If high-output gasoline engines are going through their gradual curtain name by the hands of electrification, the 2021 Mercedes-AMG GT Black Collection goes out with a howl. Fiercest of the tuning division’s Black Collection, it’s a 720 horsepower track-ready, road-legal monster GT the place extra comes as normal. It’s additionally a reminder of what AMG has historically finished finest – and that massive modifications are quick incoming.
As with AMG’s most excessive vehicles, the AMG GT Black Series makes use of a handcrafted V8 engine – the builder’s identify that includes proudly on the cowl – right here tuned for 590 lb-ft of torque. It’s rear-wheel drive, with a seven-speed dual-clutch AMG-SPEEDSHIFT transmission.
0-60 mph drops in 3.1 seconds, AMG says, and the highest pace is 202 mph. It’s already proved its price on the Nürburgring, setting a production car record there, although the course at The Concours Membership in Miami, FL the place AMG invited me out to attempt my hand is an altogether completely different monitor. Tighter, with sharp hairpin curves and fast modifications of path; the handful of quick straights hardly offer you time to reset earlier than the following nook arrives.
AMG doesn’t have one single secret weapon to make the GT Black Collection quick, however the distinctive crankshaft definitely helps. Redesigned to make it lighter, the flat airplane trims out among the balancing mass from the previous model. That not solely helps with the coupe’s total food plan, however improves throttle response too.
No one may accuse AMG of being delicate with its styling. The AMG GT Black Collection seems each bit as quick as it’s, however as with the most effective efficiency vehicles the shape completely follows the perform.
The common GT isn’t precisely retiring, all priapic snout and bulging rear haunches. For the GT Black Collection, much more carbon-fiber is added to the combo, together with some robust GT3 race automotive cues.
What you’ll be able to’t miss, in fact, is the brand new rear wing. Or, extra precisely, the dual rear wings: stacked one atop the opposite, with the conventional GT coupe’s far smaller rear spoiler trying positively coy beneath. The decrease of the 2 new wings is manually adjustable; on the higher part there’s an electronically-adjustable flap which is able to routinely pivot to completely different levels relying on the present drive mode.
In “Grasp” mode, for instance, it absolutely extends to ship most downforce. Solely when – if – you hit 155 mph will it deign to retract, buying and selling grip in deference to outright pace. With all the assorted aero at play, there’s a whopping 882 lb-ft of constructive downforce generated.
Even earlier than probably the most excessive settings, although, the result’s a coupe each fearsomely quick and unexpectedly forgiving. There’s a way, with some efficiency vehicles, that they barely endure the merely common driver. Do one thing even vaguely approaching foolish, like braking on the incorrect level in a flip or stabbing on the gasoline inopportunely, and they’ll reward you with the embarrassment (and potential restore invoice) of spinning out or on the very least some tail wagging.
The AMG GT Black Collection, although, has a Germanic want to offer help. Positive, it’s exceptionally highly effective and a bonafide weapon within the palms of a pro-driver, however it’s additionally unexpectedly accommodating. Need to stab on the throttle just a little earlier popping out of a flip? Positive, go for it; you’re not going to flick out. Screw up your line? No drawback, the mix of sheer grip and surreptitious electronics have you ever lined. Get just a little too carried away with the gasoline and carry an excessive amount of pace, too far into the following nook? In some way, physics be damned, the AMG doesn’t appear to care.
What stands out are the brakes. Particularly, an unlimited AMG high-performance carbon ceramic-composite system with enhanced cooling, leaving completely nothing to probability. In spite of everything, there’s no such factor as overkill on the monitor.
Going quick is pretty simple, new Mercedes USA chief Dimitris Psillakis identified later: “you simply add extra horsepower.” What makes the distinction is how nicely you’ll be able to modulate and handle that pace. Brakes you already know you’ll be able to depend on imply you’ll be able to sluggish later and more durable; take extra benefit of these horses beneath the hood when the chance arises. It turns the AMG GT Black Collection into the superlative all-rounder, not only a straight-line rocket.
I’m, with some monitor time beneath my belt however nothing approaching correct coaching, a mean efficiency driver. Nonetheless, after simply a few familiarization laps it turns into abundantly clear that the AMG is greater than able to dealing with my rookie errors. It by no means feels tame – and nor would you ever need it to – extra conspiratorial. There’s neither time nor want for recrimination at positioning or brake level goofs on an unfamiliar racecourse; it simply tells you to maintain on pushing.
There are, when you really feel so inclined and have the understanding, dozens of settings you’ll be able to tweak to coax the easiest out of the AMG GT Black Collection. Like all fashionable AMG vehicles there are the standard drive modes – cranking as much as Race at their most excessive – together with particular person adjustment for suspension, ESC, traction management, and every little thing else. A brand new golden knob taking satisfaction of place within the middle of the sprint tweaks traction ranges when the ESP is shut off.
You may go wild with all that, or you’ll be able to set the automotive to Race and easily get to driving. I think, dialed again, it could be oddly usable on common roads as nicely. With solely two of the vehicles at the moment in existence in the entire of the US, Mercedes was unsurprisingly not eager on the concept of my borrowing one to attempt it out on a Costco run, however assuming you plot a course with minimal curbs in order to keep away from scuffing that each one carbon fiber I believe it could do exactly tremendous.
That’s, in fact, the magic of the AMG Black Collection normally. Extra efficiency and extra unique, naturally, but in addition a Mercedes with it. All the standard toys are within the cabin, together with completely trimmed sports activities seats. AMG could have eliminated weight however they haven’t gone spartan with it, even when the mix of successive lap after lap and 90+ diploma Miami warmth did depart the A/C compressor taking the occasional time-out.
Manufacturing of the AMG GT Black Collection is restricted – Mercedes isn’t saying fairly what number of it’ll construct – and solely a portion of these will make it to the US. Regardless of robust demand, AMG says that there gained’t be sufficient coming over for each considered one of its American dealerships to get a automotive. Which means fewer than 389 or so, even when the precise quantity is a secret.
Each will be $325,000 (plus $1,050 vacation spot) earlier than choices, and every – no shock – has already been accounted for.
What comes subsequent is a giant query. AMG has already dedicated to electrification, each with E Efficiency plug-in hybrids that can ship 804+ horsepower, and EQ all-electric performance EVs. On the one hand I can see purists getting frightened and, definitely, these pure-electric vehicles might be a really completely different expertise of pace in comparison with the growling, howling AMG GT Black Collection when pushed laborious.
Nonetheless, our first style of that electrification does promise to be just a little like having your cake and consuming it. The AMG E Efficiency vehicles gained’t ditch their V8 biturbo engines in any case: they’ll just add to them with electric motors. With gasoline driving the entrance axle and electrical for the again, you’ll get soundtrack and pace.
Even when the pure electrical drivetrain is deemed sufficiently well-rounded for flagship standing, although, I’m undecided we’d like be involved. What the AMG GT Black Collection demonstrates is that good driving is about extra than simply the engine.
Commerce out the biturbo V8 for some efficiency electrical motors and the identical type of aero, suspension, and common tuning polish that left me feeling so succesful on the monitor, and – whereas it could not sound the identical – I believe the tip end result might be no much less participating. The center of a sports activities automotive could also be its engine, however the soul is a broader, extra encompassing factor. This GT Black Collection is okay proof that AMG has greater than sufficient of that to spare.