Ngebray.com,- This is Bilster Berg. One of the tightest, most technical race circuits in Europe. 2.6 miles and 19 corners of bafflement, draped over the hills of Rhine-Westphalia in the moneyed heart of Northern Germany. And the acreage used to be a NATO ammo dump, so it’s fitting Mercedes-AMG chose the venue for the media drive of its GT portfolio of sports cars and convertibles. Most especially, the track-hardened GT R. It’s the bomb.
The deets are 577 horsepower, and 516 pound-feet of torque from 1,900 to 5,500 rpm, which is pretty dang flexible, 7-Speed Dual-Clutch Rear Transaxle, now with more lickity-split, a robotic Limited Slip E-Diff, to put down all that power, and Double Wishbone-Coil-Over Suspension with adaptive damping and all the Anti-Roll Bars, ever. The car is flanked by four massive Michelins, and behind them, at the front, Compound Carbon-Ceramic Discs nearly 16 inches in diameter. You’ll need them too. The GT R ain’t light.
A rather zaftig 3,593 pounds officially, with 47/53 Front/Rear Weight Distribution. At 160 large, the GT R competes for a rich idiot’s affections with the likes of Porsche 911GT3, Acura NSX, and Jaguar F-Type SVR. It roars, albeit quietly, even when the active exhaust is in bad neighbor mode, the DGR isn’t very loud, but what sound there is delicious. The off-throttle over runs crackling like the devil’s breakfast cereal. With zero to 60 mile per hour acceleration in about three and a half seconds, a top speed of 198 miles per hour, 1+G cornering, and 1+G breaking, the GT R is, no surprise, a fast and dynamic automobile. You could kind of tell that on site.
What you can’t tell, what you wouldn’t expect when staring down the evil barrel of the thing is that it’s actually pretty friendly, even kind. A lot of think time has gone into making the GT R’s exemplary performance accessible to more than just race car drivers. The GT R features rear-axle steering, for example, which gives the car an added pointedness and directionality, while adding stability to the initial turn-in. It doesn’t make the car so much faster, but it does make it more drivable at the limit. Ditto the cleverly contrived suspension geometry, that resists squirming under deceleration, also known as break torque. Back on the gas, be smarter than you are limited slip, and selectable trash and control lay out the torques beautifully.
Luxury performance car makers have a problem, in that their cars keep getting faster, but their clients no more talented. Mercedes-AMG GT R embodies this challenge, in that it is an amazingly fast car, amazingly easy to drive fast.
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