Pending the Porsche 911 vs. Mercedes-AMG GT twin test – this is what you need to know:
The ‘road impressions’ part of Merc-AMG’s GT launch didn’t last too long – but long enough to deduce that the GT will not disappoint.
First – on the spectrum of sporting GT to outright sportscar, I think the GT sits a little closer to the latter clarification than perhaps AMG claims. The ride is firm – even with the dampers set to their softest position – and the car feels taught and responsive. Not neurotic, but something you want to give ample concentration.
The steering is excellent, the driving position is stand-out and this would be the perfect place to view the road were it not for the same A-pillar problem that plagues the SLS: it creates a massive blind-spot when you pull out of junctions. And, just like the SLS, the passenger mirror wont adjust in-enough for short-arses like my good self; Affalterbach is clearly size-ist.
For quality of noise the GT is exceptional, but it does have some specific rear-tyre noise, and the boot space acts as a kind of speaker cabinet. On long trips it could be an issue. The again, the Porsche 911 has always had tyre rumble issues, so the AMG isn’t especially bad in this respect.
The cabin is wide and spacious. That great slab of centre console with its Fisher Price buttons works well, the only practical downside being the gear selector is a long way back. It’s not for me to tell you if something looks good or bad – overall I think it’s a great cabin, but there is an awful lot going on – especially with the clock faces which to my eyes lack the attractive simplicity that tends to mark out the most memorable dashboard design.
For response and quantity of performance the bi-turbo V8 is exceptional. It pulls from zip and keeps hauling to well beyond 6000rpm. The transmission is a big step over the SLS version of the Getrag dual-clutch and you won’t be having traction issues either – the new rear axle gives surprising traction, even on damp asphalt.
I’ll need to have a longer drive to discover any more, but for now what you need to know is this: if you’ve lived with a 911, then living with an AMG will be no more stressful. But it might be a little noisier.