Bringing a new competition car for customer racers to the world's most refined auto show suggests that Mercedes-Benz is giving huge consideration to entering the road-legal track-focused supercar market
As well as unveiling the unbelievably long and luxurious Mercedes-Maybach S600 Pullman and the ridiculously rugged G500 4x42, Geneva will also be the venue for the Mercedes-AMG GT3 racecar's first outing.
Based on the road-going Mercedes-AMG GT, the car has been built to FIA specifications and will be heading to the track to compete in the 2015-2016 GT3 championships after its Geneva debut.
"We are entering a hard-fought and hotly contested competitive environment with the new Mercedes-AMG GT3. The high technological standard and fair race rules are spurring us on to push to take pole position with our new customer racing car. You can only give credible proof of your ambition to lead if you're beating the very best in the game," commented Tobias Moers, Chairman of the Board of Management of Mercedes-AMG GmbH.
As well as being a statement of intent -- the Merc will be lining up alongside Porsches and Aston Martins in those races -- the car's appearance at a motor show is important for two reasons.
The first is that the car will in all likelihood be the last ever ‘hot' Mercedes-Benz to take to either the road or the track without a turbocharged engine -- the GT3 is powered by a naturally aspirated AMG 6.3-liter V8. So it marks the end of an era.
However, it also signals the start of a new direction. This track-only car is very, very likely to morph into a road-legal yet track-focused hardcore supercar, which could appear at Geneva in 2016.
As well as looking very similar, this racecar and the road car that inspired it share a number of components such as suspension and transaxle layout.
If further proof were needed, at this year's event, Porsche will be taking the wraps off its most extreme road-legal racer, the 911 GT3 RS, Aston Martin will be showing off its Vantage GT3, which will be limited to 100 examples and of course, McLaren will be debuting the 675LT, built to dominate on the track and startle on the road.