Mercedes will assign its AMG GT sports car to track duty after applying an “R” badge

2016 Mercedes AMG GT
2016 Mercedes AMG GT S

It would appear Mercedes-AMG will be having a busy next couple years, especially towards the top of its performance model range. Just after news broke that the German automaker is planning a successor to the SLR McLaren in one of two layouts, Motor Trend reported that a track-focused version of the AMG GT is on its way.

The AMG GT ‘R’ will take the form of a more aggressive GT S variant, with greater power from the twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V8 — likely somewhere in the ballpark of 542 horsepower (up from 503), lower weight (between 176-220 pounds), a stiffened suspension, and better aerodynamics.

The complete race-bred package will also include bigger brakes, larger wheels, and some interior tweaks — likely more snug seats and some luxury feature deletes. As a result, the AMG GT R should hit 60 mph in 3.4 seconds, an improvement of 0.2 seconds compared to the GT S.

In case you’re wondering if the introduction of the AMG GT R means that Mercedes-AMG won’t be building the rumored Black Series anymore, worry not, because the brand reportedly still plans on producing a significantly more powerful and aggressively-styled version around 2018 (about the same time the SLR McLaren successor is penned for production).

The list of competitors for the new ‘R’ variant will be a tad nebulous, but should include Porsche’s 911 GT3, Nissan GT-R (despite the partnership between Mercedes-Benz and Nissan), Chevrolet’s Corvette Z06, and McLaren’s 570S. Performance and cost of entry for the AMG GT R’s rivals are wide-ranging, but Mercedes-AMG’s creation should fall somewhere in between the lot.

Pricing and production numbers are a mystery, but with the AMG GT S costing about $130,000, expect the street-legal track version to cost at least $20,000 more. That would still leave room for the Black Series to slide in at under $200,000.