Mercedes-AMG seem to have some fierce plans for the their GT, one involving it becoming much more a performance model rather than their canonical two-door (super) sports car. Instead, with an electrified powertrain and all-wheel drive, it could rival full-on supercars. Even hypercars might fall prey.
It’s not known how much the AMG GT, as a concept, will need to be altered in order to meet this new persona it’s been thrust with embodying, but a report by UK mag Autocar suggests that, at least at the high end, we can expect close to 500kW in total output, up to 950Nm of torque, and sub 3 second 0-100km/h numbers.
From what it’s shaping up to be, the second-generation GT will step up from its positioning as a grand touring two-seater, one that originally set out to capture the kind of accessible daily drivable performance car market Porsche has been dominating with the 911.
To its credit, the original car has aged incredibly well and has performed admirably in being the primary alternative to the rear-engine Zuffenhausen icon. However, its incrementally increasing popularity isn’t coming at the expense of Porsche nor is it occurring at a rate satisfactory to Benz's top brass.
Power will be primarily derived from the same M178 4.0-litre bi-turbo V8, albeit equipped with numerous internal upgrades to push power to beyond 450kW. However, the inclusion of their EQ Boost tech will mean these new cars will have its combustion engine augmented with an electric motor supplied by a 48V architecture.
This is in contrast to Porsche’s general strategy insofar as electrification of their legacy sports models. Sure, they’ve now got the all-electric Taycan, but plug-in hybrids seem to be the future of models like the 911 and 718, an extension of their efforts with the Panamera and Cayenne e-Hybrid variants.
Due to packaging concerns, as an insider described, this approach was rejected for the all-new AMG GT, particularly because they plan to fit a 75-litre fuel tank behind the cabin, leaving little room for a larger battery pack which would also add a potentially detrimental amount of extra weight.
As before, there will be both a coupe and convertible version of the car, and the decision to have it share a platform and key mechanical components with the upcoming SL means the GT could grow in overall footprint as well. In addition to a considerable weight saving and improved rigidity, the move also streamlines production costs in spite of the introduction of a more complex mild hybrid powertrain.
Being a less powerful electrification solution, AMG could not simply shoehorn an electric motor to the front axle to enable all-wheel drive (or a sort). Rather, the all-new GT will incorporate a four-wheel drive layout. Assuming the gearbox will continue to be located at the rear, a secondary driveline will sent variable levels of power and torque frontward.
This transaxle configuration, developed specifically for the upcoming car, should patch a key weakness of the first-generation GT, namely its lack of mechanical grip during fast launches due to having only two drive wheels.
Elsewhere, the new GT is also expected to feature an extensively revised cabin with a more modern, minimal approach to switchgear and ergonomics while incorporating Formula 1-inspired cues throughout.