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AMG GT S | Mercedes-Benz

Date of Release: August 2015
Number of Reviews 1

Ingenious design, pioneering technology, and precision engineering: These are the core elements that make the 2015 Mercedes-Benz GT S a consecration to sportscar enthusiasts.

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The Torque Rating:  

Generic:

Value
Safety
Exterior
Interior
Performance

Sport Lifestyle

Sex appeal
Symphony of sound
Versatility
Turning heads
Ground clearance

Design

Regardless of your point of view, the GT S is unquestionably a stunning vehicle. With a race-inspired shoulder line, a sloping roof line, and a wide AMG sports grille, the GTS looks fiercesome and ready for take-off at any given time.

The well-appointed cabin of the GTS is a combination of luxurious amenities and racecar styling.

Performance

Powered by a mighty 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 – coupled with a seven-speed dual clutch automatic transmission. It produces an impressive 375kW of power and 650Nm of blistering torque. At the end of the day, this judicious combination allows the GT S to achieve 0-100 km/h in a mere 3.8 seconds!

Safety

As you would expect from a premium brand like Mercedes-Benz, The GT S is fortified with the best levels of safety and security. Standard specification includes: AMG High-performance Composite braking system, traction control, eight airbags and Collision Prevention Assist Plus.

THE TORQUE REVIEW

The last Mercedes-Benz we reviewed was the all-new E-Class Coupé E400 4Matic, in which we said “The exhaust sounds better when you select full manual mode, allowing the engine to overrun on deceleration, producing those amazing pop sounds. When is the AMG model coming Mercedes?! We want more snap, crackle and pops for breakfast!”

Well, Mercedes-Benz South Africa heard our call, loud and clear, and delivered not just any old AMG, but pretty much the BEST ONE YOU CAN GET! The mighty, GT S AMG. A 5-star buffet breakfast, as it were! And boy, did we eat our full!

Mercedes-Benz GT S AMG front view

We say “pretty much” as, of course, there is the GT R, which costs more and goes faster than the GT S, but that is very much a track biased car. So when it comes to a road-going car, the GT S is the very best that the world’s leading premium auto-manufacturer has to offer.  

So, what is it exactly? It’s a front-engine, rear-wheel driven, two-door coupé. The engine is actually mounted behind the front axle, giving it better weight distribution. From a driver’s point of view, it takes a bit of getting used to as you’re basically sitting on top of the rear axle. In front of you, a massive, beautifully sculpted bonnet. The great thing about that driving position, though, is that it gives superior driver feedback; you can really feel the car through your bum! (Nikki Lauda would agree).

Mercedes-Benz GT S AMG bonnet

In our intro, we said it’s hard to believe that this car is in its 3rd year already. It doesn’t look like it has aged a bit. Take the LED daytime running lights for example – the signature ‘upside down tick’ is being carried through to brand new models such as the MY18 A-Class, due here in SA towards the end of the year. Exterior highlights include:

  • Two very large front scoops, on either side of the lower front bumper. Your eyes are immediately drawn to them, giving the car a very aggressive look. This car commands respect!
  • Above each scoop are truly striking headlight clusters. We love the LED DRL’s (their shape in particular). They sit above the LED high-performance lights consisting of one large eye and then three, smaller triangular shaped lights beneath that. We like the auto high beam function.
  • Of course, there’s your quintessential Mercedes-Benz grille with its single horizontal chrome strip and a large, black filled 3-pointed star badge.
  • The side profile reminds you how long this car actually is. Behind the front wheels are two large air ducts. They remind the public that there’s a beast of an engine under the bonnet. Your friend’s eyes will no doubt study the chrome font, which reads V8 BI TURBO. The vents aren’t there just for show – they actually help suck hot air away from the brakes, improving overall braking performance.
  • We love how the glass roof seamlessly flows from the front windscreen into the rear window. It gives the car a strong centre line.
  • Finally, there’s a tidy rear-end, complete with a powered spoiler, elegant, thin taillights and two massive black exhaust tips.

