Benz Begins Testing of GT AMG to Rival Porsche 911
Mercedes will likely unleash its latest sports model in the second half of 2014 as a new range-topping test car has been spotted near AMG headquarters
by Mike Jacobs | 13 March 2014
Lending further weight to the solid rumours that Mercedes-Benz will unleash its latest sports model in the second half of 2014, a new range-topping test car has been spotted near the AMG headquarters of Offenbach, Germany.
While its official designation hasn’t been confirmed yet by Mercedes, its latest creation is most likely to be called the GT AMG and its admirers clearly don’t have much longer to wait until it makes its official debut. However, Mercedes spokesmen have proven tight-lipped on the subject of the exact dates for its introduction and release onto the market.
The intention of the GT AMG’s creators is to build on the sterling success of the SLS (which after four years has seen its final version released this month) without directly mimicking it and allowing the GT AMG to forge its own path. Mercedes-Benz head of sales and marketing, Ola Kallenius confirmed that while the SLS was something of a coup for the brand, they want the newcomer to stamp its own identity on the supercar market:
“There’s going to be another sports car that we will launch in the second-half of this year, [but] it will not be a direct successor to the SLS. The SLS was not only an icon in its own right… it was a game changer, and after the success of the SLS, [we thought] ‘why stop there?’”
He continued: “During my time at AMG, we made a decision to say ‘you can’t just do one Gullwing after the other’, it has to stand on its own in automotive history, almost like an icon car of its time… and that’s what you’re going to see in the second-half of this year.”
Not only does Mercedes have this rather lofty ambition for its forthcoming GT AMG, the newcomer also has a more immediate objective: outclassing its rival, the Porsche 911, one of the most terribly kept secrets in the industry. Porsche may be having a bit of a rough time at the moment due to its mass recall of the GT3 after two of the supercars recently burst into flames but the all-new 911 GT3RS looks ready to make its debut far sooner than motoring analysts expected, perhaps in a mere matter of months.
Ready for its predicted head-to-head battle with Porsche, Mercedes’ challenger is rumoured to be powered by an augmented version of the 350kW and 620Nm 4.0-litre twin-turbocharged V8 that will be found under the bonnet of the upcoming C 63 AMG but with a transaxle arrangement similar to that of the outgoing SLS. Ola Kallenius remains quietly confident that the performance dimension of the SLS’ successor will be able to stand up to whatever Porsche has in its box of tricks and will remain a highly attractive option for both Mercedes’ long-standing admirers as well as new customers drawn to the brand by the GT AMG.