There's now an even more powerful Mercedes‑AMG GT R
New 911 time, as this currently is, invariably means not just a new Porsche but also updated versions of 911-wannabes. Enter the Mercedes-AMG GT R Pro announced today. Can it steal some of the sports car icon’s limelight?
The new two-door coupe is a limited-edition flagship model that draws on the brand’s experience in GT3/GT4 competition to be the most dynamically able GT yet, according to AMG. Ahead of the arrival of AMG One, the GT R Pro is the closest any AMG gets to motor racing, they say.
As well as the addition of the R Pro to the range, all other GT versions, coupe and convertible, get a mid-life facelift. Along with spruced up looks, every GT now comes with AMG Dynamics control system, a fully digital dash, new steering wheel and the latest centre display from the AMG GT four-door coupe – all worthwhile but it’s the R Pro that’s the headline event.
So what’s new? It is more powerful and lighter, but not by much, with the biggest changes being in the suspension and the aerodynamics, tweaks that are said to significantly reduce front end lift at speed.
They must do quite a bit because it all adds up to a time at the Nürburgring Nordschleife of 7 minutes 4.6 seconds, six seconds quicker than the AMG GT R managed in 2017. There’s no record in that, but AMG can take solace from the fact that its sports coupe has now just pipped the Porsche 911 GT3 RS’s time achieved earlier in 2018.
The GT R Pro gets go-faster stripes (part of a body wrap that’s not obligatory) to go with its track optimisation, and along with its carbon-fibre aerodynamic addenda – new front apron and splitter, additional winglets, louvres in the wings and new rear aerofoil with Gurney lip supported by milled aluminium pylons – you won’t miss it.
To go with the extra downforce this all creates a reduction in mass, though by how much AMG is not yet saying. Carbon is of course the weight-saving material of choice: for the R Pro it is additionally used for the roof and racing seats. There are also new lightweight forged aluminium wheels and a ceramic compound braking system, with black calipers.
For the ultimate AMG GT, the suspension has gained an adjustability to keep the average pit lane mechanic absorbed for hours. As well as setting spring preload length, the Pro driver can adjust both the compression and rebound of the dampers without tools, and via a click dial on each damper. The torsion bars are likewise adjustable, front and rear. Other changes for the Pro include Uniball spherical bearings for the upper wishbones, in addition to those for the lower wishbones, further taking out any play under load and, says AMG, making the handling even more precise.
For such a track biased machine there is also a roll-over protection system, enclosed four-point safety harnesses for driver and front passenger, and a fire extinguisher.
Showing that the GT R Pro is more about honing than hooning, figures other than that ‘Ring time hardly make headlines: the 4.0-litre biturbo V8 boasts just eight more horsepower (now 585PS or 577bhp), torque increases by 20Nm (15lb ft), the 0-62 time is down by just a tenth (at 3.6secs) and top speed up by a fraction at 197.5mph instead of 196.9.