Mercedes-AMG GT (C 190) 2014

After months of teasing, the covers have finally been pulled off the Mercedes-AMG GT. No, not a Mercedes-Benz – this is the in-house tuning brand’s first car under its name, although it is the second one it has developed from the ground up after the SLS AMG.

It’s easy to pigeonhole the new car as another SLS, so similar are its stretched-out proportions and much of the design. Look deeper, however, and you’ll find some differences that mark out the two. Gone, for example, are the SLS’ gullwing doors, replaced by more conventional items.

The front fascia features a large grille flanked by SL-esque LED High Performance headlamps, with gaping air inlets featuring prominently under them. Moving back, the bodyside is relatively clean, save for sizeable fender vents and an upswept line lower down. At the rear, there are flat, wide tail lamps with sequential turn signals, an retractable rear spoiler and a large diffuser design with integrated twin exhaust exits.

Mercedes-AMG GT (C 190) 2014

Mercedes has shown the interior before, and it’s just as gorgeous now as it was then. The wing shaped upper dashboard encapsulates the brace of circular air vents and the free-standing central screen.

A large tall centre console flows down in an arch, with the climate controls, the COMAND infotainment system controller and the gear lever grouped in a central funnel shaped like a NACA air intake. Flanking them are the AMG Drive Unit controls, eight of them arranged in a V to mimic the V8’s cylinder layout.

That V8 is a 4.0 litre twin turbo unit, downsized from the previous 5.5 litre mill used elsewhere in the AMG lineup. Dubbed the M178, it features a dry sump and its two turbines are arranged inside the V configuration similar to BMW turbo engines. Power is sent to the rear wheels via a seven-speed AMG SPEEDSHIFT dual-clutch transmission.

The result is 456 hp at 6,000 rpm and 600 Nm from 1,600 to 5,000 rpm, enough to accelerate the GT from 0-100 km/h in 4.0 seconds and to a limited top speed of 308 km/h. Not enough firepower for you? There’s also a GT S model that kicks out 503 hp at 6,250 rpm and 650 Nm from 1,700 to 4,750 rpm. The 0-100 km/h sprint is now cut down to 3.8 seconds and the (still limited) top speed is now 310 km/h.

Under the skin, there’s an spaceframe chassis with an over 90% aluminium quotient, with only the boot lid made from steel, while the front “deck” is made from magnesium to reduce inertia ahead of the front axle. As a result, the bodyshell weighs just 231 kg, and the car itself weighs just 1,540 kg (1,570 kg for the GT S). Suspension is aluminium double wishbones all around, and the weight distribution is 47:53 front to rear.

Mercedes-AMG GT (C 190) 2014

The options list is broad, expansive and almost certainly expensive, with an AMG performance exhaust with fully variable flaps, AMG Ride Control electronically-variable damping, ceramic composite brakes, forged cross-spoke wheels, a barrage of safety equipment including Adaptive Highbram Assist, PRE-SAFE, Parktronic, a reverse camera, a Lane Tracking package and Traffic Sign Assist, as well as a host of interior trim choices including carbon fibre, matte silver fibreglass and something called Black Diamond.

The GT S model gets the louder exhaust and adaptive damping as standard, as well as an electronic locking differential as opposed to the regular model’s mechanical unit. An option reserved for the more powerful variant is the Dynamic Plus package which include dynamic engine and transmission mounts, a “Race” mode for the AMG Dynamic Select system, stiffer suspension, higher negative camber on the front wheels as well as sports speed-sensitive steering.