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Mercedes-AMG’s new GT C boasts rear-wheel steering, 550hp V8 engine

Mercedes-AMG has traveled to the Detroit Auto Show to introduce a new variant of the 911-fighting GT sports car. Named GT C, the model slots neatly between the GT S and the range-topping, track-ready GT R.

Launched as a convertible last year, the GT C coupe is a high-performance model that offers some of the trick tech features inaugurated by the GT R in a more user-friendly package. Power is provided by a version of AMG’s ubiquitous twin-turbocharged, 4.0-liter V8 engine that generates 550 horsepower from 5,750 to 6,750 rpm and 502 pound-feet of torque over a broad range that stretches from 1,900 to 5,750 rpm.

All of that grunt is channeled to the rear wheels via a seven-speed automatic transmission controlled by shift paddles. The GT C hits 60 mph from a standstill in 3.7 seconds, and it goes on to a top speed of 196 mph. It’s just as quick to 60 mph as the GT S, but it’s much more dynamic to drive thanks in part to a rear-wheel steering system that improves both agility and stability.

The rear wheels turn in the opposite direction as the front wheels at speeds of up to 62 mph to make the C more agile around bends. Beyond 62 mph, they turn in the same direction as the front wheels in order to improve stability. They only pivot at up to 1.5 degrees, but the difference is immediately perceptible both on and off the track.

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Like all variants of the GT, the C wears Mercedes’ heritage-infused PanAmericana grille with 15 chromed vertical slats. It stands out from its siblings thanks to large, model-specific rear wheels tucked under a set of flared fenders. The cabin boasts a pair of sport seats and a slanted center console whose design is inspired by the potent V8 engine under the hood.

Mercedes-AMG is celebrating its 50th anniversary with a limited-edition version of the GT C appropriately named Edition 50. All Edition 50 models feature a murdered-out look defined by a graphite grey magno paint job, black chrome trim all around, black forged alloy wheels, and an edition-specific badge on the trunk lid.

Inside, Edition 50 cars receive two-tone black and silver leather upholstery with gray contrast stitching, a 12 o’clock mark on the steering wheel, black trim accents, and real carbon fiber trim. Silver seat belts and GT Edition 50 emblems embossed in the headrests wrap up the exclusive look.

The 2018 Mercedes-AMG GT C will go on sale in the coming months. Pricing information hasn’t been released yet. Production of the Edition 50 model will be limited to just 50 coupes and 50 convertibles, though AMG hasn’t announced how many of those have been earmarked for the United States.