Car Replacement: Mercedes AMG GT R
With the launch of the Mercedes AMG GT R my Mercedes AMG GTS Edition 1 suddenly looks a little dated. I have therefore decided it’s time to search for a replacement and have started by arranging a number of test drives.
The first car I tested was the newly introduced Mercedes AMG GT R. Being a relatively new and limited car I had to travel to Tamworth Mercedes-Benz for a test drive. Due to the fact that I had a Mercedes AMG GTS, I was handed the keys by the sales executive and was told that I could have the car for a couple of hours.
With more power, more effective aerodynamics, less weight and a chassis honed for serious track work, the Mercedes AMG GT R should be a compelling and capable car and a step up from my GT S. From the outside there are a number of changes made to the bodywork. Using a mixture of aluminium and carbon fibre, the front and rear wings have been stretched giving the GT R a wider track. The nose gains a distinctive new aggressive grille featuring vertical fins just like the GT3 car, while the rear end wears an adjustable, full-width wing.
Hidden beneath the skin there are a number of significant changes including an active rear-wheel-steer system, a nine-way traction-control system, lightweight forged aluminium wheels and a carbon ceramic braking system.
As well as looking the part, it feels it, too. The manually adjustable seats grip you tight and place you low in the car, but you still get a great view down the bonnet. Like my GT S, the engine starts with a boom, pulses at idle and roars with every prod of the throttle.
I decided to take the GT R out onto some twisty county roads as well as onto a dual-carriageway. Out on the road the GT R felt more hardcore than the GT S with a very firm drive, even in Comfort mode. On the plus side this means it’s sharper, cutting a clean line through the corners and reveling in rapid direction changes, yet thanks to the rear-steer it always feels more controlled than the GT S. It’s fun and blisteringly fast, but doesn’t rely on pure speed to deliver a memorable driving experience. The Sport setting is good and delivers really tight body control, but on the whole Comfort is plenty stiff enough. Out on the dual-carriageway the GT R seemed to be that bit quicker than my GT S and certainly felt more planted.
Whilst the improvements over the GT S are significant, there was something missing. I’m not 100% convinced that this is the car for me at this time, so I’m going to test some more cars before making any decision.