Performance – The Mercedes AMG GT line up has different state of tunes for every variant and the R naturally has the most output on offer with the 4.0-litre bi-turbo V8 producing 585 PS of power and 700 Nm of torque which peaks in at just 1900 RPM and peaks out at 5500 RPM, giving it a very wide peak torque band, resulting in a stellar mid-range. 0-100 km/hr takes 3.6 seconds while the top speed is 318 km/hr and expectedly, there is stupendous pulling power with a minor lag lower down and a crazy pull in the mid-range which not only pins you back into the seat but gathers pace relentlessly, redlining at just under 7000 RPM.
Performance is mind-blowing and the exhaust note is truly music to the ears
The Mercedes AMG GT R comes with 5 driving modes – Individual, Comfort, Sport, Sport+ and Race, these alter the engine, gearbox, suspension, steering and exhaust note. Race mode gives you the full bananas with left foot on the brake and right foot on the accelerator enabling launch control, ‘Race Start’ in Mercedes speak. Press the traction control button once and it goes to ESP Sport, keep it pressed and it turns off, enabling the 9-level traction control dial on the centre console.
The 7-speed AMG Speedshift dual-clutch gearbox can be put in manual mode so you can take control of cogs using the steering mounted paddles but that seems unnecessary because the Merc transmission is super quick with shifts and downshifts in an instant, even blipping the throttle to create an exciting aural sensation. The exhaust note is a pure melody, it even crackles and pops when you lift off and pushback on upshifts. Fuel economy is between 3 to 5 km/l and this supercar needs 97 octane fuel, the range on a full tank is 250 kms.
Driving Dynamics – The Mercedes AMG GT R is like a race car which can also be driven on the road. This is immediately apparent once you start driving on the uneven roads of our country as you can feel almost everything inside, the ride is just too stiff, the ground clearance almost non-existent and the tyre profile too low. To clear speed-breakers, crawling just doesn’t help, you have to angle the vehicle and then pray that it doesn’t scrape its underbelly. With 93% aluminium and the 3.25m long hood being made of aluminium, the GT R uses some expensive components in its construction and it helps.
While the ride is very stiff, the GT R makes up for it with its phenomenal handling with virtually no body roll
The handling is just surreal, there is no body roll, none at all, it doesn’t roll, it doesn’t pitch, it doesn’t waft, it doesn’t squat, it doesn’t dive, it just moves around with pinpoint accuracy with a steering so feel-some and feedback-rich that even before you think of making a turn, the car is already there! Truly, Lewis Hamilton’s feedback in the development of the R version of the AMG GT is evident, it is a true delight around the corners. The optional carbon ceramic brakes on our test car offer such terrific stopping power that for the most part, I stopped a few kms before than I anticipated!