Mercedes’ 2018 AMG GT R boasts Hulk-like rage, blistering speed for $157,995

The Mercedes-AMG GT S can hold its own on a track, something we found out firsthand during our 2016 Car Awards testing. But now Mercedes has a new version that isn’t just comfortable with track driving — it’s built for it.

The shade of green worn by the 2018 Mercedes-AMG GT R at its launch this week wasn’t chosen just to get attention. It’s called “AMG Green Hell Magno,” a reference to the Nüburgring. The German racetrack known as the “Green Hell” is where Mercedes (and every other carmaker, it seems) perfects the handling of new models. Naming a paint color after the ‘Ring could be seen as a boast, but Mercedes and in-house tuner AMG can back it up. The GT R pulled off a blistering 7:10.9 lap, beating many supercars.

While the name may lead to confusion with a certain Nissan, there’s no mistaking the AMG GT R for anything. The “Panamericana” grille first seen on the AMG GT3 race car gives it a look that’s both more distinctive and aggressive. The front fenders are made from carbon fiber, and are 1.8 inches wider than on the AMG GT S, while the rear fenders have aluminum extensions that widen them by 2.2 inches. That allowed AMG to widen the track and fit larger, 20-inch wheels. The rear end is decorated by a large rear spoiler and central exhaust outlet.

Beneath all of the flashy bodywork, AMG employed some aerodynamic trickery. On the underbody, in front of the engine, is a carbon-fiber flap that moves downward when the car reaches 50 mph in Race mode. This changes airflow and helps suck the car down onto the road. There are also active grille shutters that close to reduce drag, and open when extra airflow is needed to cool the engine. At the back, AMG added a double diffuser, and cut a hole between the taillights to vent heat from the exhaust.

Power comes from the same 4.0-liter, twin-turbocharged V8 used in other AMG GT variants. In the GT R, it produces 577 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque, up from 503 hp and 479 lb-ft in the GT S, and 456 hp and 443 lb-ft in the new-for-2017 base model. That power is sent to the rear wheels through a seven-speed automatic transaxle. Mercedes says the GT R will do 0 to 60 mph in 3.5 seconds, and reach a top speed of 198 mph.

The chassis gets some upgrades as well, including a rear-wheel steering system. Below 62 mph, it turns the rear wheels in the opposite direction of the fronts to increase agility, and in the same direction as the front wheels at higher speeds for stability. An adaptive suspension system is also on the menu, and traction control with nine programmable levels.

The 2018 Mercedes-AMG GT R goes on sale in the U.S. this summer, priced from $157,995. That’s a $44,600 premium over the base AMG GT, but the extra performance and Nürburging cred just might make it worthwhile for wealthy buyers.

Update on 04-06-2017 by Stephen Edelstein: Added pricing and Nürburging lap time info.


The 2020 Nissan GT-R Nismo sheds weight, uses racing tricks to stay sharp

The 2020 Nissan GT-R Nismo isn't dramatically different from the 2019 model, but Nissan made changes where it counts. The updated GT-R Nismo is lighter and offers better aerodynamic performance, according to Nissan.

2020 Mercedes-Benz GLC coupe gets a tech upgrade, keeps quirky styling

The 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLC coupe debuts at the 2019 New York Auto Show with an upgraded infotainment system that incorporates Mercedes' digital assistant. The SUV launches later this year with turbocharged four-cylinder power.

Mercedes-Benz gives the tech-savvy 2020 CLA more power at New York Auto Show

Mercedes-Benz introduced the second-generation CLA during CES 2019, and it will expand the lineup when it unveils a midrange model named CLA 35 at the upcoming 2019 New York Auto Show.

With drift mode, Kia’s Stinger GTS lets you unleash your inner hooligan

Debuting at the 2019 New York Auto Show, the limited-edition Kia Stinger GTS gets a trick all-wheel drive system that should enable plenty of sideways action. But only 800 buyers will get to try it.

Keep your driving record squeaky clean with these top-flight radar detectors

Nobody likes getting a speeding ticket, but these gadgets can help. Check out our picks for the best radar detectors on the market, from the likes of Valentine One, Escort, and Beltronics.
Buying Guides

The best hatchbacks for 2019 are small in size and big on tech

The hatchback segment isn't huge, but there are still plenty of good options to choose from. Here, we've rounded up the best hatchbacks available in America, whether you're a fan of efficiency or looks.

Tesla Model S and Model X charge faster and go farther with the same battery

An all-new drivetrain for the Tesla Model S and X enables the EVs to travel farther per charge than the previous design. Tesla Model S Long Range sedans have a 370-mile range and Model X Long Range SUVs can travel 325 miles per EPA cycle.

WWDC 2019 Complete Coverage

Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference is a key tech event each year, and for Apple fans, it will be one of the two best times of 2019 (along with "new iPhone day," of course). For the last few years, Apple has debuted much of its…

GPS units aren't dead! Our favorite models still do things your phone can't

Love hitting the open road but hate having to rely solely on your phone for getting around? Thankfully, the best in-car GPS systems will allow you to navigate and capitalize on a range of features sans your cellular network. Here are our…

2019 Ford F-150 RTR gets a light dose of off-road, style upgrades

Vaughn Gittin Jr.'s RTR Vehicles is turning its attention to the 2019 Ford F-150 pickup truck. RTR gave Ford's bestseller new suspension components and tires, as well as more extroverted exterior styling.

Electric truck maker Rivian scores $500 million investment from Ford

Alongside Amazon, Rivian can now count Ford as one of its backers. The Blue Oval will invest $500 million in Rivian, and will use the company's "skateboard" chassis as the basis for a future electric vehicle.

The best diagnostic adapters monitor your car so you don't have to

Sometimes called dongles, the best car adapters will tell you what's wrong under the hood while help you keep tabs on your family and routine maintenance.

Volkswagen prepares its electric ID R race car for its toughest challenge yet

The Volkswagen ID R electric race car will head to the Nürburgring to set a lap record. With Romain Dumas at the wheel, the ID R will try to become the fastest electric car around the grueling, 12.9-mile long track.
Emerging Tech

Japanese taxis will use facial recognition to target you with ads as you ride

A Japanese startup is trying to reinvent in-taxi advertising by using facial recognition technology to identify the key characteristics of riders and then presenting them with appropriate ads.