What's the used Mercedes-Benz AMG GT sports like?
Some sports car manufacturers seem to specialise in sheer speed, others in technological overkill, more still in producing fast cars that are surprisingly easy to drive and almost dainty in their driving manners, despite their great power and opulence.
With its SLS, a 6.2-litre V8, gullwing-doored two-seater super-fast monster of extreme looks and extravagant proportions, not to mention unsubtle behaviour, Mercedes-AMG almost defined a new class of balls-out muscle-car: it spent most of its time sideways in an excess of enthusiastic zeal.
When the time came to produce a higher volume car, one that was smaller and easier to drive and a more realistic everyday proposition, the AMG GT took its cues from this exceptional car. It has a big engine at the front, the driver sits practically over the rear wheels and an automatic gearbox is your only choice.
Under that long bonnet is a 4.0-litre twin-turbocharged V8, a strong and punchy engine that delivers up 472bhp in the regular GT, 515bhp in the S model, 550bhp in the GT C and a colossal 577bhp in the GT R. All of them are astoundingly quick, of course, with even the cooking version capable of a 0 to 62mph time of just four seconds, and all of them emit a deep and thrilling tone that is in itself a rich part of the experience of driving a car like this.
Approach a corner and the surprisingly light steering is quick, responsive and eager, and the grip levels deeply impressive. Its handling is flat and firm and well balanced, with hardly any body lean, and it’s possible to flick the car around rather in the manner of the older SLS, with a hint of tail-out action if wanted. It’s exciting stuff, even if it’s not quite as subtle as one or two of its rivals.
Lower yourself into the cosseting interior and you’ll find an excellent driving position with plenty of electrical adjustment to the steering wheel and seat. The fit and finish looks first class, and the high centre console and polished display and huge buttons for some of the major and minor controls all up the sense of drama. It’s two-seat only in here, of course, and, while rear visibility isn’t actually bad, it’s quite difficult to see the front of the long bonnet. There is, however, a good-sized boot accessed via a practical rear hatch tailgate.