First Drive: The New Mercedes-AMG GT Brings Refined Swagger to the Street
Word on the street has the internal-combustion engine (ICE) with one foot in the grave and the other on a banana peel. Hmmm. I’m blasting along some largely deserted and spectacularly sinuous southern Spanish roads in the all-new 2024 Mercedes-AMG GT, but there are no clouds of gloom hovering overhead as the GT’s 4.0-liter bi-turbo V-8 catapults us from bend to bend. It’s just a big fistful of motoring joy.
Granted, this is likely AMG’s final non-electrified sports car, and yes, we are figuratively riding off into the ICE sunset, but heck, if you’re going to go, the latest AMG GT is a damn fine way to make an exit. And an entrance.
While not as extreme in proportions as the outgoing AMG that rode on its own front mid-engine/rear transaxle platform, this second-gen coupe, built on the current Mercedes-Benz SL platform, still looks the part—long of snout, short of tail, crouched, and ready to pounce. The 2024 AMG GT has no bad angles. No matter where I go in this Spectral Blue specimen, be it the crowded streets of Granada or quiet country villages, it draws admiring glances, thumbs up, and a few gestures that I’m quite sure mean “Light ‘er up!” And I can certainly oblige, as the standard AMG Performance 4Matic+ all-wheel-drive system gets a drift mode that decouples the front axles, allowing for tire-shredding antics.
Arriving the first half of 2024, the new Mercedes-AMG GT will be initially offered in two variants, both V-8 powered. The AMG GT 55 4Matic+ makes 469 hp and 516 ft lbs of torque, while the pricier 63 4Matic+ kicks out 577 hp and 590 ft lbs of torque. Both engines get active mounts, brag AMG’s “one man, one engine” build cache and are mated to a nine-speed AMG Speedshift MCT 9G transmission. Rear-wheel steering is also standard.
The new Mercedes-AMG GT is altogether more user-friendly than the previous model, which ceased production in September of 2022. Being longer, wider, and taller, its cabin is more spacious, outward visibility has improved exponentially, and there’s even a 2+2 option. The rear seats are billed as “suitable for humans up to five feet tall,” which means this model is now good for school runs.
When not being driven like it was stolen, the vehicle makes for a convincing and comfortable GT tourer. (That’s something you couldn’t say about the old model.) The plush and beautifully built cabin can be fitted with S-Class levels of luxury, and while the ride is still sporty-firm in Comfort mode, it is never unduly harsh. The 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster and 11.9-inch central touchscreen are familiar Mercedes fare, as are the ways to interact with the GT’s MBUX infotainment system—voice control, touchscreen, and an array of haptic points on the flat-bottom AMG steering wheel. The delicate Mercedes electronic shift wand sprouting from the steering column does not exactly scream AMG, but it is another clue to the 2024 model’s more sophisticated disposition.
Nonetheless, the GT still has a bite to match its bark, thanks to the heroic bi-turbo V-8 that, when in Sport+ mode, sends a volley of highly antisocial woofs, pops, and blats from its tailpipes that will make small children run to their mothers’ skirts, as well as piss off the neighbors. Handling is very sharp, if not as immediate and edgy as the previous version.
There’s more weight on the front here, but AMG counters with wide front rubber and careful tuning of the ESP, rear active diff, and rear-wheel steering. Also present is a semi-active roll stabilization system—dubbed AMG Active Ride Control—that does away with standard mechanical anti-roll bars altogether. This makes for a wider spread between comfort and performance driving. The GT also gets clever underbody active aero plus a five-position integrated rear spoiler. Opting for an optional aero package ditches that spoiler for a fixed carbon-fiber rear wing.
I would ask for more steering feel, but beyond that, the AMG GT loves the cut and thrust of a winding back road, gobbling up the curves and blasting forth on a seemingly bottomless well of torque. Finding a rhythm in this super coupe is easy, and the all-wheel drive with rear-wheel steering lend a sense of controlled poise that the previous iteration lacked.
Of course, there will be those who bemoan the fact that the new AMG GT has lost its raw edge and doesn’t try to scare the pants off you at every turn, but remember, this is the introductory model—there will surely be hotter versions to come (as in perhaps the S, R, and maybe Pro). While the AMG brass didn’t come out and say it, expect faster variants in the future to get their extra mojo from hybridization.
By design, the recast 2024 Mercedes-AMG GT will have a much broader market appeal thanks to its gorgeous skin, newfound civility, and increased cargo capacity. Not to mention the optional 2+2 seating. It may not inspire the searing passion of its feral predecessor, but you and your passengers will love it. And that’s exactly what AMG wants.
Click here for more photos of the 2024 Mercedes-AMG GT 63 4Matic+.
Source: Robb Report