Mercedes Benz said they are on track for selling over 40,000 AMG models for 2015 and if you know your cars, or luxury, or luxury cars you know that AMG – which stands for Aufrecht, Melcher and Großaspach, the name of the two founders and Aufrecht’s hometown – is the super-aggressive, totally tricked out and upscale division of Mercedes Benz.
AMG is the part of Mercedes that takes a normal Benz, say a E350 Wagon, and turns it into the super awesome E63 Wagon, where underneath the flared body panels of the wagon there lies a super-fast beast.
But the nameplate has long had a void in its line up – an attainable sports car that can compete with the Porsche 911s and Audi R8s of the world. While there was the SLS AMG GT – the amazingly awesome gullwing supercar, now in its last year – its starting price was a whopping $221,580. This is not quite attainable unless your name starts with Scrooge and ends with McDuck, and for some people (present company excluded) it was way too exotic for everyday use.
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AMG has rectified the problem, however. On sale next month, the 2016 AMG-GT S fills the void of where to send the S-Class customer when they want a little more sportif und dynamism.
The AMG GT is simply gorgeous - taut and muscular with a long hood and a short, tapered rear end...like Keira Knightley in a metallic car form. The interior is wonderful too – it drops you low into the leather, with a carbon fiber and Alcantara bedecked cockpit, and it surrounds you with what seems like a million and one gauges. It’s like the plot of Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar: It looks divine but really do we know what half of these buttons do?
Mercedes dropped their new 503 horsepower and 479 pound-feet of torque 4.0-liter bi-turbo V8 hand-built engine under the hood and mated it to their 7-speed dual-clutch transmission. All this power equals to a 0-60 mph time of 3.6 seconds and top speed of 192 mph. Boom maybe too small a word to describe the GT S’ get up and go, but we’ll use it anyway: Boom!
Lucky us, late last year we had a chance to drive the AMG GT S on some wonderful twisty roads outside Carmel, California as well as at the Laguna Seca Raceway, and (may we add) the GT S handled both with all the aplomb you’d expect from a 130K+ car, if not more so.
The GT S has a few different driving modes to choose from - everything from comfort to race mode. In race mode, there is the fantastic low growl of the GT S’ V8 as you’re speeding on the backstretch of Laguna. It sounds like Tom Waits gargling with motor oil and it has the sweet mellifluous tone of German engineering and, well, a whole lot of money. That sound is a thing of beauty (as is the car).
While 40,000 cars may not seem like a lot, it’s about two-thirds the number of F150s Ford sells each month – but, say you’re stuck in traffic between Beverly Hills and Malibu. It sometimes seems like all forty-thousand are on the road with you all at once. We think, as far as gridlock goes, the AMG GT S will fit in nicely to the traffic mix.
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