Tuesday, December 8, 2015

2016 Mercedes-Benz AMG GT S: A German-Engineered Powerhouse Work Of Art On Wheels

Highlights: The bi-turbo 8-cylinder engine is hand built. And the optional red seat belts cost $500.

Test Vehicle’s MSRP: $147,500 (Base Price $130,825)

Seating Capacity: 2

Standard Safety Features:  air bags; ABS; automatic adaptive highbeam headlights; a collision prevention system; an electronic stability program; LED headlamps; and a rearview camera; AMG high-performance braking system; and heated power folding mirrors

Standard Equipment: 19-inch front and 20-inch rear tires; a 7-speed dual-clutch transaxle; a touchpad controller to navigate the infotainment center; speed-sensing dynamic power steering; a keyless entry system; internal hood ducts; AMG performance steering wheel; race mode and race start function; rear-mounted transaxle and carbon driveshaft; a dual zone automatic temperature control; heated AMG performance seats with memory; Nappa leather; a power trunk; stainless steel door sill trim; and red brake calipers

Options On Review Model: 19-inch and 20-inch AMG Cross-Spoke Forged wheels; an exclusive black paint; AMG carbon fiber trim; AMG door sill plate; red seat belts; a black roof liner; ambient lighting; crossbar carbon fiber; a blind spot monitoring system; a lane keep assist system; and AMG Dynamics Package, which included a dynamic engine, transaxle mounts, AMG performance steering wheel in Dinamica, yellow instrument cluster dials, an enhanced suspension and steering profile

Suspension System:  Forge aluminum double wishbone suspension

Standard Audio On Test Vehicle: a Burmester AM/FM/HD with satellite surround sound system

Bluetooth Connectivity/USB Audio Ports: Yes

Bumper-to-Bumper Warranty: 4 years or 50,000 mile warranty

Powertrain Warranty: 4 years or 50,000 mile warranty

Standard Engine/Horsepower: 4.0-liter, 8-cylinder/503-hp

Torque: 479-lb

Recommended Fuel: Premium

Standard Fuel Mileage: 16-city/22-hwy

What’s New: The sleek 2016 AMG GT S two seater hardtop is the newest addition to the German luxury brand. It replaces the SLS AMG.

Pros: This long and sleek, low-seating, rear wheel drive work of art on wheels is powered by one engine, a 503-horsepower, twin turbo engine. The new AMG GT S combines the best as it relates to the exterior styling of two German makes, obviously one being Mercedes-Benz, and the other being Porsche. Unlike most super luxury sports cars, the front-engine, two-seater is literally capable of adjusting the sound of the exhaust system, using a rotary dial system. We call this ‘active noise on demand’ or in laymen terms -- being a show out. And with this car, that’s what it’s designed for – to standout from the crowd.

Although we did not personally have an opportunity to push this vehicle to its limits because of the inclement weather, the AMG GT S is capable of sprinting from 0 to 60 mph in 3.7 seconds. Yes, you heard us right. This is one of the German automaker’s well-engineered pocket rockets. However, we can confess to having a brief moment of heaven, when we spotted a section of dry pavement. This sports coupe literally through us in the seat as we departed from a traffic light. Never before, had we experienced such exhilaration outside of a controlled race track. Yes, this long and sleek monster had plenty of power to unleash, but we reluctantly and with many regrets kept it tamed.

And like all of today’s newer Mercedes-Benzs, the AMG GT S is outfitted with an iPad-like intuitive infotainment system, which houses the audio and navigation systems. It is all controlled by a futuristic and artfully-styled touchpad controller (or game controller).

Furthermore, the interior of the vehicle screams race car, with its racing inspired power bucket seats. Inside the cabin, it is obvious that the Germans have paid close attention to details. Occupants can easily feel as though they are in an aircraft, as opposed to an automobile. Yes, this is truly an aircraft on wheels and the sky is the limit as it relates to speed, price and options.

Lastly, we can’t forget that the AMG GT S offers usable trunk space, too.

Cons: This is a true driver’s car. This two-seater, which lacks a true manual transmission, is not designed for rugged city streets or just cruising around town. This monster is suited for curvy roads, open highways and controlled race tracks. Unlike the Corvettes or the Porsches, the ride is not compliant for long distant road trips or city driving that requires a lot of stop-and-go. Furthermore, the summer performance tires limit the vehicle’s ability to be driven in extreme wet weather (and of course in wintery conditions). This is truly a vehicle that begs for dry roads only.

Finally, the AMG GT S only offers one engine. The SLS AMG it replaced offered two engines. Even the standard engine offered significantly more power than the vehicle we reviewed. With this AMG GT S being in its first model year, we can only assume there are other variations to come.

Verdict: One of major gripes is that we did not have an opportunity to truly tap the power of the vehicle due to continuous almost Seattle-like rainy weather in Atlanta. This forced us to keep this tamed tiger in a cage. We were not truly able to unleash all that the vehicle had to offer. With that said, this head-turning sports coupe shows that it’s not only capable of building one of the world’s best luxury vehicles but that the German luxury automaker can produce a pure exotic sports car that goes head-to-head with Porsche, too.

Competition: Porsche 911, SRT Viper and Nissan GT-R


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