Mercedes Benz: AMG GT Stole My Attention


Today was the best day to attend the Los Angeles Auto Show.  After all, I wasn’t sleepy, and chances are, everyone is cooking or watching football.  Perfect.  After a stroll through the Los Angeles Convention Center, there were a few stops that caught my attention.

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But, it was the Mercedes Benz AMG-GT that stopped me.

What is it about this car?

It’s the design.  It has a shape that resembles the great history of storied sports cars.  There’s a long, low bonnet with a short rear end.  The design commands absolute presence, but up close, the vehicle is a lot smaller than you think it would be.

Fans kept walking around the car, talking about aesthetics.  Many were surprised by the shape as well.

It’s a proper grand tourer. Now, what exactly does that mean? My idea of a proper GT is a vehicle that can provide driving thrills, yet, is suited for long-distance comfort. A great example of a proper GT is the entire Aston Martin line.  Yes, they’re heavy vehicles, but emit tremendous sound out of the built V8’s and V12’s, provide great ride quality, while still being able to perform at a high level when being pushed.

The latest GT and GTS by Mercedes is their interpretation of the GT, and it is executed well.

There are two V8 engine choices. Both have a bi-turbo setup.  The GT offers 456 horsepower and 443 lb.ft. of torque at just 1750rpm.  The upgraded GTS improves on those specifications with 503 horsepower and 479 lb.-ft. of torque.  Both cars come with a 7-speed dual clutch gearbox.  Surprisingly, the wheelbase is just over 103 inches with a total length of 180 inches for the car total.  This keeps the weight lower down, with a starting curb weight above 3,600lbs.

It may not come off as a pure sports car necessarily, but in a segment dominated by Porsche, why not try to be different?  It is designed to compete against great sports cars at a specific price range, and provides the type of alternative choices that consumers in the range may want.  There are plenty of high-priced sports cars out there.  Why not take a more classic approach?

After all, some things change and some things stay the same.  Mercedes stuck to the idea of a front-engine, rear-drive vehicle with classic styling reminiscent of the 1960’s.  It is a classic formula, but it’s executed perfectly well for 2014.