Mercedes-Benz Malaysia has introduced the range-topping Mercedes-AMG GT variant in the country, and the GT R rolls in at an estimated RM1.7 million (on-the-road without insurance). The car – which made its debut in June last year – was introduced in Sepang earlier this morning, and joins the GT S as the two available GT models on sale in Malaysia.

The vertical slat AMG Panamericana grille – derived from the GT3 racer – and enlarged air intakes, along with a more aggressively-styled front splitter gives the GT R its distinct face, and revised carbon fenders add 45 mm to the car’s width.

At the back, there’s an enlarged rear wing, while underneath, a carbon component automatically moves downwards by 40 mm to provide a Venturi effect when the car gets to 80 km/h in Race mode.

The rear-wheel drive GT R is powered by the same M178 4.0 litre twin-turbo V8 as seen on the GT-S, but output has been bumped up to 577 hp (585 PS) at 6,250 rpm and 700 Nm at 1,900 to 5,500 rpm for this application.

It’s paired with an AMG Speedshift DCT seven-speed transaxle dual-clutch transmission, which has been reoptimised for use in the model, with changes including a longer first gear ratio and a shorter seventh gear.

Lighter than the GT S by 90 kg, performance figures include a 0-100 km/h time of 3.6 seconds and a 318 km/h top speed. Items contributing to weight savings include a new exhaust system, which is 5.9 kg lighter than in the GT S. Elsewhere, an upgraded carbon fibre torque tube shaves off 13.8 kg compared to the GT, while an optional carbon-ceramic brake system takes off another16.7 kg.

The GT R features a new rear-wheel steering system, which improves both response and stability while cornering. At speeds up to 100 km/h, the rear wheels turn in a small angle opposite to the fronts for sharper steering response, whilst above 100 km/h the rear wheels do the same but in the same direction as the front wheels, for better high speed stability.

There’s also a new AMG coil-over suspension, which allows the spring pre-load to be manually adjusted – the system works in combination with the AMG Ride Control continuously variable adaptive damping system.

The car rides on 19-inch front and 20-inch rear AMG 10-spoke forged wheels, wrapped with 275/35 front and 325/30 rear Michelin Sport Cup 2 tyres. As standard, the brake calipers are finished in yellow for the model.

Inside, the GT R is dressed with AMG Performance seats as standard, with manual-adjustment AMG sports bucket seats finished in Nappa leather and Dinamica microfibre fabric are available as an option.

The car comes with an AMG piano lacquer trim package as well as an AMG Interior Night package, which finishes the shift paddles, steering wheel bezel, door sills and boot cross member in high-gloss black. A matte black carbon fibre trim package can be ticked as an option.

Incidentally, the white launch car is an Australian-spec model loaned for the local debut, and wears a variation of the AMG forged wheel – the design is different to the more recognisable two-toned, model specific unit.