To be frank, I didn’t quite like the idea of the AMG GT when Mercedes first announced it as a follow-up to the mighty SLS. To me it felt a little underwhelming, given the presence and sheer head-turning ability the SLS oozed — in my head there wasn’t much separating the GT from say, an AMG SL. But boy was I wrong. The GT, just like the SLS, feels way more special than any car Mercedes sells right now. Although shorter, it sits wider than its gull-winged predecessor. The expansive bonnet, the truncated back; it looks epic in the flesh.
Using one as a daily runner for the past few weeks, it’s evident that the aforementioned SL would be better at handling everyday duties. The ride can be a bit choppy around town in Sport+ and the ultra-wide transmission tunnel and centre console — which looks exceedingly cool by the way — leave little space for occupants in the cabin.
The boot, however, is reasonably large and you can, without much stress, pack an entire week’s worth of groceries in there. So it’s not as impractical as you would think.
On to more pertinent observations. That twin-turbcharged engine is fantastic, and really does feel more alive and responsive than even the naturally aspirated 6.2-litre V8 from the SLS — there’s masses of mid-range torque.
Another noticeable improvement over the SLS is the seven-speed double-clutch gearbox. It’s been remapped and the shifts are a lot more immediate and seamless than in the SLS, which got horribly jumpy at times. The GT is much more precise and predictable in its power delivery.
There are a few minor problems, though. The infotainment screen is almost unreadable under the glare of the sun and the sat-nav isn’t the most intuitive. But really, that’s hardly a blemish on what’s otherwise a brilliant car.
Week 1 The winner of wheels GT of the Year award, the appropriately monikered GT joins the long-term fleet. Expectations run high as Mercedes’s 911 Turbo rival strives to prove its everyday credentials.
Highs Fantastic engine note, massive presence.
Week 2 The GT is a sensory delight, unlike a Porsche 911 Turbo. This Merc sounds absolutely fantastic and is dripping with character — one of the most important things in a car of this sort. The central infotainment display, however, isn’t the easiest to read, while the gear lever is placed too far back.
Highs Driving experience, loads of character.
Lows The gear lever is set too far back.