of gearbox anymore are positives in this car.

Technology and Features

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The GT 63 is the only AMG GT you can buy in the UK, with Mercedes electing to keep the 55 and four-cylinder 43 for Europe. Happily, as a higher-spec car, it’s well-equipped as it comes. So, all that clever performance tech is included, though full-on ceramic brakes are a potently-priced option. But, you do get a 360-degree camera, the Burmeister surround sound system, climate and massage seats, and much more. What you don’t get by comparison to the Ultimate and Launch Edition? Well, ceramic brakes and a fixed aero kit are a big part.

There’s no ignoring that 11.9-inch vertical screen. It’s there and you’ll be using it a lot in the new AMG GT, so it’s not one for technophobes. It does contain all the vital controls which is really annoying but, the software is responsive and for most things reasonably intuitive. The digital driver’s display is at least clear, smooth, and easy to navigate.


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Will lovers of the old AMG GT feel its lost its way? Perhaps in part, if only out of sheer love of the previous model. It was a more single-minded, exotic-looking, harder-edged proposition. It was also more affordable and thus a lot more comfortable as an upwardly mobile proposition in its Carrera S-fighting space. Now, the GT is both less exotic to look at while being more sensible in every way other than its Ferrari and Aston-aping price.

Nevertheless, it is an enormously impressive performance car – by far the fastest and most capable in its bloodline across ground, if not the most engaging or the most entertaining. But this is all by design. It is a fundamentally changed AMG GT, with a different job to do. That job is to be an appealing sports GT alternative to a Porsche 911 Turbo or Maserati GranTurismo, rather than be an outright sportscar rival to a 911 Carrera S. On that basis we can say, pending a more extended test at least, it’s a highly compelling thing. 


Engine 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 petrol  

585PS (430kW)  

Torque 800Nm (590lb ft)  
Transmission 9-speed wet-clutch automatic  
Kerb weight 1,970kg  
0-62mph 3.2 seconds  
Top speed 196mph  
Fuel economy 20.1mph (combined WLTP)
CO2 emissions 319g/km
Price £164,905