The next Mercedes-AMG GT is set to adopt the new SL’s mixed-metal chassis, with a twin-turbo V8 to take on the Porsche 911.
Following the reveal of a camouflaged prototype at this year’s Goodwood Festival of Speed, Mercedes has announced that its new AMG GT sports car will break cover at Monterey Car Week. As these pictures indicate, the SL-based Porsche 911 rival will make its debut with a more classic sports coupe proportion set, rather than the extreme cab-rear silhouette of the outgoing model.
Not that this is a bad thing. The previous GT was loosely based on the previous SLS, a supercar that rivalled the Ferrari 458 Italia and McLaren 12C in period. Its transformation into a 911 rival as the GT might have brought down the list price, but the extreme supercar-like proportions and all-aluminium construction remained, which made the car expensive to produce and difficult to develop with shared components.
As a result, Mercedes made the decision to pair the new GT’s development with the recently launched SL – killing off the GT Roadster in the process. Both cars are expected to share key elements to the chassis and powertrains, the former constructed from a mixed-metal technique both rationalises the amount of bespoke engineering required for the GT, as well as to ensure that AMG’s E Performance plug-in hybrid module is able to be neatly integrated.
The prototype clearly displays these new attributes, with a shorter bonnet in relation to the size of the cabin, and more compact overall dimensions. At this stage, it’s unknown whether the GT will retain the current car’s dry-sumped M178 V8, however things aren’t looking good for it as the new SL Roadster uses the wet-sump M177. It’s also unknown whether the GT will also ditch the SL’s plus-two rear seating, but given the new GT’s obvious correlations to its chief rival, the Porsche 911, we wouldn’t be surprised by either scenario.
To correspond with the differing moniker, the new GT will also have a unique look to the SL, with a nose that looks to mimic the previous generation, with narrower headlight units that draw up the front wings in contrast to the SL’s sleek low-mounted units. The grille also looks to sit lower by contrast, and with a larger main opening, featuring AMG’s typical vertical slats.
The GT’s rear end retains the hatchback opening like before, with a more defined leading-edge above the rear lights. The rear lights themselves look to have more of a lozenge-type shape and internal signatures reminiscent of the AMG Project 1 rather than the S-class like graphics of the SL. Inside, we expect things to be more broadly carried over from the SL, as the interior layout is largely defined by the integration of the large MBUX touchscreen interface.
The question of how far AMG will take the next GT remains more of a mystery, as the top-spec GT will likely include the E Performance hybrid system that will increase power, but also weight. Therefore, any notion of a GT R-replacing model that will have an increased focus on direct handling and light weight will likely have to take a different path, leaving the door open to all sorts of interesting derivatives.