Mercedes-AMG Showcases Flagship Performance 'Coupe' in Geneva

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky

There certainly are a lot of high-horsepower options available in the midst of the automotive industry’s sea change toward “electric mobility.” Despite all claims to the contrary, North America has stuck with gas-guzzling SUVs, trucks, and performance coupes — leaving economy-focused machines to fill in the domestic market’s narrowest margins.

It’s a similar story in Germany. While BMW and Mercedes-Benz both claim to be pushing toward electrification, they continue to present us with extravagant models where efficiency is an afterthought. If you’re wondering how they could possibly enact this betrayal of trust, they kind of have to. The profit margin for EVs is slim, sometimes nonexistent, and these expensive units generate the money needed for electric R&D.

We also don’t mind seeing them in the showroom in the slightest. Case in point is the Mercedes-AMG GT 4-Door Coupe. Like all high-end performance “coupes,” the name is utterly meaningless. The new AMG flagship is, in fact, a five-door hatchback with fastback styling. Fortunately, that’s really the only complaint we can make about it, as everything else looks about as desirable as one could imagine.

Showcased in Geneva near its future rival, the BMW M8 Gran Coupe Concept (which is also not a coupe), the AMG GT 4-Door builds on the AMG-GT sports coupe (actually a coupe) by adding power and interior volume. However, the final figures are dependent upon which designation you select. The GT 53 uses a turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-six with a mild-hybrid system that produces 450 horsepower for a top speed of 174 mph. The GT 63 makes use of Mercedes-AMG’s obligatory 4.0-liter biturbo V8 and is good for 577 horsepower. But the crème de la crème is the GT 63 S, which offers 630 horses and 195 mph from the same V8.

If you’re worried about fuel consumption, the 4.0-liters do provide automatic cylinder deactivation. However, the V8s still emit roughly twice the amount of carbon dioxide legally allowed under the European Union’s fleet rules for 2021. Meaning you might not see, or be able to drive, cars like these ever again.

The bigger biturbo units also come equipped with AMG’s nine-speed multi-clutch transmission, whereas the smaller 3.0-liter has a nine-speed torque converter designed specifically for mild-hybrid applications.

While the two-door GT can be had with rear-wheel drive, that’s not an option on the four-door model. AMG has decided to stick with its Performance 4Matic+ intelligent all-wheel drive on all trim levels. That does mean there will be brief moments when the vehicle is technically only spinning the back tires — traction permitting. If that isn’t good enough, the GT 63 and S trims offer a “Drift Mode” that sends the power solely to the rear wheels.

Other performance enhancements include active aerodynamics, rear-wheel steering, six adjustable driving programs, Track Pace software, launch control, variable ratio steering, and a limited-slip differential. V8 equipped cars also get multi chamber air suspension via AMG’s Ride Control+, while the inline-six has steel springs and adjustable damping as standard equipment.

The interior is sporty and streamlined with a pair of 12.3-inch touch screens doing most of the heavy lifting. Some traditional switches remain but the vast majority of the interfacing can be done without them. AMG also bestowed the 4-Door GT Coupe with baby touch controls on the brand new steering wheel. While that’s certainly a cool feature, we’re always a little hesitant to endorse touch controls until we’ve spent some serious time with them. Buttons and knobs are intuitive, flat panels that require you take your eyes of the road are not. Mercedes claims they are up to the task.

One of the more interesting options available for the AMG is a comfort control suite that networks different vehicle functions. Air conditioning, seat controls, massage functions, steering wheel heating, and ambient lighting can be preselected to relax or refresh the driver and passengers “in a targeted manner.” The car even has its own fragrance, which AMG describes as an “appealing, sporty scent to match the spirit of the performance brand.”

Designated for sale next year, the Mercedes-AMG GT 4-Door Coupe ought to eclipse the AMG GT’s $112,400 price tag by a fair margin. The GT 63 duo is slated for launch in early 2019, with the GT 53 nipping at their heels.

[Images: Daimler AG]

Matt Posky
Matt Posky

A staunch consumer advocate tracking industry trends and regulation. Before joining TTAC, Matt spent a decade working for marketing and research firms based in NYC. Clients included several of the world’s largest automakers, global tire brands, and aftermarket part suppliers. Dissatisfied with the corporate world and resentful of having to wear suits everyday, he pivoted to writing about cars. Since then, that man has become an ardent supporter of the right-to-repair movement, been interviewed on the auto industry by national radio broadcasts, driven more rental cars than anyone ever should, participated in amateur rallying events, and received the requisite minimum training as sanctioned by the SCCA. Handy with a wrench, Matt grew up surrounded by Detroit auto workers and managed to get a pizza delivery job before he was legally eligible. He later found himself driving box trucks through Manhattan, guaranteeing future sympathy for actual truckers. He continues to conduct research pertaining to the automotive sector as an independent contractor and has since moved back to his native Michigan, closer to where the cars are born. A contrarian, Matt claims to prefer understeer — stating that front and all-wheel drive vehicles cater best to his driving style.

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2 of 17 comments
  • IBx1 IBx1 on Mar 09, 2018

    The Buick grille on new AMGs makes me sad. It's so visually slow, makes the design look blunt when their usual grille blade or especially their starburst grille looks dynamic.

  • Sportyaccordy Sportyaccordy on Mar 09, 2018

    The promise: F1 inspired hybrid hyper hatch The reality: Mercedes CLS Mondeo liftback How exciting