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Mercedes-Benz AMG GT R Black Series review



A black series. A label worn only five times before, and even if the first time it appeared it was on an SLK, don’t let that detract from what it stands for. A Black Series Merc is as wild, lighter, faster, and harder as the standard recipe, but somehow it’s a lot like its car – no one else builds anything like a Black Series.

It took AMG some time to get to this. The first AMG GT arrived in 2015, it was followed by a faster and better controlled GT C, then an even faster and much better controlled GT R. Merc had made a lot of changes to the GT R, and you could tell, it was a huge step forward, a car to bring the fight to the Porsche 911 GT3. To be sure of that, they then made a GT R Pro with integrated roll cage and manually adjustable suspension, just like a GT3 RS.

Now AMG has added another 1

60hp to the mix and the only rival they speak of is the Porsche 911 GT2 RS. There is much, much more to the Black Series than extra power, but it’s a good place to start. Still a 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8, but now so radically updated that it uses a flat-deck crankshaft instead of a cross-deck. Traditionally, flat tops don’t sound as good as cross tops, but they’re more efficient and powerful – engineers speak of more even pressure in the intake and exhaust strokes, making it easier to increase power. Which they have by fitting the turbos of the AMG GT 4dr, which have a maximum range 18% higher than the GT R. So there you are.

Whipping the rest: same seven-speed dual-clutch transaxle gearbox, but with shorter ratios, carbon fiber hood, roof and trunk, thinner front and rear glass, ball bearings for the rear wishbones, adjustable coilover suspension in the preload (adaptive are also equipped with shock absorbers) with a ride height of 10 mm, front and rear adjustable torsion bars, additional underbody reinforcement, Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2R tires with soft compound and manually adjustable aerodynamics.

Yes, manually adjustable. At the front it is necessary to extract the carbon splitter (it extends for about 80 mm), which has a huge effect on the acceleration of the air under the car, increasing the downforce, while at the rear, both the upper wing and the lower one have three different positions. Maximum downforce is 400kg at 155mph or 800kg at vmax (202mph). The upper wing also has an electronically controlled folding center section to maximize stability under hard braking.

Overall, it’s 1,520kg – around 50kg heavier than the GT2 RS (not to mention over 180kg meatier than the super slim McLaren 765LT), which means it’s just 35kg lighter than the GT R – although yes think about the weight inserted (roll-bar, wings, etc.) to realize that a lot has been removed. A little favorite weight saving? Undoubtedly the world’s first carbon fiber transmission support, weighing half the weight of aluminum and consisting of a single carbon wire wrapped around a series of aluminum poles up to 40 times. You have to see it to believe its fibrous structure.

The first cars will arrive this fall, having returned owners £ 335,000 more options – far more than double the price of a regular GT R, over £ 100,000 more than the now discontinued GT2 RS and £ 50,000 more than the McLaren 765LT. This is a huge figure, especially since it is not a limited series car. Instead, AMG says it will earn as many as they want over the next year. The Black Series is special – we haven’t seen a 1,550kg, £ 230,000 SLS Black since 2013. It was epic and got inspiration from the GT3 racing car. And so does the last one. But in its wildest dreams, the SLS would never be able to get around a circuit within five seconds of a GT3 car. This is the claim for the GT R Black Series and, as we shall see, I don’t think it goes over the edge.


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