AMG GT Review
The beast from Green Hell. It’s an extremely catchy line. And AMG’s justification for that is that this Mercedes-AMG GT R was developed at the Nordschleife a.k.a Green Hell.
What makes it special?
This should make the GT R extremely planted and easy to drive around the less challenging corners of the Madras Motorsport Race Track. And, as an extension of that, it might be so good dynamically that it might actually be boring.
What’s more, it runs on the fattest tyres I have ever sampled on a sports car. After all, 275-section at the front is still fine, but the 325-section rear tyres seem like overkill. Especially when you consider the GT R makes 590bhp and not 1000bhp.
Looks like my dreams of oversteering into the sunset are going to be shattered.
What I think it can do?
Thankfully, there’s more to the Mercedes-AMG GT R than just tyre smoke. For starters, it has a great paint job. And it looks sensational. It sounds great too – not as loud and brute as the R8 – but snarly all the same.
It also has four wheel steer. Wider play of the bumpers front and back. And modified suspension, all in a bid to lend the GT R even more grip. It also has active aeros that activate at over 80kmph in Race mode.And, if all this wasn’t enough to glue the GT R on to the racetrack, it has a huge rear wing as well.
Add to it the howling V8 with almost 600bhp, and the AMG GT R should be a brutal car to drive. It should be hard on your senses as it hauls you forward every time you touch the gas. And it should threaten to throw you out of the window every time the steering is turned. And, it won’t be anything near flamboyant or silly because it just won’t wiggle its behind. I guess, grip, comes at a price, after all.
The track test
One sighting lap in the AMG GT R, and I was in love. It was a slow lap but the car felt so tight and so centered around me, it pushed my happiness co-efficient sky high. Plus, I knew for a fact that I am in the coolest-looking car on the track, and was everyone’s envy. Guess it’s good to pull rank sometimes.
And then when I came to the start-finish straight and floored the throttle, that brutal acceleration I had imagined earlier turned real. The GT R might run rear tyres as wide as Formula One cars, but the car’s torque still manages to overwhelm them.
I could feel the AMG’s traction control fighting the tyres urge to wheelspin as my right foot was still trying hard to kill the throttle pedal with all the force I could manage. And then, suddenly, the tyres found purchase. And it was only then that I feel the sheer force of the car’s acceleration.
And almost instantaneously, I braked more than required in an effort to regain psychic strength. Now, with less pace than intended carried into the bend, I ended up understeering through C4 and C5! Yes, you heard it right. But I devilishly smiled at myself. “So it’s geared to understeer when taken easy and oversteer when pushed to the limit”, I told myself. Knowing what to do next, I immediately weaved my right foot to attack the long C6 and C7 so that I can swiftly apply what I just absorbed. “Be more aggressive”, I told myself all throughout the long curve as I accelerated briskly thanks to the confidence I gathered.
And before I could fathom what was happening, I was already at C1, and approaching it very fast.
Thankfully, I had left all the electronic nannies on. So I braked, and turned, and prayed, as the car twitched around, but it held. And even as I was still unwinding the steering for the short straight between C1 and C2,I began panicking all over again because this was two out of two corners wherein the GT R’s pace was too much for me to handle.
The rest of the lap was less taxing. I was still flooring it and getting the braking all wrong going deep into bends. But, by now I knew the car could handle my tomfoolery. Did I say the AMG GT R might be boring around the MMRT? Well, don’t ever let me take up soothsaying because I was so wrong. The GT R is manic and fun and fast and completely intoxicating.
And it oversteers!