Mercedes AMG GT review - is this the Porsche 911's biggest threat? - Engine and gearbox

An all round incredible package. Full video review included

Evo rating
Price
from £96,845
  • Styling, dynamics and drivetrain
  • Steering feels nervous and a bit remote

Engine and Gearbox

The M178 engine is the dry-sumped brother of the M177 engine found in Mercedes’ new C63. That means it has a displacement of 3982cc and the V8 has two turbochargers residing in the middle of the 90 degree V. In more powerful S form, the outputs are 503bhp at 6250rpm and 479lb ft of torque from 1750 to 4750rpm.

The main reason for moving away from the old naturally aspirated 6.2-litre V8 found in the SLS is of course the industry-wide drive to lower emissions. As such, the AMG GT S’s new turbocharged unit returns a claimed 30.1mpg on the combined cycle although in our experience you would have to be extremely restrained to achieve that. 

Subscribe to evo magazine

Subscribe today to have every issue of evo delivered straight to you. You'll SAVE 39% on the shop price, and get evo for its original cover price for a whole year!

On both road and track the performance of the AMG GT S never feels anything less than ballistic. Despite being turbocharged, the throttle response is fantastic, punching you out of every corner and actually matching the alacrity of the handling. The V8 then hauls with an unrelenting ferocity down the straights, reeling in the horizon in an almost surreal fashion. With the exhaust button pressed, all this is of course overlaid with a soundtrack that gargles blood and thunder like some sort of tetchy Norse god.

Where fast Mercedes of the past have often fallen a little short is in the gearshift. However, AMG has got it sorted with the GT. The seven-speed dual-clutch ‘box now cracks through upshifts as smartly as you like, but more importantly it will also down-shift when you ask it to. It still can’t quite match a Ferrari ‘box for overall downshift speed and theatre but the mere fact we’re comparing it to that means it is a huge step on.

Most Popular

Visit/porsche/panamera/203126/porsche-panamera-turbo-s-2020-review
Porsche Panamera

Porsche Panamera Turbo S 2020 review 

Monster straight-line pace and impressive handling, but the Panamera sweet spot is found elsewhere
26 Sep 2020
Visit/ferrari/203127/ferrari-omologata-revealed-latest-bespoke-commission-a-v12-super-coupe
Ferrari

Ferrari Omologata revealed – latest bespoke commission a V12 super coupe

One-off Ferrari Omologata revealed with bespoke body 789bhp V12 engine
25 Sep 2020
Visit/mclaren/203132/mclaren-765lt-2020-review-latest-long-tail-returns-to-reset-the-status-quo
McLaren

McLaren 765LT 2020 review – latest Long Tail returns to reset the status quo

McLaren’s latest Long Tail fulfills its brief in once again pushing the supercar to the next level, the 765LT just has to prove its magic on the road …
29 Sep 2020
Visit/ford/mustang/201971/ford-mustang-mach-e-gt-turns-up-electric-suv-to-459bhp
Ford Mustang

Ford Mustang Mach-E GT turns up electric SUV to 459bhp

The all-electric Ford Mustang Mach-E SUV has gained a hot GT variant, rivalling Tesla’s Model Y Performance
28 Sep 2020