After giving the GLE43 an extra 23 hp, Mercedes has other changes in tow for its 2018MY lineup in the United States. To mark AMG’s 50th anniversary, the GT family is going through some rather significant updates, starting off with the base model now packing an additional 13 hp and 22 lb-ft. Both the coupe and roadster versions benefit from the upgraded biturbo 4.0-liter V8 delivering 469 hp and 465 lb-ft.
Spoil yourself with the AMG GT S model and Mercedes will reward you with 515 hp and 494 lb-ft of torque, which is actually 12 hp and 15 lb-ft more than what the 2017MY had. If this isn’t enough to quench your thirst for power, there’s the new-for-2018MY GT C with 550 hp and 502 lb-ft coming from the same AMG engine while at the top of the range sits the R with its mighty 577 hp and 516 lb-ft.
The 2018MY updates are not only about power since Mercedes-AMG is implementing other changes as well. For example, all GTs from now on will feature the Panamericana front grille along with the Airpanel active air management system originally offered only on the flagship R variant. The latter consists of electrically operated vertical louvers mounted at the bottom of the front bumper that open or close in a second to supply the V8 engine with the necessary cooling air.
Elsewhere, buyers will be able to opt for the GT C in a special “Edition 50” configuration available for both body styles finished in an exclusive paint called “designo Graphite Grey Magno” combined with black chrome accents. It also gets a special badge to further denote it’s not a run-of-the-mill model while on the inside it’s finished in black & silver. All 100 cars (50 coupes and 50 roadsters) will have the AMG Interior Night package and more “Edition 50” logos inside.
The aforementioned pack – standard on the R – can now be optionally had for lesser versions of the model. Customers can spend more on the AMG Exterior Carbon Fiber package, new 19- and 20-inch wheels, and on a nappa leather trim. Lastly, Mercedes is adding an AMG Track Pace option for the whole family that consists of a smartphone app able to receive real-time information from the car, such as speed, steering angle, gear, and other details.
Further down the line, Mercedes-AMG is expected to unveil a hardcore Black Series version judging by spy photos of a prototype looking meaner than the current R flagship.
Gallery: 2018 Mercedes-AMG GT Roadster: First Drive
Mercedes-AMG extensively upgrades AMG GT family
A compelling sports car family from Mercedes-AMG
Atlanta. Mercedes-AMG celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2017. To the theme of "50 Years of Driving Performance," the performance brand is marking the occasion by upgrading and expanding the AMG GT family of sports cars. New for model year 2018 are the Mercedes-AMG GT C Coupe and the range-topping GT R Coupe, which join the visually and technically upgraded GT and GT S Coupe models. Also new for 2018 are two open-air variants: the AMG GT Roadster and GT C Roadster.
The AMG GT R Coupe: Developed in the "Green Hell"
From the world's most demanding racetrack directly onto the road: Never before has Mercedes-AMG packed so much motorsport technology into a production vehicle than into the new Mercedes-AMG GT R. The front-mid-engine concept with a transaxle, handcrafted AMG 4.0L V8 biturbo engine rated at 577 hp, extensively modified suspension, new aerodynamics and intelligent lightweight construction laid the foundation for an especially dynamic driving experience.
Wider front and rear fenders allow an increased track width for optimum grip and even higher cornering speeds. A front fascia with active elements, a large rear aerofoil and a new rear fascia with double diffuser enhance aerodynamic efficiency and help ensure optimum grip. The lightweight forged wheels equipped with cup tires as standard are likewise designed for maximum driving dynamics. The same applies to other new features such as active rear-wheel steering, nine-way adjustable traction control system and adjustable coil-over suspension with additional electronic control.
The Mercedes-AMG GT R Coupe was developed extensively on the Nurburgring and has set the fastest-ever lap time of 7:10.9 on the Nordschleife in a test drive conducted by the German magazine "sport auto."
Shared distinguishing feature: the new front end
All new 2018 models in the AMG GT family are now identifiable by the distinctive AMG Panamericana grille. Underlining motor sport heritage, the grille features 15 chrome-plated vertical bars which echo the look of the latest Mercedes-AMG GT3 customer sport racing car. The new front bumper emphasizes the car's width, making it visually sit lower to the road. The large outer air inlets guarantee the supply of cooling air to the engine.
