2017 Mercedes-AMG GT Concept Review

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It’s been known for quite some time now that Mercedes-AMG had its eye on releasing a four-door performance saloon that would compete against the popular Porsche Panamera. It took some time, but the car finally showed its face at the 2017 Geneva Motor Show, albeit in concept guise. Called the AMG GT Concept, the four-door coupe was unveiled as a preview model for the upcoming production version that’s expected to arrive in the next few years.

The significance of the AMG GT Concept isn’t limited to the car simply being a production preview of the yet-to-be-named Panamera fighter. The model is also the latest in a growing family of AMG GT models that’s shaping AMG as a legitimate performance brand that’s slowly gaining independence from Mercedes-Benz. So yes, the AMG GT Concept is a big deal in a lot of ways, as it should be considering Mercedes has some claim to pioneering the performance the four-door saloon market when it first launched the CLS-Class back in 2004.

The times are sure different now as the segment has evolved into a pretty competitive one with the likes of the Porsche Panamera, BMW 7 Series, Maserati Quattroporte, and even the Tesla Model S all making legitimate claims for themselves as worthy options. But don’t sleep on Mercedes returning to form and reclaiming its top spot in this segment. It may do so under a different name, but rest assured, the AMG GT Concept, or at least the production version of it, is going to pick up the fight for the Silver Arrows once it arrives. We’re getting a good look at what we can expect from Mercedes-AMG; now we wait and see for the production model to arrive.

Exterior

Mercedes-AMG GT Concept

The most noticeable physical feature of the Mercedes-AMG GT Concept is its length, which is to say that it’s incredibly long, even for the standards of a four-door saloon. All that volume is put to good use with a design that takes cues from the AMG GT, particularly the front and rear fascias and the raked windshield. Take a good note of the concept’s curvaceous, swooping body because according to AMG, this particular design of the concept is actually a preview of what the series production model is going to look like when it arrives in the market. Continuing with the understandable trend of using as many design nods from the GT as it can, the four-door concept also features similar thin headlights as its coupe counterpart, not to mention the trademark Panamerica grille with the shutters and the red paint on its sides.

If there is one outstandingly unique feature of the AMG GT Concept, it has to be the lighting technology developed by the team behind the concept. The LED headlamps, for example, are backstopped by a pair of what the company calls tubular rod lights that illuminates the ground directly in front of the vehicle. The daytime running lamps are also in on some new tech called nano active-fiber technology, a new feature that creates a three-dimensional illumination effect that gives the concept its own autonomous light signature. The new lighting technology can also be found on the rear section, specifically underneath the lens of the rear lamps.

Mercedes-AMG GT Concept

The most noticeable physical feature of the Mercedes-AMG GT Concept is its length, which is to say that it’s incredibly long, even for the standards of a four-door saloon.

Beyond the carefully manicured look and the presence of never-before-seen lighting technology, the AMG GT Concept also features plenty of carbon fiber on the exterior, put in place specifically to help the car shave as much weight as it can. The lightweight material is used on the front spoiler, the side sills, and the roof, among other components. On the other hand, the concept’s side mirrors, which traditionally get carbon fiber casings, are actually tiny cameras. Don’t expect to see that in the production version though because, well, government regulations. The AMG logos are pretty safe, though, as are the golden sail-shaped badge supplements that add a more individualistic impression to the concept. Completing the notable exterior features of the AMG GT Concept is the set of wheels, which itself is another highlight of the whole package.

Mercedes-AMG GT Concept

Needless to say, AMG has something special on its hands with the AMG GT Concept. It will be interesting to see though how it can differentiate the look of the production version of the car with the Mercedes CLS-Class. The AMG four-door saloon is expected to have similar coupe-like dimensions, particularly that sleek roof line and the four-door configuration. AMG has its work cut out then if it wants to showcase the AMG GT as its own model. It’s off to a good start with the concept’s design, but we all know that production models rarely end up looking like the concept.

Mercedes CLS-Class

Note: side-by-side photo of the Mercedes-AMG GT Concept and the Mercedes CLS-Class

Interior

This is where it gets a little tricky because Mercedes-AMG presented the GT Concept with blacked-out windows so even having a peek of the concept’s interior was difficult. As it is, we still don’t have a clear picture of what the car’s interior looks like, but as far as the production model is concerned, we can at least take some cues from the family of AMG GT sports cars that have come before it.

There’s a shared design DNA in the interior of these cars and a big part of these cabins is the incredibly busy center console that not only houses a digital display unit, four spotlight-style HVAC vents below it, and a cascade of switches and buttons strategically placed on opposite ends of the gear shifter. The layout is consistent with a number of AMG GT models, most notably the GT R and the GT C, so it is likely that we’re going to see something similar in terms of overall configuration when the production model arrives in the near future.

