AMG’s very own four-door is its most powerful model yet.
UPDATE 3/14/19: The GT53 starts at $99,995, which is right out of a real-estate agent’s playbook that makes you believe that house is affordable. Sales begin in the spring.
UPDATE 12/18/18: AMG has announced pricing for the V-8–powered GT63 and GT63 S models. The GT63 starts at $137,495, while the GT63 S is $159,995; pricing for the GT53 has yet to be announced. We have updated the story with more information below.
The first ever AMG-fettled Mercedes-Benz was a four-door car, and in the Affalterbach tuning outfit’s early days, four-door Benzes were the exclusive recipients of its ministrations. More recently, of course, AMG has visited its special brand of magic on Mercedes models of all sizes and body configurations, from the A-class subcompact to the G-wagen SUV. But to date, the purpose-built AMG models have been two-door sports cars and roadsters. We’ve known for some time—certainly since the debut of AMG’s four-door concept car at last year’s Geneva auto show—that an AMG-exclusive four-door was in the works.
Now it has finally been revealed. Its official name, the Mercedes-AMG GT 4-Door coupe, may be something of an anticlimax, but there’s plenty to get excited about here. First, though, a bit of clarification: Despite a model designation that suggests this new entry is an AMG GT coupe writ larger, the model is actually based on the E-class sedan’s MRA longitudinal-engine, rear-wheel-drive architecture. One look at it, though, and it’s clear that this is not merely a more sportified E63. The AMG GT 4-Door has its own body, with a low-slung silhouette and a steeply raked windshield. Out front, a vertical-bar grille further establishes a visual connection to AMG’s sports car. At the rear, the active trunklid spoiler adjusts its angle based on vehicle speed; on V-8 models, a more extreme aerodynamics package is optional, which brings a larger front splitter, a modified rear diffuser, and a fixed rear wing that is manually adjustable.
Most Powerful AMG Yet
The car debuts in a trio of familiar model designations, and the three-engine lineup includes inline-six and V-8 offerings, all fed with forced induction. The GT53 is the opening gambit and uses the carmaker’s recently introduced turbocharged inline-six. It’s supplemented by an electrically driven supercharger and a 48-volt electric motor (a setup first seen in the new CLS53). As in the CLS53, the 3.0-liter powertrain produces a maximum of 429 horsepower and 384 lb-ft of torque, with the electric motor contributing up to 21 ponies and 184 lb-ft. In combination with a nine-speed torque-converter automatic and 4Matic+ all-wheel drive, the combo is good for a 4.4-second sprint to 60 mph and a 174-mph top speed, according to AMG.
Like other AMGs wearing the 63 designation, the GT63 is powered by a twin-turbo 4.0-liter V-8. It’s paired with a slightly different nine-speed automatic transmission—this one replaces the torque converter with a multiplate clutch pack—that incorporates AMG’s Race Start function. In the 4-Door model, output is 577 horsepower and 553 lb-ft. (That matches this engine’s numbers in the wildest version of the coupe, the track-monster AMG GT R.) AMG claims the GT63 can charge to 60 mph in 3.3 seconds on its way to a top speed of 193 mph.
Naturally, there’s also a 63 S version. That variant turns up the wick to 630 horsepower and 627 lb-ft—meaning that the most potent AMG GT 4-Door exceeds the output of the two-door sports car, not to mention that of the 603-hp E63 S. In this car, the S’s extra oomph shaves 0.2 second off the factory zero-to-60-mph time and adds 2 mph to the terminal velocity, for new figures of 3.1 seconds and 195 mph. In both GT63 cars, the 4Matic+ all-wheel-drive system features an electronically controlled limited-slip rear differential; a selectable Drift Mode, in which torque is directed solely to the rear wheels, is standard on the GT63 S and optional on the normal GT63.
Brakes of Bronze
All that go requires plenty of whoa, and AMG seems to have spent a considerable amount of energy on the GT 4-Door’s brakes—or at least on the color of their calipers, which come in four different hues. The GT53’s internally vented and perforated rotors are squeezed by relatively humble silver-painted calipers. In the GT63, flashier red units—six-piston front and single-piston rear—grip larger rotors. The GT63 S has the same hardware, but the calipers are an even more visually arresting yellow. The V-8 cars can be further upgraded with carbon-ceramic rotors; the bronze-painted calipers mark them as the ultimate setup.
The 63-series cars ride on air springs (AMG Ride Control+), while the 53 version uses steel coils and adaptive dampers. Four-wheel steering is another exclusive feature of the V-8 model’s chassis. Below 62 mph, the rear wheels turn opposite of the fronts; at higher speeds, they turn in phase. The GT53 and 63 feature 19-inch rolling stock, 9.5 inches wide up front (wearing 255/45R-19 rubber) and 11.0 inches at the rear (with 285/40R-19s). The GT63 S gets 20-inch wheels shod with 265/40R-20 footwear (front) and 295/35R-20 (rear).
What’s in Back
In other markets, the GT 4-Door is available as either a four- or five-seater. For the U.S. market, the car will be available solely as a four-seater, with two different back-seat configurations: A pair of nonfolding buckets with carbon-fiber-reinforced-plastic seatbacks is standard, while the optional Executive Rear Seat package brings 40/20/40 split-folding seatbacks and a large central console with a touchscreen. Up front, AMG makes standard the Mercedes-Benz dual 12.3-inch display screens, one occupying the typical place in the center of the dash and the other functioning as a configurable instrument cluster. Capacitive switches on the center console include proximity sensors that detect when a finger is drawing near and can then display the corresponding menu in the main two infotainment screens—an attempt to reduce eyes-off-the-road time. Also on the console are new buttons that display the current setting on their surface, and an optional performance steering wheel has similar display buttons beneath the spokes for driving-mode and vehicle-setting selection.
The GT63 and GT63 S models are on sale now in the United States, with the GT53 version to follow in the spring. The GT53 starts at $99,995 with standard navigation and a Burmester stereo. The GT63 starts at $137,495, a few thousand dollars more than the two-door GT S coupe and almost ten grand more than its closest competitor, the new V-8 Panamera GTS. At $159,995, the more powerful GT63 S model is one of the most expensive cars that Mercedes sells. It comes with additional standard features including a performance exhaust system, Race and Drift driving modes, and a Dynamic Plus package, many of which are optional on the lesser models.
Writer: Joe Lorio
Published: Mar 14, 2019
Source: car and driver