2018 Mercedes-AMG GT R Hits the Track

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The honed and focused Mercedes-AMG GT R is at home on a track, but so is one of its German competitors…

Most Mercedes-Benz vehicles look entirely at home in the valet lot of a fancy restaurant or in front of a world-class golf course. It’s not unusual to see a gleaming S-Class outside of a high-end steakhouse or a leased E350 parked near a Neiman Marcus. Even the big and boxy G-Class doesn’t appear out of place at those kinds of establishments.

You might see a $157,000 Mercedes-AMG GT R in front of an expensive department store, but it wasn’t made to be parked. It was made to be driven quickly around a racetrack. Cars.com recently got a chance to take the sportiest of Mercedes-AMG’s sports cars to just such a place.In the video above, presenter Aaron Bragman doesn’t set any lap times in the GT R, but he does point out what makes the GT R “racetrack ready.” Like any car developed for hot laps, it’s loaded with carbon fiber, which makes up its front fenders and splitter, roof, and massive rear wing. It rides on adjustable coilovers and three-stage adaptive dampers. The rear wheels steer to sharpen the R’s handling. Traction control is available in nine increments and can be tweaked using a dial in the center console.

mbworld.org 2018 Mercedes-AMG GT R

No track car would be complete without a robust power source. The GT R definitely has one. Its twin-turbo 4.0-liter V8 cranks out 577 horsepower and 516 lb-ft of torque. Flat out, the GT R can bang through the gears of its seven-speed AMG SPEEDSHIFT DCT gearbox and get to 60 mph in 3.5 seconds.

Hmmm… A German track car with a starting price in the mid 100s? Sounds familiar. That’s because the GT R is not alone in that category. Bragman mentions the Porsche 911 GT3 ($143,600) being a competitor. Its naturally aspirated flat-six generates 500 horsepower, so it’s not quite as strong as the GT R, but it’s 0.3 seconds quicker to 60 mph and at its PDK-equipped heaviest of 3,153 pounds, 441 pounds lighter than the GT R. One is an AMG animal. The other is a backwards-engined ballerina. Sounds as if nobody loses when either car hits the track – unless you’re using a stopwatch.

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Derek Shiekhi contributes to a variety of Internet Brands’ Auto sites, including J-K Forum , Jaguar Forums, and 5 Series. He's also a member of the Texas Auto Writers Association.

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