Mercedes-AMG GT C Coupe

Note: AMG GT C Coupe interior shown here.

We still don’t have a clear picture of what the car’s interior looks like, but as far as the production model is concerned, we can at least take some cues from the family of AMG GT sports cars that have come before it.

Since this is a car that’s being lined up to face some of the most well-dressed four-door saloons in the market, the AMG GT Concept’s interior should also be drowning in premium materials. My best guess would be a combination of leather, Alcantara, and carbon fiber – three materials that would fit in seamlessly to just about any model wearing either Mercedes’ Silver Arrows badge or AMG’s own unmistakable logo.
And just so it’s clear, the concept’s interior should be a lot more spacious than the two-door versions. The rear seats, in particular, should receive plenty of luxury appointments themselves to help build on the identity and authenticity of the future production model.

It would be a little disappointing if the production version of the AMG GT Concept falls short of our expectations, especially when you consider it’s competing against models like the Porsche Panamera and the Audi A7. Those two saloons carry some of the best interior designs and comforts in the market today.

Porsche Panamera

side-by-side photo of the interiors of the Porsche Panamera and the Audi A7.

Drivetrain

Mercedes-AMG GT Concept

Nothing gets me excited about a concept more than the promise of power and performance. It’s no different with the AMG GT Concept, and to the company’s credit, the accompanying powertrain of the concept looks as impressive as it sounds. The big thing here is the hybrid system that makes use of a 4.0-liter bi-turbo V-8 engine and a rear-mounted electric motor. Altogether, the four-door saloon is capable of producing as much as 800 horsepower.

It may not amount to much at this point since it’s still a concept, but still, don’t sleep on that kind of output, especially considering that the Porsche Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid. The Porsche is lined up as the most legitimate competitor to the production version of the AMG GT Concept, but only has 680 horsepower and 626 pound-feet of torque on tap with its hybrid system made up of a similarly sized 4.0-liter V-8 and a rear electric motor.

The big thing here is the hybrid system that makes use of a 4.0-liter bi-turbo V-8 engine and a rear-mounted electric motor.

Beyond the powertrain and the output, the AMG GT Concept also makes use of Mercedes-AMG’s 4MATIC+ all-wheel drive system and torque vectoring, a system by which each of the four wheels is allocated a specific amount of torque individually to create a well-balanced driving experience.

For what it’s worth, the concept is also the second Mercedes vehicle after the actual Formula One car to carry the automaker’s new “EQ Power+” designation, a mark of sorts that will be given to all future performance hybrids that will come out of Mercedes-AMG in the future. It’s a cute name, but there is some real-world function attached to it too, not the least of which is AMG’s goal to create models that imbibe its values of pure performance and blends them with super efficiency ratings.

Neither Mercedes nor AMG had any performance numbers to throw out, but AMG boss Tobias Moers did say that the four-door saloon can sprint to 60 mph in under three seconds. For a car of this size and girth, hitting 60 mph from a stop that quickly is impressive beyond reproach. For comparison’s sake, the aforementioned Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid can cover the same 0-to-60-mph distance in 3.2 seconds before hitting a top speed of 192 mph.

For a detailed breakdown of the power and performance figures of both models, check out the table below.

Item Porsche Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid Mercedes-AMG GT Concept
Engine front-mounted 4.0-liter V-8 with an electric motor 4.0-liter biturbo V-8 with an electric motor
Drivetrain Permanent AWD 4MATIC+ AWD
Battery type liquid-cooled 14.1 kWh lithium-ion
Horsepower 680 horsepower 800 horsepower
Torque 626 pound-feet n/a
0 to 60 mph 3.2 second under three seconds
Top Speed 192 mph n/a
All-electric range 31 miles n/a

Conclusion

Mercedes-AMG GT Concept

Given what we already know about the status of the Mercedes-AMG GT Concept, judging the car as only a concept is ridiculous. A production model will arrive. The only question worth asking is when that’s going to happen. So as far as taking what AMG gave us with the GT Concept, I’m very optimistic that the production model will live up to the growing hype that it’s already getting. Between the smart choice in keeping true to the current design philosophy of AMG and opening up new power and performance possibilities with the decision to go hybrid on the concept, AMG’s future production four-door saloon has the early makings of being a sought-after model.

There’s still a lot of work to be done, though, so I’m not going to get ahead of myself just yet. But at the end of the day, this is still Mercedes-AMG we’re talking about here. Anything less than what’s expected would be a tremendous disappointment.

LOVE IT

  • Looks the part of an authentic premium four-door saloon.
  • Hybrid powertrain gets up to 800 horsepower.
  • Good to see some importance placed on both performance and efficiency.
LEAVE IT

  • Timetable for the production model is still unclear.
  • How long is the wait going to be?
  • How much of the concept will change?

