Mercedes-AMG GT Black Series – So Cool!
We take a detailed look at Mercedes’ latest GT Black Series
Recently, Mercedes pulled the covers off their latest model – the Mercedes-AMG GT Black Series. Now, it’s not everyday Mercedes decides to unveil a “Black Series” car. So, we thought we would give a more detailed overview of it.
When You Put Everything You Know Into One Car
Mercedes have not left anything on the table when it came to this car. Here’s a look at all the numbers they have managed to produce:
Engine: 4.0-litre V8 biturbo (M178-LS2)
Power: 730 HP at 6700-6900 RPM
Torque: 800 Nm at 2000-6000 RPM
Gearbox: 7-Speed DCT
Top Speed: 325 km/hr
It’s easy to add a few bits of aero here and there, give it a prestigious name, generate hype, and charge loads of money to the customer. However, that does not seem to be the case here.
Mercedes will still charge you loads of money, but the GT Black Series is a different machine, and, at least on paper it looks like Merc have truly done a lot to this car to ensure it does NOT become the Mercedes AMG GT R Pro-Pro. Let us go through some of these changes here.
The engine has undergone considerable changes. Mercedes have switched to a flat-plane crankshaft, rather than a cross-plane crankshaft. What this means to the customer is a faster throttle response, and a different sound, along with other advantages. Recently, the Ford Shelby GT350 also did a similar swap. Ferraris use flat plane, and a few McLaren’s also use this architecture, including the P1.
The DCT gearbox transmits all the power to the rear wheels. To cope with this power, Mercedes has used tyres specially made for this car by Michelin. Ultimately this allows the car to do 0-100 km/hr in 3.1 seconds.
The most obvious changes come on the exterior. Mercedes have taken some of the aerodynamic elements from the GT3 series race car (which is a series that mandates the race cars to be based on production cars). The grille design and the rear wing are the most notable inspirations.
The front is home to the new grille, along with a new splitter at the bottom, that can further be extended. The fenders are flared, and they also house cutouts above the wheel arches to minimise air pressure in the wheel-well.
Most of the aero concepts seen here in the Black Series at the front and the sides are actually already present in the GT R Pro. The only difference is that Mercedes have tried to push each one to the extreme. The wheel-well cut-outs are bigger, the grille larger, and the side skirts are more pronounced.
The aero concepts seen in the GT R Pro have been taken to the extreme here
The hood houses two big outlets to aid cooling and is made of more carbon fibre. In fact, carbon fibre has been used very generously around the car, to make it more lightweight. So, it’s probably a good thing that Mercedes didn’t reveal the price yet.
Along the side, you can see the bigger fenders and the red outline of the V8 badge. But really, once you are at the side, the first thing you see is the rear wing.
So let’s talk about that rear wing. The piece of land at the back is the most obvious addition to this car. There are actually two rear wings back there, a big one and a small one. The wing would be the main reason why this car can generate 400 kgs of downforce at 250 km/hr. The floor of the car also now gets panelling to keep the airflow smooth. Ultimately, Mercedes has given it enough power to storm down the straight bits of the track, and enough aero to go around the wiggly bits as fast as possible.
Step inside, and it’s actually pretty standard AMG stuff here. The stitching has been made orange, and the seats have been made more aggressively bucketed, that too not for the USA, Canada and China. Mercedes didn’t really mess with much here, but they really didn’t need to.
Whatever was lacking with the GT R’s interior was updated in the GT R Pro, which has been carried over here. For some reason, Mercedes engineers have had a brainwave, that Porsche engineers had a few years ago, to make cloth door pull loops instead of normal door handles, but it may not all be for weight savings.
The door pull loops are much easier to operate with racing gloves.
Here’s my theory on why they did this. This car is severely track-oriented, and so the company sees the driver in a race suit and gloves driving this car. With race gloves, the pull loop is much easier to operate than a traditional door handle. Both Porsche and Mercedes must surely not be that silly to remove the door handles just for weight savings, surely.
The displays have been updated with AMG-specific graphics, and the steering wheel also gets the dials with the display in them, and look really premium, no weight savings here.
The nine-stage traction control takes the centre stage, as usual. Apart from that the dashboard and the V8-like button layout are all from other AMG models.
One interesting that that I noticed with this car is in the GT Black Series badge. It has a chequered flag. Now, this is a track oriented car, and it makes sense to put a chequered flag there. However you see, this is one of the last cars overseen by the CEO of AMG – Tobias Moers.
He leaves AMG soon to become the CEO of Aston Martin. The chequered flag could be a sign marking the end of his tenure at AMG. This is a special car, and hence the idea might not sound too far fetched.
The price has not been revealed yet. The GT R Pro starts at around $ 200,000 (approx. Rs. 1.50 crore without taxes). With carbon fibre as the primary material, the engine modifications, special tyres, and so on, the Black Series one ups the GT R Pro in almost every aspect.
Being a “Black Series” the bespoke nature means Mercedes sells very little units to make up the development cost of all of the upgrades. So the price can double or even triple.
It’s a shame that this price would mean that not many examples would be driven to the limit. Most of them will be locked in a garage trickle-charging all their life. A passive life for such a beast.