Now on all AMG GT models: AIRPANEL active air management system from the AMG GT R
All AMG GT variants now sport a special technical highlight from the AMG GT R: the AIRPANEL active air management system. Vertical louvers in the bottom of the front bumper can be opened and closed by an electric motor in around one second to guarantee the required amount of cooling.
As part of this new design measure, the engine oil cooler on all AMG GT models has moved from the front to the wheel arches.
New output variants: the AMG 4.0L V8 biturbo engine
Mercedes-AMG is restructuring the range of output/torque variants of the 4.0L V8 biturbo engine, with the AMG GT entry-level model now producing out 469 hp (13 hp more than before). In addition, with 465 lb-ft, the basic version of the eight-cylinder machine now delivers an extra 22 lb-ft of peak torque. The same figures will apply to the GT Roadster.
The output from the GT S grows by 12 hp to 515 hp, with the peak torque climbing to 494 lb-ft, a 15 lb-ft increae.
The next performance level is marked by the GT C variants of the Coupe and Roadster, with 550 hp and 502 lb-ft peak torque.
The pinnacle of the AMG GT lineup is the AMG GT R, which boasts 577 hp and 516 lb-ft of torque.
Further-enhanced driving dynamics: the new AMG GT C
Like the Roadster, the new AMG GT C Coupe impresses with further-enhanced driving dynamics courtesy of numerous technical highlights from the Mercedes-AMG GT R. The new GT C Coupe will launch in the form of a special ‘Edition 50’ model. Like the AMG GT R, the new member of the family is identifiable by its broad, muscular rear end and large wheels. Other technical measures include a wider rear track and active rear axle steering.
The new rear fenders make the AMG GT C a total of 2.25 inches wider than the AMG GT and AMG GT S, giving it exactly the same dimension as the AMG GT R at the rear of the car. The muscular styling creates space for larger wheels and a wider track. Both measures increase traction while allowing higher cornering speeds. The likewise wider rear bumper of the AMG GT C improves the airflow at the rear. In common with the AMG GT and AMG GT S, the rear aerofoil is integrated into the luggage compartment flap and is electrically extended or retracted at predetermined speeds, depending on the selected drive program.
Borrowed from motor sports: the AMG sport suspension
The AMG sport suspension, too, confirms the motor racing heritage of the AMG GT family. Wishbones, steering knuckles and hub carriers on the front and rear axles are made entirely from forged aluminum to reduce unsprung mass. In addition, the wheels are located by double wishbones. The resulting camber and track stability allows high cornering speeds while giving the driver optimum, highly precise road feedback right up to the very high cornering limits.
In the AMG GT C Coupe and Roadster, AMG RIDE CONTROL sport suspension is combined with infinitely variable, adaptive adjustable damping. The electronically controlled system automatically adapts the damping on each wheel to the driving situation, speed and road conditions.
Even greater agility: active rear-axle steering from the AMG GT R
The new Mercedes-AMG GT C Coupe responds even more sensitively thanks to the standard-fit active rear-axle steering, which made its debut in the Mercedes-AMG GT R and is also standard equipment on the GT C Roadster. The system allows an even better combination of agility and stability – handling characteristics that are normally in opposition to each other.
Up to a speed of 62mph, the rear wheels point in the opposite direction relative to the front wheels allowing the AMG GT C to turn into corners with significantly higher agility, delivering even greater driving pleasure while requiring less steering effort. Under everyday driving conditions, the driver also benefits from a smaller turning circle.
Once the speed of the AMG GT C rises above 62 mph, the system points the rear wheels in the same direction as the front wheels for perceptibly improved handling. At the same time, the lateral force on the rear wheels builds up considerably faster on changes of direction, this speeding up the response to the steering. The driver also notices that the car delivers massive rear-axle grip and high stability on fast changes in direction, without the usual tendency for the rear end to break out.
Standard equipment: rear-axle limited-slip differential
In common with the AMG GT S and AMG GT R, the AMG GT C comes as standard with an electronically controlled rear-axle limited-slip differential, which is integrated into the compact transmission housing. Its sensitive and fast control raises vehicle dynamics to a new level. It not only further improves the traction of the drive wheels, but also increases the critical cornering speed.
