Mercedes-AMG charges into Panamera territory with a four-door GT fastback

This year, Mercedes-Benz wants to take the Geneva Auto Show by storm. The brand’s performance-oriented Mercedes-AMG division just introduced a sedan named, somewhat unimaginatively, GT 4-Door Coupe. It’s billed as a bigger, more spacious alternative to the GT coupe.

The GT 4-Door Coupe takes the form of a four-door model with a fastback-like roof line. Think of it as a CLS on a diet of Red Bull and steroids, or as Mercedes’ answer to the gorgeous Porsche Panamera. If you’re experiencing déjà vu, it’s likely because we already saw the GT Coupe as a barely disguised concept car during last year’s edition of the Geneva show. The design has changed little in its transition from a concept to a production model. It retains a strong family resemblance to the two-door GT.

The sheet metal hides several plot twists. Mercedes chose not to build the GT Coupe on the GT‘s underpinnings, presumably for cost and packaging reasons. British magazine Evo reports the sedan instead rides on a modified version of the modular MRA platform normally found underneath the C- and E-Class, among other models. The in-house tweaks make the GT Coupe wider than its tamer Benz-branded siblings.

It’s appropriate, then, that the interior looks like it gets the best of both worlds. It shares the smart-looking dual-screen setup with Mercedes sedans like the E- and S-Class models, while its V8-shaped center console draws inspiration from the GT. Designers couldn’t wed the sports sedan ethos with a mundane bench seat so they sculpted a pair of individual rear seats.

The GT wants to help you become a better driver. Preferably when you don’t have three passengers on board; it doesn’t come with motion sickness bags. It inaugurates a new piece of technology called AMG Track Pace that’s embedded within the infotainment system. The software collects telemetry data from over 80 different points, like the position of the pedals and the steering angle, and plots it in real time on one of the car’s screens. The idea is, above all, to help the driver get faster around a given track. AMG points out drivers can also use the Track Pace function as a stopwatch to time zero-to-60-mph and quarter-mile sprints.

Going head to head against the Panamera is a daunting task. AMG thinks it has what it takes, though. At launch, the lineup will include three models named GT 53, GT 63, and GT 63 S, respectively. The base model comes with a turbocharged, 3.0-liter straight-six engine that provides 429 horsepower and 384 pound-feet of torque — on its own. It’s not alone, though. Mercedes added a small electric motor which contributes 21 hp and 184 lb-ft. of torque. The two power sources combine to propel the GT 53 from zero to 60 mph in 4.4 seconds.

The GT 63 steps up to AMG’s ubiquitous twin-turbocharged, 4.0-liter V8. It makes 577 hp and 553 lb-ft. of torque in this application, enough for a blisteringly quick 3.3-second sprint from zero to 60 mph. The S model ups the ante with a hotter version of the eight tweaked to produce 630 hp between 5,500 and 6,500 rpm and 627 lb-ft. of torque over a broad band that stretches from 2,500 to 4,500 rpm. The extra power lowers its zero-to-60-mph time by 0.2 seconds.

Every GT 4-Door variant comes with a nine-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive. The V8s are available with a drift mode that lets drivers have a sideways blast on the track by sending the engine’s full torque output to the rear axle. Speed-sensitive power steering comes standard, and V8-powered models benefit from rear-wheel steering.

The 2019 Mercedes-AMG GT 4-Door Coupe will arrive in showrooms during the first half of next year. AMG will release pricing information in the weeks leading up to its on-sale date. In chilly Switzerland, it will share the spotlight with the new, 577-horsepower G63, the updated 2019 C-Class, and Mercedes-Maybach’s stately take on the S-Class.

What’s next?

Insiders suggest the GT 4-Door Coupe will later be available with a gasoline-electric plug-in hybrid powertrain built around the twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V8 engine found in nearly every member of the automaker’s lineup. Tossing an electric motor into the equation will reportedly give drivers about 800 horsepower to play with, an astonishing statistic that trumps even the most powerful variant of the Panamera right out of the gate. All-wheel drive and a nine-speed automatic transmission will help the the sedan sprint from zero to 60 mph in under three seconds.

