2024 Mercedes-AMG GT

2024 Mercedes-AMG GT

Two-seat coupe based on the latest roadster brings simplicity to the top of the Mercedes family


SL GETS AN EVIL TWIN

Lower and wider, but much of the front is sharedwith the SL


Only two years ago, the Mercedes-Benz portfolio was crammed with a bunch of high-end choices. They included luxurious coupe and convertible editions of the S-Class, two-door E-Class spin-offs, the old SL in all its Floridian glory, the ballsy AMG GT in coupe and roadster guise, plus a couple of hideously expensive Maybachs.

But today the brand’s upper echelon is unusually short of must-have products. The S-Class has reverted to being just a saloon, the two AMG GT crackerjacks are no more – although the 4 Door survives – while the new SL is a highly competent but somewhat soulless effort, and the two-door E- and C-Class derivatives are about to be replaced by the compromise CLE. And the only sports car set to join the line-up in 2023 is a new AMG GT derived from the SL.

The previous GT had its flaws – too wide, too heavy, too cramped, too garish and not sufficiently practical – but it was a proper sports car. The awesome GT R version, that blend of aluminium, carbonfibre and raw power, is already acquiring legendary status.

The follow-up effort has a less radical philosophy: AWD instead of transaxle, four-cylinder base engine instead of V8, active anti-roll bars and AMG Ride Control suspension instead of a coilover steel set-up with drift-o-meter. More accessible, perhaps. As involving? We’ll see. Just as the new SL is not as sharp-edged and uncompromising as the GT roadster, the coupe won’t feel like a toned-down GT R. The core engine is a 2.0-litre four boosted by electrically assisted turbochargers and a 48-volt mild-hybrid system, which in the SL43 makes 375bhp. Straight-sixes will also fit, but the plug-in hybrid V8 from the GT 4 Door does not. Zero-emissions versions are at least five years off.

Despite bespoke grille graphics, a slightly wider track and lowered suspension, GT and SL are virtually identical from the nose to the A-posts. The lightweight roof is of course all-new, and so are the side view and the curvy rear end, which looks even more 911-like than the SL. Unlike the rear-engined Porsche, which holds tight to the token 2+2 layout, the AMG GT is strictly a two-seater. The previously used narrow bootlid has been replaced by a deep and wide tailgate which pops up to access a truly cavernous luggage compartment.

The cabin is pure SL, complete with the large central screen and the densely populated five-spoke steering-wheel. For the GT the cabin will get more generously adjustable seats, more elaborate trim configurations… and of course a made-to-measure luggage set.

NEED TO KNOW

  • What is it? GT returns as an SL-based two-door, two-seat coupe
  • Tech? All-wheel drive, inline fours and sixes, hybrids but not full electric
  • Aimed at? 911 refuseniks
  • When can I have one? 2023
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