New Mercedes-AMG GT review

Category: Sports car

The Mercedes-AMG GT Coupé looks and sounds fantastic, but there are more agile sports cars

Mercedes-AMG GT front cornering
  • Mercedes-AMG GT front cornering
  • Mercedes-AMG GT rear cornering
  • Mercedes-AMG GT interior dashboard
  • Mercedes-AMG GT boot open
  • Mercedes-AMG GT interior dashboard
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  • Mercedes-AMG GT front driving
  • Mercedes-AMG GT front cornering
  • Mercedes-AMG GT rear cornering
  • Mercedes-AMG GT front left static
  • Mercedes-AMG GT grille detail
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  • Mercedes-AMG GT alloy wheel detail
  • Mercedes-AMG GT side badge detail
  • Mercedes-AMG GT rear detail
  • Mercedes-AMG GT spoiler detail
  • Mercedes-AMG GT interior front seats
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  • Mercedes-AMG GT interior seat detail
  • Mercedes-AMG GT infotainment touchscreen
  • Mercedes-AMG GT interior detail
  • Mercedes-AMG GT interior detail
  • Mercedes-AMG GT front cornering
  • Mercedes-AMG GT rear cornering
  • Mercedes-AMG GT interior dashboard
  • Mercedes-AMG GT boot open
  • Mercedes-AMG GT interior dashboard
  • Mercedes-AMG GT right driving
  • Mercedes-AMG GT front driving
  • Mercedes-AMG GT front cornering
  • Mercedes-AMG GT rear cornering
  • Mercedes-AMG GT front left static
  • Mercedes-AMG GT grille detail
  • Mercedes-AMG GT headlights detail
  • Mercedes-AMG GT alloy wheel detail
  • Mercedes-AMG GT side badge detail
  • Mercedes-AMG GT rear detail
  • Mercedes-AMG GT spoiler detail
  • Mercedes-AMG GT interior front seats
  • Mercedes-AMG GT interior back seats
  • Mercedes-AMG GT interior seat detail
  • Mercedes-AMG GT infotainment touchscreen
  • Mercedes-AMG GT interior detail
  • Mercedes-AMG GT interior detail
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Introduction

What Car? says...

V-engined sports cars are fast going extinct, but the Mercedes-AMG GT Coupé is one of few realistically priced options that remain on the critically endangered list.

We use the term "realistically priced" loosely of course, because the AMG GT is still an astronomically expensive car by most standards. However, at least it doesn't cost Ferrari 296 GTB or Lamborghini Huracán money.

Indeed, now that the Audi R8 and Honda NSX have bitten the dust, the V8-powered AMG GT's closest rivals are the Aston Martin Vantage and Porsche 911.

In this review, we're focusing on the two-door Coupé version of the AMG GT – if you need more space, check out our Mercedes-AMG GT 4-door review.

Read on to find out how fast the Mercedes-AMG GT Coupé is, how well it handles and how it compares with the best sports cars you might be considering.

Overview

Many of its rivals are more agile and engaging, but the Mercedes-AMG GT Coupé still looks and sounds fantastic.

  • Intoxicating engine note
  • Huge performance
  • Surprisingly usable rear seats
  • Feels heavy when driven hard
  • Restricted forwards visibility
  • Interior isn't very special
New car deals
Target Price from £156,555
Swipe to see used car deals
Nearly new deals
From £161,480

Performance & drive

What it’s like to drive, and how quiet it is

All versions of the Mercedes-AMG GT Coupé have a twin-turbocharged, 4.0-litre V8 engine under the bonnet, so power isn't exactly in short supply. Indeed, even the "entry-level" model pumps out an incredible 577bhp.

That's enough for a 0-62mph time of 3.2 seconds, which is quicker acceleration then you'll get from an Aston Martin Vantage or Porsche 911 GTS. Four-wheel drive helps the AMG GT fire off the line with minimal wheelspin, and once moving it hurtles down the road as the nine-speed automatic gearbox shifts up through the gears.

