The second generation of Mercedes-AMG’s front-engined Porsche 911 rival adopts a four-seat layout for the first time, and up to 430kW from a twin-turbo V8.
Mercedes-AMG has taken renewed aim at the Porsche 911 with the new 2024 Mercedes-AMG GT Coupe, unveiled at the Monterey Car Week in California ahead of first Australian showroom arrivals at a later date.
The boss of the high-performance division of Mercedes-Benz says the second-generation GT coupe “responds to the wishes of customers” – as part of a development program that sees it twinned with the latest AMG SL roadster.
Larger and heavier but also roomier and arguably more practical than its predecessor, the new GT – available in coupe form only, as the new SL takes the place of the old GT Roadster – forgoes the two-seat layout of the outgoing model launched in 2014.
There are now four seats – dubbed a ‘2+2’ layout, with two rear seats suitable for kids – in an interior claimed to be more functional than before, with a larger and more accessible boot.
All-wheel drive is now standard on V8 models for the first time – rather than its rear-drive-only predecessor – but combined with a significantly larger body, it has seen the GT’s weight increase by a hefty 300kg, to nearly two tonnes.
The new GT coupe – the fifth dedicated series-production road car to be developed by AMG – will initially be sold in a choice of two models, both powered by the company’s hand-assembled, twin-turbocharged 4.0-litre V8 petrol engine.
The new GT55 4Matic+ develops 350kW and 700Nm, while the initial range-topping GT63 4Matic+ offers 430kW and 800Nm.
The GT55 and GT63’s outputs match the related SL55 and SL63 – and match or are up on the facelifted version of the outgoing first-generation GT, which quoted 350kW and 630Nm in standard trim, or 384kW and 670Nm in GT S guise.
The updated engine – which AMG boss Michael Schiebe says is planned to be updated to meet strict Euro 7 emissions standards due in 2025 or 2026, if required – is matched with a nine-speed AMG Speedshift automatic gearbox featuring a wet “starter” clutch in place of a conventional torque converter.
Mounted directly to the end of the reworked V8, it replaces the earlier GT’s seven-speed dual-clutch transaxle unit, which was situated within the rear axle assembly. Also included is an electronically-controlled rear locking differential.
A so-called AMG Dynamic Select controller offers the driver the choice of six modes: Slippery, Comfort, Sport, Sport+ and Race.
Despite differing specifications, Mercedes-AMG quotes the same 1970kg kerb weight for both of its new GT models.
The GT55 4Matic+ possesses an official 0-100km/h time of 3.9 seconds and a 295km/h top speed, with the GT63 4Matic+ quoting a respective 3.2 seconds – 0.6sec quicker than the outgoing GT S – and 315km/h.
Claimed average fuel consumption is put at 14.1L/100km for both models for combined CO2 emissions of 319 grams per kilometre.
The basis for the new Mercedes-AMG model is a newly-developed body structure shared with the SL. It uses a material mix consisting of aluminium, fibre composite materials, magnesium and steel.
The styling draws heavily on the first-generation model, with a traditional cab-back profile dictated by a long bonnet, curved roofline and angled liftback tailgate.
Included among the exterior detailing is a large ‘Panamericana’ grille – with inspiration from the outgoing GT Black Series – plus angular LED headlamps with new three-section daytime-running lights, and a non-functional styling element behind the front wheels.
There is believed to be a different look for the initial V8 models, compared to cheaper six-cylinder or four-cylinder versions expected later on.
Further back, there are long frameless doors, flush-fitting door handles, prominent haunches over the rear wheels and heavily-structured LED tail lamps with distinctive signatures.
The GT55 and GT63 roll on 20-inch wheels as standard, shod in 295/35 (front) and 305/35 (rear) profile tyres. 21-inch wheels are available as an option.
At 4728mm in length, 1984mm in width and 1354mm in height, the new coupe is 182mm longer, 45mm wider and 66mm tallre than the first-generation GT. It also receives a wheelbase that is 70mm longer than before, at 2700mm.
With the SL taking the role of the earlier GT roadster, the new GT will be produced exclusively in coupe guise.
Inside, the GT’s new four-seat cabin is the same in style, architecture and layout as that used by the SL.
Occupants face a 12.3-inch digital instrument display and 11.9-inch portrait-style infotainment touchscreen – both featuring AMG-specific graphics and menus, including a standard AMG Track Pace function that allows the driver to display up to 40 different vehicle parameters, including lap and sector times, steering angle, brake pedal actuation.
The new GT also receives an AMG Performance steering wheel and sculptured front sport seats with integrated headrests – the latter available with optional ventilation and automatically actuated side bolsters that narrow in the Sport, Sport+ and Race driving modes.
The new individual rear seats are limited in leg and headroom and are suitable for children only.
They can be folded down to extend the nominal 321 litres of boot space underneath the load cover to up to 675 litres. By comparison, the old GT offered 285 litres, while the SL gets 213 litres of boot space.
AMG’s latest GT receives new aluminium double-wishbone AMG Active Ride Control suspension with constantly-variable electronic damping, steel coil springs and active roll stabilisation with hydraulic elements in place of conventional anti-roll bars to suppress body roll.
Buyers can order an optional lift system offering an added 30mm of ground clearance at the touch of a button to clear speed bumps.
The new coupe also adopts four-wheel steering as standard, with the rear wheels offering up to 2.5 degrees of steering angle.
The brakes combine 390mm steel discs with six-piston aluminium callipers up front, and 360mm steel discs with single-piston floating aluminium callipers at the rear.
The electronic stability control system used in initial second-generation GT models gets an AMG Dynamics system, allowing the driver to alter the level of intervention across three steps.
The 2024 Mercedes-AMG GT coupe has been confirmed for Australian showrooms, but arrival timing and prices are yet to be confirmed.