Mercedes-Benz GT S AMG interior

Moving to the interior, it’s here where the car starts to give one a hint of its age. Don’t get us wrong, it’s a brilliant, well-built, luxurious cabin. You’ll only notice a difference if you climb directly out of brand new models such as the E-Class Cab/Coupé. Interior styling highlights include:

  • A powerful looking, brushed metal centre console. We love how 7 out of the 8 buttons (4 either side of the gear lever) are driving orientated. Let’s be frank, this car is nothing if not a driver’s car. 
  • A quality, felt-covered D-shaped steering wheel with a black centre line. Beyond that, is one of the best analogue speedos we’ve seen. Featuring two large dials, the centre mounted onboard computer will display your normal driving info, but in addition, a host of track orientated info. Our absolute best feature is when you flip the gearbox into manual, you have those progressive orange-to-red LED’s at the top, helping you make optimum gear changes. For most of us, this is about as close as you can get to that Lewis Hamilton racing feel.
  • The same quality infotainment system you find in the latest Mercedes-Benz models. As always, the sound system is very impressive.
  • Fully automatic dual-zone climate control as well as keyless entry, start/stop.
  • Advanced safety tech that will help the driver avoid collisions.
  • A well-built cabin with hand-stitched leather pretty much everywhere. We like the embossed AMG badges.
  • Finally, very sporty, electric AMG seats. This is where you start to understand that this is the ‘S’ variant and that as much as we said this car is road biased, it will feel right at home on the track too. The seats provide great support, but there’s not much there in terms of comfort.

Combine the exterior and interior styling elements of this car and what do you get? The answer: status! It’s quite a surreal feeling testing a car like this – you literally notice how many members of the public are gawking at ‘your’ car. It’s great to see that it’s not a jealous stare – people generally cheer you on as fans of the brand!

Mercedes-Benz GT S AMG 4.0l V8 BI TURBO

As nice as that is, the core of why you would buy a car like this is the engine and the ride. Some Afrikaans speaking South Africans say that AMG stands for “all my geld”. It actually stands for "Aufrecht Melcher Grossaspach" which comes from Hans Werner Aufrecht (A) and Erhard Melcher (M), who were the two main partners, while Aufrecht's birthplace of Grossaspach (G) is the third letter in the name of an independent division of Mercedes-Benz. It’s a pity Hans’s surname didn’t start with an ‘O’ because OMG! is exactly what you shout out as this car accelerates from 0 – 100km/h in a mere 3.8 seconds. The car keeps accelerating all the way to the very illegal speed of over 300km/h (we didn’t personally test that).

The sound the engine makes via those two sports exhausts is like nothing we’ve ever experienced. It is absolutely, bloody amazing! Traditionally, it’s always been naturally aspirated engines that produce the best sound, whilst turbo-charged engines, like the ones you find in most Porsche’s produce quite a rough, harsh sound. Well, let this be an example to all! Turbo-powered engines can still sound incredible. In this case, it’s a 4-litre V8 engine, boosted by two turbos doing exactly the same thing, at the same time – one powering the left-hand cylinder bank, the other, the right side. If you’re into the stats, this magnificent engine, which is hand crafted by a single AMG engineer, from start to finish, produces 375Kw @ 6,000 rpm’s and 650Nm of torque @ 5,000 rpm’s. All that power goes via a rear-mounted AMG SPEEDSHIFT dual-clutch 7-speed automatic gearbox.

As a driver, you are able to choose from five different drive modes: Individual / Comfort / Normal / Sport / Sport+ and finally RACE. Each mode represents a pre-programmed list of drive settings, but we really like how you can then alter the settings via the centre console buttons. For example, flick into Sport+ mode, and then press the 3-stage adaptive sports suspension to soften the ride.

It’s difficult to adequately describe how amazing the ride quality of this car is. With such a wide track, it almost feels like the car steers itself. In terms of chassis feel, speed is irrelevant – 160km/h feels the same as 60km/h. Grip is immense, even though it’s 2WD. This car just wants to go and go – it’s almost as if it gets angry with you when you taper off. Those exhaust pops sound like the car slamming its imaginary fist down on a desk, exclaiming: “Nein, nein! Keep going!” It was a truly amazing test week and we are very grateful we got to experience this awesome car.