Don’t expect to find a four-cylinder engine under the hood of an entry-level variant, though. The GT 4-Door Coupe is AMG’s stand-alone baby, one it won’t share with parent company Mercedes-Benz. It’s all performance, all the time.

Updated on March 5: Added full information, official photos.

Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Folding canoes and ultra-fast water filters

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Cars

These winter-warrior cars will never leave you out in the cold

Snow can be an absolute pain if your vehicle isn't optimized to handle that sort of terrain. If brutal snowstorms are an annual part of your life, we recommend you pick up one of these winter-ready vehicles.
Product Review

The 2019 Porsche Macan S is a luxurious and quick SUV, but it's no road tripper

The roster of models challenging the Porsche Macan grows annually. The German firm updated its smallest, most affordable SUV with a new engine, more tech features, and subtle design tweaks to keep it looking fresh.
Cars

Take a friend stargazing at 202 mph in the 2019 McLaren 720S Spider

McLaren has introduced the 2019 720S Spider. As its name implies, it's a convertible variant of the 720S coupe. The company promises the Spider retains the coupe's dynamism and agility thanks in part to the widespread use of carbon fiber.
Cars

Nissan and Italdesign’s GT-R50 concept will become a $1.1 million reality

The Nissan GT-R50 is a customized sports car built to celebrate the 50th anniversaries of both the GT-R and design firm Italdesign. Underneath the sleek bodywork sits a 710-horsepower engine fortified with race car components.
News

World’s fastest electric race car to display at Petersen Museum

The Volkswagen I.D. R Pikes Peak race car smashed the all-time record at the hill climb for which it was named. The all-electric VW record-holder will be on display at the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles until February 1, 2019.
Cars

This freewheeling Army truck-turned-tiny home is a labor of love

Most tiny homes are models of efficiency but one British metal worker has redefined the idea, converting an old Army truck into a mobile tiny home that comes with a bed, a sofa, a shower, and a beer garden.
Cars

Gateway’s born-again Ford Bronco boasts classic style, 2018 muscle car power

Illinois-based Gateway Bronco has received a license from Ford to make brand-new examples of the first-generation Bronco. Every build starts with a Ford VIN and a donor vehicle, but Gateway upgrades every part of the car.
Cars

Bloodhound’s plan to build a 1,000-mph car has run out of gas

The Bloodhound supersonic car (SSC) project has officially shut down. The upside is you can now buy a 135,000-horsepower car powered by a jet engine and a cluster of rockets for $319,000.
Cars

2019 Ford Ranger saves fuel without sacrificing towing capacity

The 2019 Ford Ranger marks Ford's long-awaited return to the midsize truck segment, which has seen a resurgence lately. But will being late to the party make Ford's job more difficult?
Cars

Pininfarina Battista is a 1,900-horsepower, 250-mph electric supercar

The Pininfarina Battista will be the first production car from famed Italian design firm Pininfarina. Named after company founder Battista Pininfarina, it has a claimed 1,900 horsepower and a $2.5 million price tag.
Cars

Tesla could show the electric pickup Elon Musk is dying to build in 2019

Tesla has started designing its long-promised pickup truck. The yet-unnamed model will come with dual-motor all-wheel drive and lots of torque, plus it will be able to park itself.
Cars

Allegro.ai is helping Hyundai mine the artificial intelligence gold rush

In November 2018, Hyundai invested in a startup named Allegro.ai. We talked to the company's founder to learn more about what that means for consumers in the not-too-distant futures.
Emerging Tech

With this robotic garage, retrieving your car is like using a vending machine

Remembering where we parked our cars can be a real pain. But what if our cars came to find us, rather than the other way around? A new automated robot parking valet system aims to help.