Even more impressive than the acceleration is the noise. The deep, thunderous tone at low revs becomes a bark as angry as an XL Bully's when you let the revs rise. That V8 engine totally dominates the driving experience in all situations, but particularly when you're really going for it.

If, however, you think 577bhp isn't quite enough (perhaps your surname is Hamilton or Russell) then there's an even more powerful version of the AMG GT. Called the S E Performance, it packs a staggering 805bhp (603bhp from the V8 and 202bhp from an electric motor).

We haven't tried it yet, but the S E Performance can officially rocket to 62mph from a standstill in just 2.8 seconds, making it quicker than Ferrari 296 GTB and almost as rapid as a 911 Turbo S. Like the 296 GTB, the range-topping AMG GT 63 S E Performance is a plug-in hybrid (PHEV) – so you can plug it in, charge up the battery and enjoy an all-electric range of around eight miles.

Don't assume the S E Performance is a remotely environmentally friendly choice – the electric motor is there purely to boost power to stratospheric levels.

Mercedes AMG GT image
Skip the showroom and find out more online

Impressive as the AMG GT's straight-line speed is, it's not the only element to focus on. A great sports car also needs to be rewarding to drive on a road that doesn't resemble a runway, and this is where the GT misses the high watermark set by its rivals.

Compared with a 911, for example, it's quite heavy (even the standard version weighs almost two tonnes) and that makes it feel less agile and ever-so-slightly cumbersome. The steering isn't as feelsome or direct as a 911's, and doesn't give you quite the confidence you might be hoping for, whether you're driving quickly along a mountain pass or you've taken your AMG GT on to a racetrack.

The AMG GT doesn't make up for its dynamic shortcomings by being particularly easy to live with either. If it were appreciably quieter or more comfortable than a 911 then its slightly lazy responses would be understandable – but it isn't. Indeed, the ride is slightly brittle and unsophisticated in urban environments, and although things are much smoother at high speeds, there's just as much road noise as in a 911.

If you're hoping the AMG GT blends the fun and interactivity of a great sports car with the continent-crushing ability of a Bentley Continental GT you'll be slightly disappointed. 

Driving overview

Strengths Great-sounding V8 engine; serious straight-line pace; impressive automatic gearbox

Weaknesses Heavy, and feels it through corners; ride comfort could be better

Mercedes-AMG GT rear cornering

Interior

The interior layout, fit and finish

The interior of the Mercedes-AMG GT Coupé looks almost as dramatic as the outside thanks to a bulbous centre console that fences the driver off from the passenger. Turbine-style air vents and plenty of ambient lighting add to the theatre.

Less impressive is the quality of materials inside. Given the high price, and the high benchmark set by rivals such as the Porsche 911 and (indirectly) the Bentley Continental GT, that's a pity. Some of the plastic fixtures feel decidedly lightweight, and overall the interior isn't significantly plusher than the one in a Mercedes E-Class.

The standard digital instruments, on a screen behind the steering wheel, are easy to read and can be set up in various ways. There’s also lots of seat and steering wheel adjustment to help drivers of different sizes get comfortable, and the seats themselves are supportive – especially the AMG bucket seats that feature in Ultimate and Launch Edition versions.

On the steering wheel, you’ll find a control to change the character of the car. Among other things, you can adjust the responsiveness of the accelerator and the speed of gearshifts. It's simple enough to use, although it's a shame the other controls on the wheel (for the infotainment system and cruise control) are touch-sensitive. We'd prefer proper physical buttons.

The infotainment system is standard Mercedes fare. That means there's an 11.9in touchscreen in the middle of the dashboard that responds quickly when you press it. That said, the resolution of the screen could be better, and the operating system isn't quite as intuitive as the equivalent in the Porsche 911.

Rear visibility isn’t as terrible as you might be fearing, but you'll still be glad of the rear parking sensors and 360-degree parking camera. The long bonnet – the end of which you can’t really see – means you’ll also need to rely on the standard front parking sensors.

