Posted on May 21, 2018
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.
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.
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!
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 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!
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).
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:
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:
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!
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.
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:
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.
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