When Mercedes-AMG first teased their flagship GT, there was definitely hints of Porsche 911 in the aftertaste. Going after such an icon of the sports car world took some rather sizeable… erm, engineering knowhow.
The final dish was definitely not short on what was promised but didn’t quite tickle the taste buds like the 911 did. Nonetheless, there’s one thing the GT has that the 911 never will and can’t put a price one; that aura of presence on the road. Plus, the AMG is practically as quick so does that make it the complete package?
It’s since gotten a lot quicker and spawned many variants including a hardcore, track-focused GT R trim that’s unabashedly going after the wallets of the track rats. Mercedes-Benz Malaysia (MBM) has just launched the refreshed GT R and also the GT C that’s a rung below it in the standings.
Both are powered by the current AMG sweetheart, that stonking 4.0-litre twin turbo V8 but with differing outputs. The GT R gets 585hp and 700Nm of torque for lap times while the GT C loses a few ponies to the tune of 557hp and 680Nm of torque. The only transmission of choice is the seven-speed AMG Speedshift DCT transaxle. With the transmission in the rear, the weight distribution is more optimised. A torque tube links it to the engine.
All the performance figures are similar too. The GT R gets to 100kph from a stop in 3.6-seconds and tops out at 318kph while the GT C handles it in 3.7-seconds and 316kph.
Power wise, nothing much splits the duo but the GT R is more track worthy with some trick upgrades, including a nine-stage motorsport-grade traction control system. You’ll notice it as the yellow knob right below the central air-conditioning vents in the GT R.
Furthermore, it gets more downforce, better aerodynamics, extra air vents and less weight. Rounding it up the aero bits is an active air dam to reduce front lift at high speeds.
Comfort is not a word associated with the GT R as the stiffer suspension is tuned for track surfaces. Some of the underbody components are lightened to reduce unsprung mass and spherical bearings reduce free play in the suspension arms. It’s unforgiving on the road but rewarding on the circuit.
If that’s a turn off for you, the GT C is what you want. AMG Ride Control adaptive suspension is present on both but functions with a different purpose depending on the trim. In the GT R it controls dive and roll for grip but in the GT C, it adapts to the road condition for more comfort and pliancy.
The easiest way to tell the two apart is via the roof. A carbon fibre roof in the GT R helps cut weight and reduce the centre of gravity while the GT C gets a stylish panoramic roof. The headlights are the revised versions from the GT 4-door.
Inside, the 10.25-inch infotainment display is present while the instrument cluster is a wide 12.3-inch screen. Peek inside and you’ll notice the new haptic-feedback switches in the centre console that light up with their intended functions when the car is turned on.
Seats are full bucket items in the GT R while more comfortable reclinable sports seats in the GT C do a good job of keeping you in place without breaking the back so much.
The AMG Track Package is an option for the GT R and adds a half-cage in the rear, four-point safety harness that ties into the cage and a two-kilogram fire extinguisher. There’s also the AMG Track Pace system that loads your smartphone with plenty of data logging for you to review between laps; like a personal race engineer.
How much for all this? Well, the GT C is RM1,558,888 and the GT R is a little more at RM1,712,888.