Published on April 6th, 2020 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez0
Mercedes-Benz AMG GT R test drive review
Is this the right time to review a supercar?
2020 and maybe even 2021 will be the most challenging time for many Malaysians and it will never be forgotten as many will ‘lose their shirt’ and there will be someone ready to pickup all the lost shirts. Yes, there will be a very select few people who will benefit from this massive economic crisis and for the rest of us, life must go on and this is why supercars will continue to have buyers in Malaysia.
This Mercedes-Benz track ready supercar was launched on the 18th of October 2019 in Malaysia at an asking price of RM1.71 million. At the same time its milder street version sibling, the GT C was launched at RM1.56 million. So, what do you get for an additional RM150,000 when you have decided on the GT R?
Well, before we get to that, let us share with you a quick review of the GT R. Our weekend with this supercar started like any other weekend test drive because it was a Friday evening drive from the Mercedes-Benz headquarters to our home in heavy evening office traffic. It was slow and with very little drama.
AMG GT History
Our first meeting with the AMG GT was back in December 2015 when the first generation AMG GT was launched at an asking price of RM1.15 million which is a cool RM410,000 lower than the street version GT C. It had 510bhp and 650Nm of torque and could do the 0-100km/h run in just 3.8 seconds. Its closest rival at the time was the Porsche 911 Carrera 4S which was retailing for RM1,040,000 and delivered almost identical performance but this Mercedes GT looked more aggressive and ‘angry’ next to the rather docile looking 911 4S. Still, Porsche in Malaysia managed to get more buyers than Mercedes-Benz.
Somehow, Malaysian supercar drivers were not ready to pay more than RM1 million for a rather special Benz.
Even the approved permit (AP) holders were reluctant to bring in this Mercedes-Benz supercar and so till today you hardly see any on Malaysian roads. Only a handful of owners bought new and also used units.
AMG GT R Looks
Now 4 years later it still carries the same muscle looks looks and little has been done to the already very sexy shape. In our first hour plus with this car in heavy traffic, it was easy to spot the many admiring glances from other car drivers as we crawled along with them in heavy evening traffic.
AMG GT Engine
In our drive home on the first day, the burbling engine note (as we could only use the first 3 gears) had many drivers lowering their windows a little just to catch the sound of the muscular V8 engine. It is a rhythm that only a handful of cars today can produce. Even the Porsche 911 does not deliver and engine note this entertaining.
The next day we were awake early, before light as it was the best time to exploit this supercar. We knew our destination and before the sun peeked over the horizon we had abused this hand built engine for over an hour and had a constant smile on our face. This 2019 AMG GT R has all the required elements to entertain any driver. Even when cruising back home on the open highway, the engine note was entertaining and whenever you apply additional pressure on the accelerator pedal the cylinders come alive instantly and its exhaust releases a crescendo of excitement that urges you to apply even more pressure on the accelerator pedal. Its simply intoxicating the way the power is delivered from every gear-change. Only the Italians know how to provide similar entertainment.
AMG GT R Decision
It has hard to ignore its impressive power delivery, its impressive handling and its impressive cabin experience. Yes, three out of four important boxes ticked for any supercar. However, the fourth and final important box is not ticked for this GT R. This might be the least important box for many, but it is any important box for us. The user experience. When driving in the city, which is what 99% of the time any supercar driver will be in, you need to have good all round visibility and good cabin comfort to be able to use this supercar effectively. This area is lacking with this AMG GT R. The outward and side vision is not the best, with its long nose, wide arches and thick A pillars, this supercar is not easy to ‘play’ with on city roads.
Then, like all Lotus cars, getting in and out of of the seats needs a 2 step process. First you need to push the steering wheel forward, then you need to push your seat far back and then only can you get out of this Mercedes supercar.
Getting in and out of the passenger seat is also not that easy due to the low side sill and the deep torso hugging race seats. Also, ladies with skirts, short or tight, will not be able to get in or our without doing a quick ‘flash’.
So, GT R Over A GT C
Well, like we said in our earlier paragraph, so, what do you get for an additional RM150,000 when you have decided on the GT R? Well, you get a little more power, a little more acceleration and you get a supercar that is ready to be driven on the Sepang race circuit whenever you get a track day open slot. Yes, this car is equipped ready for some serious track driving fun. The only additional thing you need is driving capability.
Final Word On The GT R
It is designed as a weekend running machine or a real attention grabber wherever it goes. It promotes selfie taking and is probably the only supercar that has Ferrari and Lamborghini owners looking twice at it. The buyer needs to understand when and where to drive it and this adds to its exclusivity and we are quite sure Mercedes-Benz marketers know this.
If we were rich and had a garage full of cars, this AMG GT R would be sitting ready for us to go and meet friends who are driving its rival as it will stand out in a sea a red or black Italians.
Mercedes-AMG GT R Specifications:
Engine: V8 Bi-Turbo
Transmission: 7-Speed dual clutch AMG Speedshift
Max power: 585bhp @ 6250rpm
Max torque: 700Nm @ 2100-5500rpm
Top Speed: 318km/h
0-100km/h: From 3.6secs
Price: From RM1,710.000