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.

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