Old school endures in endurance racing.
At Affalterbach, home of Mercedes-AMG, the engineers assigned to its motorsports efforts are probably consumed with the 2019 24 Hours of the Nurburgring currently underway. However, it’s marketing department has dropped some very seductive photos of the updated GT3 that various teams will be fielding.
We are fully aware that this car, in this state, has zero relevance to the consideration of your next vehicle purchase, which is fair enough. But imagine a world where the more compact AMG GT retained the naturally aspirated 6.3-litre V8 from the SLS. Go further and imagine that rules on car ride height and sound levels no longer existed.
That’s a world where the GT3 exists. And it is glorious. No offence at the M178 bi-turbo V8, though. But while that engine is a technical marvel, sometimes the old ways are just more satisfying. And perhaps there is some truth behind the phrase ‘no replacement for displacement’.
There’s isn’t any getting away from the fact that the car is built for racing, and for those purposes Mercedes-AMG have improved upon the GT3 to offer the teams that buy their cars some much appreciated quality of life improvements. Evolution prevails.
For example, that naturally aspirated V8 is virtually unchanged from a performance perspective but is now able to go race for longer periods of time before a rebuild is becomes necessary - always a handy advantage.
There’s also a new ‘Drop Start’ feature that will automatically fire up the engine when it detect the car being dropped from its integrated air jacks, saving the driver valuable time and effort in doing that separately, meaning quicker pit stops.
Apart from that, team engineers will have an easier time with fine tuning the aerodynamics with a revised adjustment mechanism for the front and rear wings. AMG has even gone over potential repair expenses for a head-on impact and reworked the front end to compartmentalise crash damage and therefore mitigate costly front end repairs. As they put it:
Integration of newly developed components also has a positive effect on the costs: an optimised front section of the car protects the radiator more effectively and a newly developed integral beam raises the protection level of the units in the front of the car (engine, front axle, steering etc.). With these improvements, Mercedes- AMG helps to ensure that minor accidents and collisions in particular lead to less costs for the teams in the future, or optimally no costs at all.
While that is all worthy of praise at AMG for listening to their motorsport customers, we would rather admire the car as it is here, in this fantastic dark orange shade with barely any livery to obscure the metalwork.