Mercedes-AMG draws on 50 years of racing to create a GT R race car

AMG was born on the track, and racing continues to have a huge influence on its operations. Mercedes’ performance division has channeled 50 years of lessons learned while going flat-out into a new version of the Mercedes-AMG GT R developed for GT4-spec racing.

The GT R doesn’t need any upgrades to be a capable track car, but AMG found ways to push the envelope in key areas. The company explains that some aspects of the R were inevitably compromised by production requirements, such as the need to comply with safety and emissions regulations all over the globe. The GT4 isn’t street-legal, so it’s all racing, all the time.

Racing-specific parts like the hood and parts of the bumpers are made out of composite materials in order to keep weight as low as possible, and consequently improve performance. The chassis and the bodywork are made out of a mix of carbon fiber and aluminum, while the roll cage is crafted out of high-strength steel.

Like its regular-production counterpart, the GT4 is equipped with a twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V8 engine. Fitted with direct fuel injection, it makes 510 horsepower and over 442 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed sequential transmission sends power to the rear wheels. It’s mounted in a transaxle configuration, which greatly improves the coupe’s weight distribution while lowering the center of gravity. The engine and the gearbox are linked by a carbon fiber torque tube, a part carried over from the regular GT R.

Like almost all race cars, the GT4 packs an impressive roster of tech features under the skin. The list includes a multi-adjustable ABS, a torque control function, and AMG’s Traction Control software, which provides up to 11 slip settings for the rear axle. Each one was designed for a different grip condition.

“The production-based concept is an important factor, especially when you want to get started in motorsport as a team or as a driver. For some teams, the GT4 category also serves as a sensible addition to their existing involvement in GT3, for instance to support young drivers,” Tobias Moers, the chairman of AMG’s board, explained in a statement.

Mercedes-AMG will continue testing the GT4 before giving customers the keys to the first examples later this year. The GT4 has already survived a 30-hour endurance test, which is even more grueling than the 24 Hours of Le Mans, but AMG won’t be satisfied until the car logs about 20,000 miles of testing. Pricing starts at 198,850 euros, a sum that represents approximately $232,000.

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