Press Release

As part of its 50th anniversary Mercedes-AMG is this year celebrating not only the successful past and present; above all it is looking forward. With the show car Mercedes-AMG GT Concept the sports car and performance brand is giving an indication of the alternative drive configurations AMG is designing. Over and above this the four-door coupé heralds the further extension of the AMG GT family. The third model series after the SLS AMG and AMG GT is now being completely autonomously developed at the company’s headquarters in Affalterbach. The designation and fundamental design elements on the front and tail end denote the family affiliation to the AMG GT. The “EQ Power+” identifier on the mirror cam indicates the increased performance that can be expected from hybridisation at AMG.

“With the Mercedes-AMG GT Concept we are giving a preview of our third completely autonomously developed sports car. And extending the attractive AMG GT family to include a four-door variant. Plus the GT Concept – like the AMG Hypercar, which we are presenting at the International Motor Show in Frankfurt – illustrates how we are defining performance of the future at AMG. Impressive driving dynamics coupled with high efficiency, resulting from an innovative drive system and tailored to the vehicle segment in question – that is Future Performance made by AMG. With our AMG GT Concept that means a combination of an ultramodern V8 petrol engine and a high-performance electric motor. Both intelligently networked and with a modular battery concept with a combination of extremely powerful yet light batteries. This performance hybrid powertrain offers an impressive electric range and the opportunity to generate a system output of up to 600 kW in its last level of development. It covers the sprint from 0-100 in less than three seconds – which corresponds to a super sports car level” says Tobias Moers, CEO of Mercedes-AMG GmbH.

The four-door sports car from Affalterbach will seamlessly continue the success story of the AMG GT. The dynamic fastback will also be highly suitable for everyday use thanks to the large tailgate and the variable interior and luggage compartment. The new coupé thus blends the high functionality of the performance cars with the sportiness of the AMG GT sports cars. The show car gives a sneak preview of the exterior design of the coming series production model.

Mercedes-AMG GT Concept

Muscular proportions, large volume and clear surface designs

With the aid of the unmistakeable design idiom with a deeply drawn bonnet and powerfully raked windscreen, the AMG GT Concept is recognisable at first glance as a genuine AMG GT. The exterior design stands out with extremely muscular proportions, a large volume plus sensuous and simultaneously reduced surface styling. The concept car represents the design philosophy of Sensual Purity and lends it the added performance characteristic of AMG.

“The GT Concept embodies the most extreme expression of our design idiom and underlines anew the autonomous profile of AMG as a performance brand”, said Gorden Wagener, Chief Design Officer Daimler AG. “Through perfect proportions it creates a puristic design with the emphasis on its surfaces, featuring sensuous shapes and is hot and cool at the same time.”

Mercedes-AMG GT Concept

Advanced AMG GT characteristics

The Panamericana grille with vertical ribs painted red on the sides, the new configuration of the extremely slim main headlamps and the side air gills with their dominant design in the front apron are hallmark AMG GT design characteristics which have been advanced to a new level here and express pure power. The bonnet reaching right to the wheel arches underscores the decidedly sports car genes together with the two powerdomes. This is also expressed in the extravagant paintwork in the colour shade hot red with a finish that shimmers in the light like liquid metal thanks to a special formulation.

Mercedes-AMG GT Concept

The Mercedes-AMG principle that fascination is always linked with function also applies to the study. Proof of this includes the moving radiator shutters in the centre and side air intakes, which improve the aerodynamic and thermal efficiency and are inspired by the active air control system AIRPANEL in the AMG GT R.

Mercedes-AMG GT Concept

Pioneering: “Nano active fibre technology” for daytime running lamps and tail lamp showcasing

With the “nano active fibre technology” Mercedes-AMG is presenting future-oriented daytime running lamps for the first time. This is produced by a special bright light system in a freely styled light cord. The three-dimensional illumination effect lends the AMG GT Concept an autonomous light signature, which is flanked by numerous further measures in the high-tech headlamp. The turn signal light function is integrated at the top edge. The serial turn signal pulse (“flashing light indicator”) has again been enhanced and impresses with its extremely rapid sequence. Two tubular rod lights illuminate the road surface directly in front of the car and constitute the driving light together with the large LED main headlamp and its lens system. A golden sail-shaped badge supplements the individual impression, and a red AMG logo denotes attention to detail. Overall the front headlamp is a three-dimensional multilayered high-tech component which underscores the technical standards of the performance study with features in gunmetal grey and brushed aluminium.

