Introduced at Mercedes’ facility at Brooklands in the UK today, the AMG GT R will produce 577 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque, up from 503hp / 479 lb-ft. and 456hp / 443 lb-ft. in the 2017 AMG GT S and the base AMG GT, respectively. Those 577 horses are good enough to propel the R from 0-60 mph in 3.5 seconds on its way to a top speed of 198. (You’d think Mercedes would’ve pushed hard to clear that magical 200 mph mark, but it probably won’t take long for aftermarket tuners to make it happen.)
It’s not just about power, though: the AMG GT R also comes with standard rear-wheel steering that can slightly adjust the back wheels during cornering for better handling. There’s a traction control system with nine levels of adjustment — a feature borrowed from motorsports, whereas most cars can only turn traction control on or off — and a huge pile of carbon fiber to reduce weight by around 200 pounds against the S.
Its official 0-100kph time is 3.6sec, 0.2sec faster than the GT S. Yet despite claims of added traction brought from the uniquely tuned electronic limited-slip diff, wider rear track and 325/30 Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tyres, it can’t quite match its main rival, the Porsche 911 GT3 RS, which does the sprint in 3.3sec.
A whole series of changes to the exterior styling includes the adoption of a co-called Panamericana grille from the GT3 that is set to become a key design element on future AMG models. There’s also an active diffuser element mounted within the underbody that motors forward by 40mm above 50mph in Race mode; it is claimed to reduce front axle lift by 40kg at 155mph/248kph.
The only bad news comes in the weight area. Despite what everyone was expecting, the GT R is only 15 kg (33 pounds) lighter than the GT S, so most of the improved track performance will come from the extra power and the upgraded aerodynamics.
The 2017 Mercedes-AMG GT R will go on sale in November, but the European Market launch is expected to happen in March 2017. There is no word on pricing yet, but it won’t be cheap.