THE Mercedes-AMG GT Black Series, the latest and most brutal road-going car from Affalterbach, was unveiled globally recently.
Packing 730hp from the renowned 4.0-litre biturbo engine, it is the most powerful car in the history of the AMG V8 series.
Being at the top of the top, the track-focused GT Black Series sits above the already-hardcore Mercedes-AMG GT R and GT R PRO, featuring an expressive design and huge aero works that offer the most dynamic driving.
It is closer to the GT4 racer than it is to the base AMG GT, to say the least.
The new car also marks the return of the Black Series nameplate, an elite name awarded to only selected models from the whole AMG lineup.
“The new GT Black Series is our latest automotive highlight and continues a tradition established in 2006,” said Mercedes-AMG GmbH’s chairman of the management board and chief executive officer Tobias Moers.
“The sixth version of its kind is another AMG milestone and impressive proof of the incredible development expertise in Affalterbach,” he added.
CRÈME DE LA CRÈME
Under the long hood of the AMG GT Black Series is a 4.0-litre dry-sump V8 that has been heavily-revised to deliver 730hp at 6,700rpm to 6,900rpm, the highest-ever power output for AMG V8.
Torque is rated at 800Nm from 2,000rpm to 6,000 rpm.
All of these are achieved with new camshafts and exhaust manifolds, twin-scroll turbochargers with larger compressor wheels and a larger intercooler.
The turbochargers also feature anti-friction bearings to improve throttle response.
In addition, the powerplant now utilises a new “flat plane” crankshaft design.
Unlike previous AMG V8 units that use the “cross plane” crankshafts, the flat plane configuration is specifically designed to improve the gas cycle and, with the new firing order, the engine resonance now translates to an even more instant throttle response.
Paired to the AMG Speedshift DCT 7G dual-clutch transmission, the car can go from zero to 100kph in 3.2 seconds, not bad for a rear-wheel drive.
More interestingly, zero to 200kph is under nine seconds!
FORM FOLLOWS FUNCTIONS
The exterior of the Mercedes-AMG GT Black Series is designed with performance and track driving in mind; so everything you see is purposeful.
Such idea is rooted back to the AMG GT3 and GT4 race cars, starting from the larger radiator air inlet with sickle-shaped intakes that not only increase downforce but also improve brake cooling.
Then there’s the carbon fibre front splitter (manually-adjustable to Street and Race settings), a carbon-fibre bonnet with two large air outlets that channel out warm air, and a large rear diffuser on the rear apron.
One major highlight in this area is the “spoiler on a spoiler”, or what Affalterbach calls a “two-stage rear aerofoil”.
It consists of a GT-wing sort of rear spoiler — made out of carbon-fibre, of course — but topped with an active spoiler.
It extends or retracts depending on the driving situation; whether you want a high-speed stable cruise or high-speed corner attacks, or to increase braking performance, to name a few.
Activation strategies can be selected via AMG DYNAMICS with four settings, which are Basic, Advanced, Pro and Master.
Another race car item taken from the world of motorsport is the flat underbody.
The surface covers nearly the whole underbody of the car, not just to meet aerodynamic requirements but also assists in heat dissipation.
The Downforce level is well over 400kg at 250kph.
In order for a race car to go fast and as efficient as possible, one major thing is to be exceptionally light.
The Mercedes-AMG GT Black Series, as expected, has undergone a massive diet to achieve this goal.
For one, the car features a carbon-fibre torque tube.
Not only is it 40 per cent lighter than the already weight-optimised aluminium one in the AMG GT, the carbon torque tube creates an extremely rigid connection between the engine and the transmission.
The drive shaft further to that is also made out of the same material. Aside from weight benefit, this should give the car an immediate throttle and acceleration feel.
Other lightweight components include the roof, tailgate, front and rear windscreen, front body panels, brake system, alloy wheels and suspension arms within the entire body shell structure.
TUNEABLE LIKE A RACE CAR
If you are familiar with race cars, you will know that most have dials that allow the driver to adjust a couple of settings on-the-go.
Well, the AMG Traction Control has been made available to road-going cars.
On the centre panel right below the air-con vents is a bright yellow rotary dial to tune the level of slip on the live rear axle.
There are nine preset settings available, from Level 1 for driving in the wet with high safety reserves to Level 9 for maximum slip, thus allowing for maximum control of the car behaviour.
But maximum slip does not mean the car will get fully loose as it will continue to accelerate efficiently within the specified slip through the assistance of the electronic differential lock.
Other items include the AMG Ride Control for the adaptive damping system, and AMG Dynamic Select with three driving modes (Comfort, Sport and Sport Plus).
Inside, the GT Black Series gets Nappa leather with sporty Dinamica microfibre in black and with orange contrast stitching, carbon-fibre bucket seats, AMG Performance steering wheel with coloured display switches, aluminium shift paddles and AMG Interior Night Package.
For an even closer motorsport theme, you can opt the AMG Track Package that consists of a titanium roll-cage, four-point seatbelts and a 2kg fire extinguisher.
No pricing has been released yet, but as a reference, the AMG GT R is priced at RM1.7 million when it was launched in Malaysia last year.
So expect the AMG GT Black Series to be priced at more than RM2 million should it arrive on our shores later.