What is it: The 2018 Mercedes-AMG GT coupe family is now four members large. The basic AMG GT gets 469 hp and stickers for $112,400. The AMG GT S has 515 hp and cost $132,400. This AMG GT C gets 550 hp and costs $145,000 while the top GT R models delivers 577 hp for $157K. All use a 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 and a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission.
Key Competitors: Maserati GranTurismo, Porsche 911, Aston Martin Vantage
Base Price: $146,995 As-Tested Price: $167,765
Full review: 2018 Mercedes-AMG GT
Highlights: Besides the extra power, the 2018 GT C gets wider fenders, wider wheels, rear-wheel steering and dynamic engine mounts over the S, as well as more peak power from 6,000-6,500 and more front wheel negative camber. All versions get the new Panamericana grille for 2018, as well as AMG performance seats.
Our Opinion: Mercedes calls the C version of the AMG GT “its ultimate autobahn burner, in total luxury.” And that I can probably agree with. The autobahn, at least the parts I’ve been on, is well-maintained. In the Midwest I think its tougher to own one of these GTs.
Winter is the first reason. I don’t think the wintery-est of winter tires could tame this car in the snow. It’s a sledgehammer and an anvil and it feels heaver than it’s 3,748-pound curb weight. Power is immense. The GT R is still better, but it’s more because of the weight (it’s a couple hundred pounds lighter) and the 9-way traction control dial on the dash than the extra 27 ponies. The seven-speed is great at full bore, and not bad at slower speeds. Shifts are obviously lightning fast.
It’s stiff, though, really stiff — even for an enthusiast. It’s not just the potholes in the Midwest, it’s also about how the pavement lines up. And this car bangs loudly over uneven pavement. Again with Mercedes, and I just drove the AMG GLC Coupe and will say the same thing, from the seat of the pants, its relatively comfortable in comfort mode. But those huge wheels and rubber band tires just bash the bumps while the suspension absorbs it. I didn’t blow any tires, but it sounds like it’s going to. Makes me wince every time I see one coming. And there are a lot.
I always feel like comparing this car to the Jaguar F-Type SVR at about $122,000. They’re within few inches of each other. They both have big V8s making similar power. They both sound amazing. Unfortunately the most powerful F-Type models are all-wheel drive now. That really puts a damper on a car that was the voted most fun to slide around slow speed corners in its high school yearbook. I guess at this price you could talk Chevy Corvette ZR1, maybe Porsche 911.
But this car — really the whole AMG GT line — and the Jag F-Type are two of my favorite overall automobiles of the past five years.
–Jake Lingeman, road test editor
Options: Carbon ceramic brakes ($8,950), Burmester surround-sound system ($4.500), gloss carbon fiber trim ($2,850), distronic plus ($2,250), carbon fiber engine cover ($1,500), brilliant blue metallic ($720)