Home / Reviews / First Drive / #BeastOfTheGreenHell Mercedes-AMG GT R First Drive Review

 

Mercedes-AMG GT R int web

The driver’s seat is more or less fixed. You have adjustable bolsters. Rich alcantara lining and a not-too-brightly lit info console with a gauge marked up to 360 km/h is what you see. In the centre is a bold yellow knob: the traction control selector with nine levels. The wheel is chopped and weighted firm, I can imagine not too different to what the AMG GT3 race car feels like. Push the glowing start button, and a heavy, powerful bark announces the engine’s coming to power, followed by a deeply satisfying rumble into idle. It’s almost industrial, that heavy idle. Sounds fantastic!

With the car having already done quite a few hot laps, the oil temperature was over 100°C. Thankfully, we’d be capturing the car on camera over the first lap, meaning I could drive in ‘Comfort’ mode. Should be sufficient to cool things down enough before getting the beast on its toes again.

The ride quality is firm, whichever way you look at it. AMG Ride Control works continuously, altering suspension characteristics to keep the wheels planted. Everything is made to be rigid, and light. The carbon-fibre treatment is everywhere from the front lip spoiler and aero elements, to the roof and the large fixed rear wing. Inside, it’s part of the trim and centre-stack components.

Mercedes-AMG GT R RACE web

Finally, I get my cue, and switch to ‘Race’ mode just before the final turn on to the main straight. The GT R literally double barks in response and tightens up instantly.

In what is just about three quarters of the start/finish straight, the GT R is roaring on its way to 200 km/h, shifting at 7,000 rpm. The engine power peaks at 6,250 but they’ve gone ahead and given it another 750 rpm till the needles get to the red zone, I believe, to satisfy that primal instinct. Oh, bestial lust! It’s explosive!

Mercedes-AMG GT R 1 web

Braking hard into turn one, I hear the tyres screeching into the next up-hill left hander, before I turn the wheel sharply to the right and go ballistic on the back straight. Relentless acceleration follows, yet, I had to ensure it didn’t overheat (boiling oil, remember?) and kept pulling the right paddle just as the needle hit around 6,200 rpm, assuming the reaction times – me and the car – would translate to the motor turning over at just over 6,250 rpm by the time the shift took place.

Mercedes-AMG GT R brake web

At the end of the straight, the carbon-ceramic brakes shed speed in a hurry and the 325-sec rubber dig into the searing tarmac. One sweeping right hander before getting back on the power, and then prepping for a set of corners. The steering is extremely well-calibrated and weighted perfectly; a full lock to lock is just about two turns. Direction changes, then, no matter how intense, are dismissed swiftly and with utmost precision. Staying on the brink of more power as the seemingly endless parabolica commences, the GT R teetered on the line between more power and more traction waiting to be delivered to get the turn over with. Just as quickly as it began, the GT R had monstered through the corner, and the next one as well, sharpening its angles of attack thanks to the rear wheels also bending to serve.

It’s a beast, for sure, but not just some dinosaur merely scary by size and attitude. It feels like a cyborg tyrannosaurus – one with two equally capable sets of limbs both just as adept and clawing into your senses. The special Green Hell magno paint finish, too, is something you’d think it got by swooshing off any clear coats it had when it started off.

Powerful, agile, and properly wild. That about sums up the Beast of the Green Hell. It’s a back-to-essentials supercar. If you want to feel the most tangible sense of petrol molecules exploding to produce horsepower that literally throws you forward faster than you’d imagine, this is the one to have. And few come close to its mad character.

Mercedes-AMG GT R 6 web


Need To Know – Mercedes-AMG GT R

Price: Rs 2.23 crore (ex-showroom)

Engine: 3,982 cc, V8, twin-turbo, direct-injection, petrol
Max Power: 585 PS @ 6,250 rpm
Max Torque: 700 Nm @ 1,900-5,500 rpm
Transmission: Seven-speed, twin-clutch automatic, rear-wheel drive
Weight: 1,555 kg

Mercedes-AMG GT R badging web

 

About the author: Jim Gorde

 

Deputy Editor at Car India and Bike India.
Believes that learning never stops, and that diesel plug-in hybrids are the only feasible future.
t: @CarIndia/@BikeIndia
IG: @carindia_mag/@bikeindia

 

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