Home / Reviews / First Drive / Mercedes-AMG GT Roadster First Drive Review – A Little More Off the Top


Mercedes-AMG GT Roadster On Track 3 webThe afternoon sun threatened to brown me another shade of tan, but the AMG GT Roadster, with its alcantara rich interior and chiselled seats had other plans. Foot on the brake, push the glassy ‘Start’ button sitting in the tastefully milled aluminium centre console, and the V8 growls to life. Reminiscent scenes came back to mind. I’d only received a taxi-lap in the SLS AMG some time ago around this very circuit. The M159 6,208-cc natural V8 in there sounded powerful, yes, but extremely elegant and refined; like a 6’6″ bouncer in a suit who spent three years in soft-skills training. This AMG GT Roadster sounds nothing like that. Where the M159 was a potential Grammy-winning baritone, this M178 is a brute blaring its vocals loud and proud. This V8? It sounds raw. It sounds like it was made by speed freaks that want to engage every sense on the move, and not just thrill your eyes with the sensation of speed it’s capable of producing. Hearing what sounds like an angry bear at the helm of a heavy truck provides for a completely different sensation. Your eyes become alert, yes, but that’s from the tingling in the back of your head from the engine noise. And it’s a glorious noise!

Heading into the first corner down the start-finish straight, I’m past 180 km/h, the AMG 7SS is barely done nibbling down fourth, and the revs have piled on just right for an engagement through the roof. If the roof was on, it would have been raised, just like the excitement and the hair on my hands. Into the first corner and the GT darts in precisely. No understeer, no oversteer, and a little bit of tyre squeal as I change from right to left and head up the hill for Turn Three and the back straight.

Mercedes-AMG GT Roadster On Track 7 web

It may be a front-mid-engined GT, but — speaking purely from a sound perspective — the routing of the exhaust makes it almost seem like the engine is an inch away from the back of your head! It’s wild, almost raucous, and feels completely unhinged. And I absolutely love it! It’s the aural bliss which can result only from the finest metallurgical skill-set and piecing every bit of the puzzle together with utmost precision and flair.

Mercedes-AMG GT Roadster On Track 5 web

A chunk of reason behind salivating at this prospect is that today we know the environment is in a crisis. There will be electric cars and they will be just as quick. Yet, for those who have craved these fossil-fuel powered metal monsters, it’s engines like these that rekindle hope. Shut down a bank of cylinders. Shut off fuel supply. Hell, enable electronically-controlled coast mode. But keep the essence of motoring alive. Let the engine roar to its heart’s content. Let the wide low-profile tyres squeal as you attack the bends. Let the seat bolsters squeeze you inappropriately as gravity and G-force make other plans for your body than what you and the car set out to accomplish. So what if it’s “only” 476 horsepower? So what if it’s a downsized engine? It’s still eight cylinders. It’s still rear-wheel drive. And it can still chew you up and spit you out awkwardly if you get ahead of yourself and do something stupid. The AMG GT (and the GT S) was a rebirth — a resurrection — of the sports car for Mercedes-AMG. This one feels no different. Okay, I can hear the engine a little better with the roof down, but that’s about it.

A couple of decades ago, F1 cars had 450 PS. People were setting records with 500 PS. The world’s fastest car in the late 1990s did over 380 km/h with 627 PS. What is it now? Why do you need 800 PS to do 350 km/h? It’s like the car needs 450 PS to just subdue the electronics and tell them to sit down and shut up! When a car manages to do more with less — that’s the mantra today, isn’t it? — it’s great. No, I’m not talking about going more miles on lesser fuel. It’s about delivering more thrill with less power.

Mercedes-AMG have given us a raw sports car, the likes of which take the battle to the sports car of all sports cars: the Porsche 911. Never have the two ends of Stuttgart been so evenly matched. So there are multiple power outputs and body styles — hard-top, soft-top, glass-top, what-not — but they do what they set out to do: be proper sports cars. I don’t know about you, but with the AMG GT, I believe the world has two incredible car lines. And, for me, that’s reason enough to celebrate the present. It doesn’t matter that they trim out the top-end and give you 476 PS. Pile on the pressure and they’ll give you a 557-PS GT C — coupé and roadster. Pile it on a little more and you would probably even receive a 600 PS+ Black Series. Let AMG work the top like only they know how to. You won’t be disappointed. Not if they keep doing cars like this. Never.

Mercedes-AMG GT Roadster On Track 6 web

Need To Know – Mercedes-AMG GT Roadster

Price: Rs 2.19 crore (ex-showroom)

Engine: 3,982-cc, V8, twin-turbo, petrol
Max Power: 476 PS @ 6,000 rpm
Max Torque: 630 Nm @ 1,700-5,000 rpm
Transmission: Seven-speed, twin-clutch automatic, rear-wheel drive
Weight: 1,595 kg


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 immediate future until hydrogen FCEVs take over.

t: @CarIndia/@BikeIndia
IG: @carindia_mag/@bikeindia/@jimbosez


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