2020 Mercedes-AMG GT R: Digital and savage

By THOMAS HUONG | 6 February 2020


The updated Mercedes-AMG GT R is a rear-wheel driven speed demon that simply begs to be fully unleashed on a race track, and at the same time, a street legal bad boy that is a hoot to drive with a stupendous amount of power on tap and magical German race engineering.

Priced at RM1,712,888 excluding insurance, the two-door, two seater road-going race car with the long bonnet looks stunningly sleek and exotic, and never failed to turn heads wherever we went.
Open the door, and you are greeted with a racing performance ambience thanks to the AMG bucket seats, yellow racing pointer on the steering wheel and new AMG Track Package which includes a four-point Schroth safety harness and a 2kg fire extinguisher.

Step on the brake pedal, sink into the snug-fitting black AMG bucket seats, press the start/stop button and the AMG GT R just roars eagerly to life.

There's also the bolted steel roll cage of a roll-over protection system with a main roll bar, a brace for mounting the safety harness, two rear braces as well as a rear diagonal X-brace.

READ MORE: Latest generation Mercedes-AMG GT R and GT C launched

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Our eyes are also drawn to the Mercedes-AMG Affalterbach logo proudly embossed on the cover of the centre storage compartment.

All that racing kit in the car is certainly a thrilling reminder that the AMG GT R is also dubbed the Beast of the Green Hell because much of its development and race engineering was spent on the daunting Nurburgring racetrack's Nordschleife (North Loop).

It is worth noting that on the race track's official website www.nuerburgring.de, you can book an appointment for a lap as a co-pilot on the Nordschleife in the AMG GT R.

Just pay 295 euros (RM1,331) for an unforgettable experience with a racing driver on the 20.8km Green Hell in this beast powered by a 4.0-litre V8 bi-turbo engine mated to a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission, producing 585hp at 6,250rpm and 700Nm at 2,100 to 5,500rpm.

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Exterior and interior updates

The updated AMG GT R arrived in Malaysia last October together with its AMG GT C sibling (priced at RM1,558,888 without insurance).

New stuff here includes the LED high performance headlights which has a multi-chamber reflector system, and a tri-functional, arched light guide takes on the functions of daytime running light, navigation light and turn signals.

Also, the LED tail lights also looks even deeper set and sportier.

The cabin gets new digital tech, and looks more modern with a new 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster and the 10.25-inch multimedia display on the centre console, and a Dinamica microfibre covered steering wheel with new AMG steering wheel buttons.

Finger swiping the Touch Control buttons on the steering wheel allows control of the functions of the digital dash and the multimedia display.

The AMG GT R also gets a Track Pace vehicle-specific data log system for keen drivers to check and analyse their track performances.

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Motorsports wizardry

It is frighteningly fast with a 3.6 second sprint from standstill to 100kph and if you have nerves of steel and are on a straight, clear track that's long enough (like some sections of the German Autobahn), a top speed of 318kph.

Shod with 19-inch (front) and 20-inch (rear) AMG Performance forged wheels, and fitted with ultra-high performance Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 track tyres sized 275/35 (front) and 325/30 (rear), you get sensational grip and the AMG GT R can hug road curves like a lizard.

The AMG GT R has a coil-over suspension combined with the AMG Ride Control adaptive adjustable damping, and we found impressive high-speed stability and extremely sharp handling with little body roll.

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Which is why this is quite an uncompromising low-slung sports car that does not really belong on public roads in the Klang Valley - we were very careful when going over speed bumps.

Even in Comfort mode, the ride quality is somewhat on the harsh side, and we found road imperfections to be intrusive and potholes particularly jarring.

It's a noisy car, and V8 engine drone is a constant reminder from the car that you can go a lot faster if you don't mind risking speeding tickets and road mishaps.

Slip it into Sport+ and Racing modes, and the car sounds and feels much more aggressive with a fair bit of exhaust crackle to get our adrenaline pumping.

Getting in and out of the car also takes some effort, as you need to sink into the bucket seats buried low to the floor of a cramped two-seat cabin, and struggle a bit to pull yourself out.

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Still, this is a Mercedes and you will find an expensive-looking interior fitted with high quality leather and Alcantara, and comforts like Burmester surround sound system and COMAND Online multimedia system.

The front and rear cameras, and the Parktronic park assistant providing visual and audible signals, helped a lot in parking the car safely as our view was quite limited due to the long bonnet and rear diagonal X-brace.

There are also useful features like a storage compartment between the seats, two cup holders, three USB ports and a SD card slot.

The manually adjustable AMG bucket seats upholstered in nappa leather/ Dinamica microfibre are very comfortable and highly supportive during dynamic driving manoeuvres.

Verdict

For us, the everyday practicality aspects of the AMG GT R is like a thin illusion that barely masks the uncompromising, savage nature of the Beast of the Green Hell.


SPECIFICATIONS

2020 Mercedes-AMG GT R

Engine: 3,981cc V8 bi-turbo
Maximum power: 585hp at 6,250rpm
Maximum torque: 700Nm at 2,100 to 5,500rpm
Transmission: AMG Speedshift DCT 7-speed dual clutch
Features: AMG RIDE CONTROL suspension, (19-inch)/(20-inch) AMG Performance 5-twin-spoke forged wheels, AMG Exterior Carbon-Fibre package II, AMG high-performance ceramic composite braking system, AMG Performance exhaust system, LED High Performance headlamps, 4-point seat belts, AMG bucket seats, AMG matt carbon-fibre trim, AMG Performance steering wheel in black microfibre DINAMICA, AMG steering wheel buttons, Exclusive nappa leather/ DINAMICA microfibre black seats, THERMOTRONIC automatic climate control,
Safety and extra features: Active Brake Assist, Adaptive Brake Lights, Adaptive Highbeam Assist, Blind Spot Assist, Fire extinguisher, front and rear cameras, KEYLESS-GO, Lane Keeping Assist, Parking Assist PARKTRONIC, PRE-SAFE system, TIREFIT, Tyre pressure monitoring system, AMG Track Pace, Apple CarPlay, Burmester surround sound system, COMAND Online, Communications module (LTE) for the use of Mercedes me connect services, Mercedes-Benz emergency call system, Smartphone integration,
Touchpad without Controller
Acceleration 0-100kph: 3.6 seconds
Top speed: 318kph
Price (OTR without insurance): RM1,712,888


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Keywords

Overview

Styling
90%
Performance
90%
Comfort
40%
Safety
70%
Value
70%

CarSifu's Rating: 7.2