2015 Mercedes AMG GT S – Video review

It wowed us track, would we remain just as smitten on the road? Are you kidding? Now if only it had gullwing doors…

By Shahzad Sheikh

2015 Mercedes AMG GT S – Video review

I drove this exact same 2015 Mercedes AMG GT S back in March at an AMG driving event at Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi – and you can read that review here. But only now have I been able to take it for a proper run on the road.

Click below to watch my video review

Unfortunately I only had it for a couple of days, but thankfully this is a car that is so soaked through with cool charisma and style, backed up with an eloquence of ability that few rivals could comprehend, never mind emulate, that it really doesn’t take long to form an opinion of it.

2015 Mercedes AMG GT S – Video review

And if there’s a petrolhead within you with juvenile tendencies, that opinion will be positive. So much so that you’ll come back agreeing with me that whilst the Porsche 911 Turbo is AED10,000 cheaper, a little more practical and on paper quicker, this AMG GT S is by far the better car.

2015 Mercedes AMG GT S – Video review

First off, what does that S mean? 48bhp and 36lb ft more than the regular GT, two-tenths of a second quicker to 100kph, 6kph greater top speed; plus electronic LSD, AMG ride control, Dynamic Plus Pack with active engine and transmission mounts, as well as bigger brakes and tyres.

2015 Mercedes AMG GT S – Video review

The twin-turbo V8 with 510bhp and 479lb ft of the S is mated to a 7-speed dual clutch auto giving it a 0-100kph time of 3.8 seconds and 311kph. It’s priced at AED566,000.

2015 Mercedes AMG GT S – Video review

Better than a 911 Turbo

The 911 Turbo is AED556k, packs 520bhp will hit 100 in 3.4seconds and reach 315kph. Plus it has rear seats, the Merc does not. And despite what appears to be an expansive cabin as wide as a train carraige, there’s not much usable storage room inside either, although the boot has good space. The AMG GT S is 6cm wider and 4cm longer, and despite being slightly lighter feels a bigger, heftier more bulky thing around town.

2015 Mercedes AMG GT S – Video review

It has a bit more of a supercar aura about it too, people take pictures, give it a thumbs up and do double-takes. All of this means you have to be more careful about how you drive it and where you park it. So in the real world, the 911 is a more usable daily driver.

2015 Mercedes AMG GT S – Video review

Visceral beauty

However – the AMG GT is gorgeous, I mean simply sensational, with not a bad angle on it. Some think it’s a 911 copy from the back, I can see what they mean, but to me it’s just a beautiful bit of booty that remains perfectly cohesive with that very Mercedes trademark elongated bonnet, fuselage body, aggressive fighter-plane style profiling and short rear rump. Editing these pics, I found it very had to select my best shots, because I liked them all! If it had gullwing doors it would have been perfect and I might have embarrassed myself.

2015 Mercedes AMG GT S – Video review

And then there’s the sound – yes you have multiple modes and the sports exhaust only engages in Sport+ and Race (which really is best reserved for a track), but there’s a button that will switch it on all the time, and that’s the way to drive it. It just rumbles, stutters, barks and roars with the inelegance of a 70s drag racer lining up for a start.

2015 Mercedes AMG GT S – Video review

It’s fantastic, and if you do put it in to the higher echelon modes it then bangs, and pops, and crackles and burps like a race car overdosing on high octane. It’s fantastic.

2015 Mercedes AMG GT S – Video review

Better even, than an SLS

But looks and sound wouldn’t be enough to have given it victory over the Porsche, though it would have won me over already by now, because those were the two greatest ingredients of the SLS, and I loved that thing too.

2015 Mercedes AMG GT S – Video review

However whereas the SLS is a traditional style muscle car with bit of waywardness to its handling, a sense of driving on the edge when you’re just exiting the car park, a menace that’s as much foe as it is friend, the AMG GT is quite a different proposition.

2015 Mercedes AMG GT S – Video review

Certainly on first acquaintance you’d think it would have the same muscle car traits, but in fact it’s a more precise, planted performance-oriented sports car. It grips, it goes, it corners, it stays flat, it goes some more, it grips some more. It’s astonishing.

2015 Mercedes AMG GT S – Video review

Massive wheels and tyres at the back keep it planted and you do get occasional push-on understeer at the front, but the steering is accurate and response and the chassis gives you tons of confidence to push this harder than you would an SLS.

2015 Mercedes AMG GT S – Video review

The brakes are brilliant, the ride is firm in sports, perfect in comfort but not bad either way, and the gearbox is extraordinary. It works just fine left to itself with snappy, feelsome changes, but it’s just as much fun using the paddles.

2015 Mercedes AMG GT S – Video review

Anything I don’t like?

Gosh – is there anything I don’t like about the AMG GT S? Yes actually. That massive centre console in the cabin.

The electronics are confusing, the touch panel overly-sensitive, the positioning of buttons less than logical and the hazard switch nowhere to be found (look upwards!). My biggest issue is with that delicate little gear lever placed too far back. It should be front and centre and substantial in a car like this.

2015 Mercedes AMG GT S – Video review

Also the traction control doesn’t fully turn off, despite what it makes you think. I don’t really drive cars like this with the traction off any more, but it’s just nice to know it could be overruled making burnouts available on demand.

2015 Mercedes AMG GT S – Video review

Verdict

The 2015 Mercedes AMG GT S is a very special car, probably the company’s best beast yet. Superb to drive, engaging, delightful, a giggle machine, surprisingly it is dripping with character and still a special event of a car. A true stand out achievement in a crowd of same again supercars. In fact with the end of the Lamborghini Gallardo, I have to say that this is now my new favourite junior supercar.

2015 Mercedes AMG GT S – Video review

2015 Mercedes AMG GT S – The Specs

Price:  AED566k ($154k)
Engine: 4.0-litre V8, 510bhp @ 6250rpm, 479lb ft @ 1750rpm
Transmission: 7-speed dual clutch automatic
Performance: 0-100kph 3.8 seconds, Top Speed 310kph, 9.4L/100km
Weight: 1645kg

 

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