Mercedes-AMG GT Concept

Rear assembly in hallmark AMG GT look

The width-biased rear assembly also cites the unmistakeable AMG GT look with the extremely slim horizontal tail lamps and the shape of the tailgate. The tail light also has the new light technology, which is located beneath the three-dimensional lens of the rear lamps. A ribbed cooling module is integrated into the lens to guide the waste heat to the exterior.

Further design elements at the tail end are the wide carbon-fibre diffuser curved downwards at the sides and the centrally arranged tailpipe trim reminiscent of the Mercedes-AMG GT R.

The crouched, dynamic greenhouse with its steeply sloping roof line and the slim layout of the frameless side windows emphasise the dynamic forwards thrust of the AMG GT Concept when seen from the side. The tapered side drop and the broad rear shoulder in the area of the flared wheel arches reinforce the muscular expression. The function of the exterior mirrors on the study is taken care of by aerodynamically favourable miniature cameras, known as mirror cams. The roof, the A‑wing of the front spoilers, the rear diffuser and the side sill panels in high-quality yet light carbon fibre make the connection with motorsport.

The very expressively styled wheels in a fine-spoke design allow a good view of the AMG ceramic high-performance compound brake. The brake callipers are painted in a bronze colour and bear the “AMG Carbon Ceramic” lettering.

Mercedes-AMG GT Concept

AMG Future Performance: forward-thinking hybrid drive system

The drive system of the AMG GT Concept represents a completely new development. With the SLS AMG Electric Drive back in 2010 Mercedes-AMG proved that a super sports car with a battery/electric drive system can be realised – with astounding performance and maximum driving pleasure. Formula 1 driving dynamics and efficiency are promised by the planned AMG Hypercar. It gives a sneak preview of the ultimate that is currently feasible with hybrid technology.

Based on this experience, the AMG GT Concept study conveys an impression of the alternative drive configurations Mercedes-AMG is designing. Following the AMG brand pledge “Driving Performance” Mercedes-AMG will in future develop segment-specific hybrids with an impressive performance gain which not only ensure an incomparable output, but also maximum efficiency.

Mercedes-AMG GT Concept

Innovative combination of combustion engine and electric motor

After the Formula 1 vehicle, the show car is the second AMG model to bear the new designation “EQ Power+”, which all performance hybrids from Mercedes-AMG will be given in future.

The performance hybrid system combines the powerful 4.0‑litre V8 biturbo engine with an additional powerful electric machine and thus ensures extremely immediate response and offers an extraordinarily high system performance. The sprint from 0‑1 00 km/h can be mastered at a super sports car level by the AMG GT Concept in less than three seconds.

Characteristically for the brand, the maximum Driving Performance in the form of extremely high driving dynamics is the Affalterbach engineers´ focus. This is why the AMG GT Concept has a balanced axle load distribution. The fully variable AMG performance 4MATIC+ all-wheel drive is also supported by the electric motor. It drives the rear wheels directly and has the effect of an additional booster. Besides this, according to the principle of Torque Vectoring, every wheel can be allocated torque individually. The result: the driver directly experiences a tangible increase in performance.

The scalable performance battery

It is set to extend the portfolio of Daimler AG to include a performance-oriented alternative: The energy storage unit is more powerful than conventional hybrid batteries, but at the same time more compact and lighter – further proof of the systematic way in which the AMG Lightweight Performance Strategy is being implemented. On a modular basis the system is scalable upwards, so that the performance and capacity of the battery can be adjusted to meet specific requirements of customers or certain markets.

The charging of the battery during the journey occurs on the one hand via brake recuperation, but on the other hand also with the aid of the combustion engine if the battery charge has dropped beneath a certain threshold value.

Mercedes-AMG GT Concept

Power from two drive systems: performance operating strategy from Formula 1

The operating strategy of the AMG GT Concept is derived from the hybrid powerpack of the Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula 1 racing car. As in the champions league of motorsport, the battery is also charged whilst the vehicle is being driven so as always to have the full amount of electrical power available – and for instance to be able to accelerate out of bends in a flash with full thrust. The transfer of knowledge works through the cooperation with the development engineers at Mercedes-AMG HPP (High Performance Powertrains GmbH), meaning that the operating strategy of future performance hybrids from AMG will be perceptible all the time.

The electric drive unit

Three operating modes can be preselected via the electric drive unit: the AMG GT Concept either drives purely electrically or only with the combustion engine or it optimally combines both drive sources with one another as a hybrid.

Mercedes-AMG GT Concept

The manifestation of the operating strategy, the definition of the drive programs and fundamental hybrid components are exclusive AMG developments, which all pursue the same aim: to facilitate a unique dynamic driving experience with Driving Performance in future, too.

(topspeed.com, https://goo.gl/QcaGIm)

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