Rapid Fire

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Does the world really need another sports car? Mercedes-Benz’s performance offshoot thinks so. With permission to create a machine to tackle the Porsche 911 head on, AMG offers up the Mercedes-AMG GT S, a wide-hipped coupe, with distinctive swoopy curves and a long bonnet with rearward cab. It’s vaguely reminiscent of early Ferrari coupes in its styling, but what makes this car different is what’s under that long bonnet.

 

AMG has been renowned for making some of the world’s best engines for years now, and the powerplant that fires the AMG GT S is no different. Shared with the C 63 S, the 4.0l V8 is twin turbocharged, helping it to make over 500bhp. But don’t think that forced induction has muffled the sound. In the GT S, it appears that someone has mounted Gatling guns to the exhaust pipes, such is the crackling and pumping that is coming out of the back of the car.


That noise must do something, because this puppy will hit 100kph in just 3.8 seconds. However, rolling acceleration is where you feel the ferocity of this machine. With 650Nm of torque to play with, the AMG GT S piles on speed in a manner which makes you think gravity has turned 90 degrees. The horizon is reeled in at a breathtaking rate, meaning you’ll be glad to jump onto the carbon-ceramic brakes, which never fade, despite repeated abuse.


The steering, though a bit too light, is accurate and turn-in is sharp enough for all but those used to an F1 car. Put it on a track and it all comes together beautifully. It sits flat and stable but, being rear-wheel-drive, it can be adjusted using the throttle only. Though it’s built to handle like a supercar, there’s still plenty of hilarity built into its dynamics.


But more importantly, it can be used every day. Sure, the boot’s not huge, but it’s a usable shape, and soft bags or golf clubs can be thrown in when desired. The ride seems to mould itself to whatever surface you’re traversing, and though it’s on the side of firmly sprung, there’s some compliance so that you’re not damaging your spine with each trip to the shops.


It straddles the versatility of a sports car with the pace and brutality of a supercar. For a machine to cover both bases, Mercedes has exceeded its brief. And, of course, with those looks, there will be plenty of garages happy to house such curvy metal.


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