Yup, it’s a big one. This week we welcome the winner of our 2016 GT of the year award, the appropriately monikered, er, GT, to the wheels long-term garage. Over the next two months, it will have to reaffirm its credentials as a legitimate rival to the venerable Porsche 911 Turbo.
Our tester is the top-spec S version, complete with a 510-horsepower 4.0-litre twin-turbocharged V8 and a great big whopping fixed spoiler at the back. While looks are subjective, the expansive bonnet and stubby back mean the classical grand tourer proportions are spot on. Sitting wider than even the SLS AMG, this thing definitely commands greater presence on the road than the Porsche 911. The highlight of the AMG GT S experience, though, is that engine. Newly developed for this car and now powering several AMG models across the range, it is undeniably one of the greatest sounding turbocharged lumps on the market. And unlike, say, a BMW M4, this does not rely on any audio trickery or synthesisers to augment the aural drama. The 911 Turbo sounds like an industrial-grade vacuum cleaner in comparison.
Our tester starts at a base price of Dh570,700, but add the cost of the optional active safety kit such as the Pre Safe system, and other goodies like the AMG electronic rear axle differential lock and a Burmester stereo, and the figure is bumped up to a massive Dh729,700. That’s a substantial amount of money, especially as a similarly specced 911 Turbo (not the S version) costs about a Dh100K less.
Dynamically, the GT is great, however, buyers at this sub-exotica price point generally use their cars as daily runners and not merely as a weekend toy. The 911 Turbo, despite its rabid performance is a car you can drive every day, trust me, I’ve tried it. But can the GT, with its elaborate proportions and small boot space, be a match for the ultimate everyday supercar? That’s what we intend to find out over the next couple of months.
From grocery runs to swanning around JBR The Walk, this 911 rival will have to showcase the breadth, or the lack thereof, of its abilities once again. And we’re doing it all for you, dear reader, honest!