Mercedes AMG GT S film: the spiritual heir to the 300 SL

Published on Monday, February 4, 2019.
Updated on Friday, December 13, 2019.
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Launched in 2014, the AMG GT S is a very powerful automobile but not as spectacular as it might seem.  Yet, it represents a real alternative to the Porsche 911, with a different philosophy, all the while having a deceptively modern style.

With the Mercedes 300 SL of the 50s, encouraged by Mercedes-Benz importer in the US Max Hoffman, the German firm proposed a super car by period standards, also engaged in racing by the factory.  Unfortunately, the accident at Le Mans in 1955, killing 84 spectators, cooled the brand’s emphasis on high performance for many years… From then on, the heirs of the duo 190/300 SL would be reliable automobiles made for cruising in comfort, destined for a well-established clientele, be it the Pagoda, the R107 or the R129.

 

(The film is in French but English subtitles are available)

With the return to competition in the late 90s, and especially to Formula 1, Mercedes would again study the question of reinstating a real sportscar in its range.  The partnerships with McLaren on the one hand, and AMG on the other (which became a full subsidiary in 1999), would lead the company to develop new and exceptional cars: the Mercedes SLS first, produced at McLaren in Woking (and with an AMG engine); and then the SLR, a quasi-neo-retro evocation, with the 6.2-litre V8 naturally-aspirated engine with 571 horsepower (in the basic version).

Targeting the Porsche 911

With the AMG GT and its more powerful version, the GT S, Mercedes abandoned the niche of hyper exclusivity to return to the more accessible sports GT, to try to compete more directly with the Porsche 911.  Paradoxically, less is forgiven of a car costing much less but also less exclusive: Mercedes and AMG had to be perfect.

Farewell to atmospheric aspiration, make room for the turbo: a V8-biturbo with 510 hp for GT S model, less powerful than its predecessor, but lighter and especially more rigorous. Check out the video test drive of this AMG GT S on CarJager.com.

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