In-depth reviews

Mercedes AMG GT (2014-2022) review – engine, gearbox and technical highlights

The dry-sumped version of AMG’s superb V8 dominates the whole experience; the dual-clutch gearbox keeps improving too

Evo rating
from £96,845

The GT’s M178 engine is the dry-sumped brother of the M177 engine found across AMG’s range. That means it has a displacement of 3982cc and two turbochargers residing in the 90 degree V. In standard GT form it produces 523bhp between 5500rpm and 6750rpm, around 50bhp more than it did at launch. Like all AMG V8s, torque is also strong, peaking at 494lb ft on a plateau between 2100rpm and 5500rpm. GT R models up the game with 577bhp at 6500rpm and 516lb ft, figures that put it ahead of key rivals like the Porsche 911 GT3, but short of the brawniest Audi R8 Performance.  

On both road and track, performance of the Mercedes-AMG GT never feels anything less than ballistic. Despite being turbocharged, 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 models 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 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 making the comparison means it is a huge step on.

The GT Black Series goes on its own path, holding onto the same underlying engine architecture, but swapping out the traditional cross-plane crank for a supercar-style flat plane crank. This makes the V8 inherently better balanced, allowing engineers to pack a whole lot more performance into it without the engine shaking itself to pieces. The compromise comes in its aural quality, which sounds far more like a four-cylinder than its exotic ingredients would suggest. Still, the Black Series’ figures are well beyond any GT so far, with 720bhp at 6700rpm, with torque also up to 590lb ft. 

Most Popular

Best car tyres 2023: evo performance tyre test
Best car tyres 2023

Best car tyres 2023: evo performance tyre test

Which tyre should you choose for your performance car? This year’s evo tyre test puts eight strong contenders through their paces to find the very bes…
1 Dec 2023
The BMW M3 is going electric in its next generation
BMW M3 teaser

The BMW M3 is going electric in its next generation

The next M3 supersaloon is receiving a pure-electric powertrain, but it’s not all bad news…
30 Nov 2023
Used car deals of the week
Main used car deals

Used car deals of the week

In this week's used car deals, we've sourced everything from a BMW M3 to a Maserati MC20
30 Nov 2023