Interior overview

Strengths Dramatic-looking interior; bucket seats are comfy and supportive; plenty of visibility aids

Weaknesses Some interior materials feel a bit cheap; touch-sensitive steering wheel controls are fiddly

Mercedes-AMG GT interior dashboard

Passenger & boot space

How it copes with people and clutter

There's plenty of leg and head room for a couple of six-footers in the front of the Mercedes-AMG GT Coupé, and getting in and out doesn't require the same degree of contortion it does in some sports cars.

Stowage space isn't exactly brilliant, but there's a good-sized cubby under the central armrest, a couple of cupholders below the infotainment touchscreen and a small door pocket on each side of the car. A decent amount by sports car standards, in other words.

Perhaps the AMG GT's strongest selling point is that the latest version has a couple of surprisingly usable rear seats. You can fit Isofix child seats in them (we tried) or even carry smaller adults for very short distances. We found them slightly more usable than the rear seats is the Porsche 911, although the AMG GT is still very much a 2+2 rather than a proper four-seater.

The boot in the regular V8 version is surprisingly big and is accessed via a big hatchback-style tailgate. It has a respectable 321-litre capacity, which is more space than you get in the 911, and enough for a couple of weekend bags or even a set of golf clubs. You can even fold down the rear seatbacks when you need to carry more. 

However, boot space shrinks to just 182 litres in the S E Performance PHEV model. We haven't had a chance to poke around this yet, but we understand it's because a fair amount of space is eaten up by the battery that powers the electric motor.

Practicality overview

Strengths Surprisingly usable rear seats; big boot in the regular V8; rear seats fold down

Weaknesses PHEV version has a much smaller boot than the regular V8

Mercedes-AMG GT boot open

Buying & owning

Everyday costs, plus how reliable and safe it is

Even the cheapest Mercedes-AMG GT Coupé is way more expensive than an entry-level Porsche 911 Carrera. The pricier versions, especially the S E Performance, cost Aston Martin DB12 money.

Plug-in hybrids (PHEVs) can often save you money on benefit-in-kind (BIK) tax, but not here. Even if you're lucky enough to be able to run an AMG GT as your company car the S E Performance PHEV will work out more expensive than the regular V8-powered car. That's because all AMG GTs fall into the top 37% tax bracket, and the S E Performance has a higher list price.

Fuel, tax, insurance and tyre bills are going to be steep, but the same is true of rivals. As the saying goes: if you can afford to buy it, you can probably afford to run it.

The cheapest trim is called the Premium Plus, and in the main it comes with lots of standard equipment. It's slightly bizarre, though, that on a car this expensive you have to pay extra for adaptive cruise control (it's part of the Driving Assistance Package). You get that as standard on a Toyota Aygo X.

Safety equipment includes automatic emergency braking (AEB), traffic-sign recognition, blind-spot monitoring and driver attention alert system – although like most sports cars, the AMG GT hasn't been certified by Euro NCAP

Costs overview

Strengths Cheaper than an equivalent Ferrari or Lamborghini; lots of standard equipment in the main

Weaknesses Still pretty pricey; adaptive cruise costs extra; plug-in hybrid model won't save you anything in BIK tax


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Mercedes-AMG GT interior dashboard

FAQs

  • There's no exact definition of the cut-off between a sports car and a supercar. However, we'd describe the AMG GT as a high-end sports car, rivalling the Porsche 911 Turbo.

  • Yes – very. Even the least powerful version has 577bhp and can do 0-62mph in 3.2 seconds, while the 63 S E Performance packs more than 800bhp and can hit 62mph in 2.8 seconds.

At a glance
New car deals
Target Price from £156,555
Swipe to see used car deals
Nearly new deals
From £161,480
RRP price range £156,555 - £180,905
Number of trims (see all)3
Number of engines (see all)3
Available fuel types (which is best for you?)petrol parallel phev, petrol
MPG range across all versions 20 - 34.5
Available doors options 4
Warranty 3 years / No mileage cap
Company car tax at 20% (min/max) £4,621 / £13,180
Company car tax at 40% (min/max) £9,241 / £26,360
Available colours