Exclusive equipment package: AMG GT C Edition 50
The new AMG GT C Coupe will launch as an exclusive special ‘Edition 50’ model to mark the landmark year of the company, which was founded in 1967 and will celebrate its 50th anniversary in 2017. The U.S. Edition 50 model will come to market with an exclusive production run of 50 AMG GT C Coupes and 50 AMG GT C Roadsters.
The Edition 50 will be available in and exclusive special paint finish: designo Graphite Grey Magno. To give the exterior a distinctive look, black chrome highlights are applied to the side skirt trim, front splitter, trim strips in the air inlets of the Panamericana grille, fins on the side air outlets in the front fenders, the molding on the rear diffuser and exhaust tailpipe trims. The surface of the cross- spoke AMG forged wheels has been harmonized with the black chrome elements of the exterior. A unique “Edition 50” badge adorns the rear of this model.
The interior is marked by a contrast between black and silver. This color scheme is followed not only by the trim in exclusive nappa leather in silver pearl/black with grey diamond-patterned contrasting topstitching, but also by the black AMG
Performance steering wheel in full DINAMICA microfiber with grey contrasting topstitching, "Edition" lettering on the steering wheel bezel and 12 o'clock mark in silver pearl.
To emphasize the sporty character, the ‘Edition 50’ comes as standard with the AMG Interior Night package, which includes steering wheel spokes, shift paddles and door sill panels finished in black. The AMG Interior Night Package compliments the Exclusive Carbon Fiber Matte interior trim, surrounded by AMG Black Piano Lacquer accents. The entire interior ambience is an expression of sport and exclusivity.
The interplay between light and dark is further accentuated by silver seat belts and black chrome trim. The head restraint of the AMG Performance seat is embossed with a "GT Edition 50" logo.
New options for AMG GT and AMG GT S
In addition to a technical upgrade courtesy of active aerodynamics, higher output/torque and active rear-axle steering, the update of the AMG GT model family also includes significant additions to the scope of equipment.
The AMG Interior Night package, which is equipped as standard on the AMG GT R, is now optionally available for other Coupe models within the AMG GT family. This package includes the AMG Performance steering wheel in DINAMICA microfiber with spokes and shift paddles in high-gloss black. The cross-strut in the luggage compartment as well as the trim in the backrest of the standard AMG Performance seats are also in high-gloss black. The package is rounded off by stainless-steel door sill panels in black, optionally illuminated with AMG lettering.
Motor sport heritage is further visually accentuated by the AMG Exterior Carbon Fiber package, which uses high-grade carbon fiber for the front splitter, side fins on the air outlets in the front fenders, exterior mirror housings, side skirt inserts (AMG GT C only) and rear diffuser.
Wider choice of individual equipment items
The new individual equipment items, along with the power output, increases and new visual updates for the AMG GT and AMG GT S, also means a significant upgrade for the sports cars.
Also new are light-alloy wheels with mixed tires, such as the 5-twin-spoke staggered fitment 19-and-20-inch wheels, painted in high-sheen titanium grey with 265/35 R 19 tires on the front and 295/30 R 20 tires at the rear. Available later in the model year are 5-twin-spoke staggered fitment 19-and-20-inch wheels, painted in high- sheen matt black.
The new optional Exclusive nappa leather trim in diamond-patterned macchiato beige is now also available to give an especially high-grade look & feel to the AMG GT and AMG GT S. Comfort in hot climates is also heightened by optional ventilated driver and passenger seating for the standard AMG Performance seat.
AMG Track Pace for use on the race track
The new AMG Track Pace feature is optionally available for the entire AMG GT family. It turns the smartphone into a personal racing engineer. Customers can use the app to analyze and improve their driving style on the track as well as sharing with other AMG drivers on Facebook, YouTube or the AMG Private Lounge.
The app for the Apple iPhone® connects to the AMG GT models by WiFi. The vehicle then sends a host of data to the app in real-time, such as speed, gear, steering angle, time, position and acceleration.
Lap or sector times on race tracks can be saved. Numerous track profiles are already stored on the app for this purpose. Drivers can also record and save additional race tracks themselves. In addition, the Apple iPhone® camera records the performance on the race track, the driver then receiving an interactive video of their racing experience with all the telemetry data superimposed.