Mercedes-AMG’s all-new GT doesn’t replace the now discontinued SLS Gullwing coupe and its roadster brother. However, the new GT does share some platform components from the SLS, though it’s a smaller model.

The SLS was AMG’s first ever full design project and was always going to be a limited edition. Mercedes-AMG Australia tells us no plans have been made at this stage about doing another SLS, nor are any expected in the near future. Obviously Mercedes-AMG isn’t going to reveal its future models, but the feeling we get is that it’s best not to hold your breath.

Which brings us back to the all-new Mercedes-AMG GT and GT S. Only the latter, the higher performance model, is being imported to Australia, so that’s what we will write about from now on.

With a starting price of $294,610 plus on-roads the GT S sits amongst the top end Porsche 911 models, obviously the target of Mercedes-AMG. The upcoming new Audi R8 and fascinating BMW i8 petrol-electric hybrid may also appear on your shopping list.

By way of contrast, the AMG GT S sits almost $200,000 under the superseded SLS Gullwing and roadster. While still well out of the budget of we motoring journalists, the GT S has a far larger audience in the affordability stakes.


Styling is even stronger than that of the SLS – though it does miss out on the Gullwing doors of the SLS coupe, having positively ordinary doors in comparison.

The aluminium space frame sees the GT S with a bonnet that’s long and bold, the central grille is dominated by a large three-pointed star and flanked by large cutouts in the lower area. There are ‘gills’ on the front guards of which we feel Fangio would have been proud. The cabin sits well back and its roof has lovely stylish curves.

As is the way with all the big name Europeans these days the Mercedes-AMG GT S is powered by a turbocharged engine. It seems that naturally aspirated petrol powerplants are about to head into history as engineers strive to lower emissions and fuel consumption.

In the GT S this means a 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 sits in the engine bay. A power output of 375 kW and torque of 650 Nm makes this high-output engine pretty special.

The Mercedes-AMG engine is mounted behind the front axle, making this a mid-engined machine with all that means in the way of excellent balance and chassis dynamics. Front to rear weight distribution is an impressive 47 per cent front and 53 per cent rear.


To permit the engine to be so far back has necessitated the use of a transaxle, so the eight-speed dual-clutch transmission sits between the front 19-inch wheels and 20-inch rears. Tyre sizes are equally impressive, 265 mm by 35 per cent at the front and 295/30 rear.

Circumstances meant we weren’t able to take part in the drive program organised by Mercedes-Benz Australia so we will borrow a GT S for a week as soon as we can and get back to you with details immediately afterwards.

In the meantime we are assured by the journos who did attend that the engine sound magnificent, particularly when the GT S is used in the Sport, Sport+ and Race settings. There’s all the right snap, crackle and pop sounds as the ultra-sharp double-clutch auto works its way up and down through its seven-speed SpeedShift dual-clutch transmission.

Keen on getting into a new Mercedes-AMG GT S? Then join the queue. Before the media launch this meant a 12-month wait, now the car has gone public, interest is spreading fast. Make that phone call quickly…

About Ewan Kennedy

Ewan Kennedy, a long-time car enthusiast, was Technical Research Librarian with the NRMA from 1970 until 1985. He worked part-time as a freelance motoring journalist from 1977 until 1985, when he took a full-time position as Technical Editor with Modern Motor magazine. Late in 1987 he left to set up a full-time business as a freelance motoring journalist. Ewan is an associate member of the Society of Automotive Engineers - International. An economy driving expert, he set the Guinness World Record for the greatest distance travelled in a standard road vehicle on a single fuel fill. He lists his hobbies as stage acting, travelling, boating and reading.
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