Mercedes-Benz GT S AMG interior close-up

With that said, what would it be like to live with? Let’s see how the GT S ranks up against our Sports Lifestyle judging criteria:

  • Sex appeal (5 out of 5): Does this car make you feel sexy? As far cars go, this is about as aspirational as it gets. So yes, you definitely feel sexy inside. Put your foot down and your mind quickly forgets about those warm and fuzzy feelings. At pace, this car demands your full attention.

  • Symphony of sound (5 out of 5): Does a high revving engine bring music to your ears? If we could score this car 500 out of 5, we would! The GT S definitely ranks in our top three best sounding cars of all time! It’s an all you can eat snap, crackle and pop buffet!

  • Versatility (4 out of 5): It's a sports car, yes, but does it have the modern day creature comforts? One thing we love about Merc’s is that they drive as well at 5km/h as they do going flat out. Switch the car into comfort mode and this beast of a car is tamed. That said, the sports seats are quite hard and if you are a tall fellow, you will only just fit into the car. Technically, the car would be happy to drive every day, but ideally, you would want this car to be a weekend special.

  • Turning heads (5 out of 5): If looks could kill, is your car a deadly assassin? 100% yes. We even had the police pull us over a few times, not because we were breaking the law, but purely because they wanted to have a closer look! People, young and old, couldn’t stop complimenting the car. A special thanks to our dedicated photographers and film crew for showcasing just how beautiful this car is. Scroll to the top of the page to see the full gallery.

  • Ground clearance (4 out of 5): Because every day can't be on the track, can your car handle speed bump filled city streets? The car looks very low, but as long as you slow down, you won’t experience any bumps or tummy scratches. The bonnet is super long, so you need to be careful in a place like a parkade, but there is front and rear PDC (with reverse camera) to assist you.

So again, why would you spend roughly R2.3 million on a car like this? Well, cars like these are the reason why Mercedes-Benz has the pay-off line: “The best or nothing”. Is it the best car in the world? It’s practically impossible to answer that question. There are many factors that come into play, making it difficult to properly compare apples with apples. Is it the best track car? Is it the best GT? Is it cheaper or more expensive than competitor A, B and C? What we will say is that this dream car can change so much literally at the twist of a dial. On one hand, you can be super stylish, driving into the foyer of the Intercontinental Towers, returning from a romantic date with your beautiful partner. On the other hand, you can be fully immersed in immense sound and power as you navigate a racetrack at breakneck speeds. It is, in a word, awesome.

Likes:


  • Incredible engine, producing one of the best exhaust notes you will ever hear
  • Blistering performance – a true driver’s car. Operating this car via the steering wheel mounted paddle shifts is an experience we hope you get to enjoy!
  • Stunning exterior and interior styling


Dislikes:

  • The digits on the speedo are a bit small. Given how hard it is to tell how fast you’re going, you can easily land up accidentally speeding. We changed the onboard computer to show the digital speedo to help overcome this. There is also a speed limiter function.
  • The handbrake is semi-automatic. It self-engages when you park the car, but you need to manually release it when you start the car again. You can’t engage reverse or drive until after you have done this.


Do you own or regularly drive a Mercedes-Benz GT S AMG? Tell SA what you love about your car by quickly rating it on The Torque. Register today

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THE TORQUE is an independent platform dedicated to car reviews. Instead of judging a car based on one or two people’s opinions, THE TORQUE allows you to see what like-minded, real people, who actually own or regularly drive the cars have to say about them.

In addition, THE TORQUE team shares their own ‘lifestyle orientated’ and easy-to-understand reviews on selected cars. Combining the two, gives one the ability to make a truly informed purchasing decision on what the best car for you is. After all, buying a car is a big decision! Register today and tell SA what you love about your car!

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