The new Mercedes-Benz GT AMG has entered the final stages of its development ahead of its expected reveal at the German Grand Prix in July.
Already described as being "the most beautiful car we've ever designed" by Mercedes' design chief Gorden Wagener, the GT AMG will replace the larger and more expensive SLS in Mercedes' line-up when it goes on sale internationally next year. Wagener said that those who have seen it have been comparing it to the Jaguar E-type, although he believes the GT AMG "has more timeless classical lightness to it".
Mercedes is said to have targeted the Porsche 911 Turbo for performance, meaning it'll be looking to beat that car's 0-100kph time of 3.4 seconds, as well as its top speed of 313kph. Mercedes sources have already hinted the firm may have already come close to those targets.
Powering the GT AMG is a new twin-turbocharged 4.0-litre V8 engine with 493bhp and 66.4kgm of torque. That engine is also set to appear in the C63 AMG, and shares its architecture with the turbocharged 2.0-litre in-line four-cylinder unit found in the A45 AMG and the CLA45 AMG. The engine is mounted low and well back inside the engine bay of the GT AMG, giving it better weight distribution.
Other features of the GT AMG include a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission mounted to the rear axle assemble, as well as a mechanical locking differential. The GT AMG's gearbox is essentially an upgraded version of the unit used in the SLS, although this time it includes an automatic stop-start function for extra fuel economy.
The GT AMG's predominantly aluminium structure, as well as other weight-saving materials, is said to have pushed its kerb weight down to around 1550kg, some 145kg less than the SLS.
In its search for class-leading driving dynamics, Mercedes has given the GT AMG a number of shared SLS components, but updated its geometry significantly. The new sports car includes an electro-mechanical steering system sourced from the new C-class, something which replaces the older hydraulic set-up of the SLS.
The GT AMG will be assembled on the same production line used for the SLS.