Mercedes-Benz AMG GT (2015) Review

Mercedes-Benz AMG GT (2015) At A Glance

4/5
Honest John Overall Rating
An exciting alternative to its more common rivals the AMG GT is fast and capable, good looking and a relatively rare sight, too, which means it’s certain to turn heads.

+Incredible engine with huge performance and real aural character, it’s not a Porsche 911, slightly unruly dynamics make it a thrilling always-on driving experience.

-Thrilling to drive but lacks the dynamic polish of its best rivals, interior doesn’t feel that special given the price and is a bit fussily styled.

New prices start from £98,195
Insurance Group 50
On average it achieves 54% of the official MPG figure

Mercedes-Benz’s more unhinged, high performance nature is given an outlet via its Mercedes-AMG division, and heading that line-up is the AMG GT sports car. It arrived in 2014, replacing the SLS, it offering sports car enthusiasts an alternative to the evergreen Porsche 911, among other rivals. The only stand-alone model in the Mercedes-AMG range, it’s not spun-off a regular Mercedes-Benz car, instead being developed from the ground-up as a Mercedes-AMG. There’s a coupe and a roadster version depending on your preference for what’s above your head, while there’s also a choice of models with performance ranging from wild to wilder, all powered by different versions of a spectacular 4.0-litre twin turbo V8.

The Mercedes-AMG GT range was introduced in 2014 in 462PS GT and 510PS GTS guises, with the Roadster version following the coupe in 2017. Since then the range has been updated and revised, with the entry to the GT line up being the GT Coupe Edition 476, that 476 being its output in PS.

Above that is the GT C Coupe with 557PS and a rawer, more intense track-biased models in the guise of the 585PS GT R and GT R Pro. Those two models aren’t too far off the GT4 or GT3 racers that the Mercedes-AMG Customer Racing department will sell you if your appetite for track time gets more even more serious. 

The Roadster model doesn’t offer quite that breadth of choice, it just offered in two guises, with a 557PS GT C Roadster and range-topping GT R Roadster.

Despite the differing outputs all are powered by a 4.0-litre twin turbo V8 engine, those turbos located in between the cylinders in what Mercedes-AMG describes as a ‘hot V’. That is advantageous as it increases the speed of response of the turbochargers to help reduce lag, as well as being beneficial to economy and emissions, too.

It’s a sensational engine, that’s used elsewhere in the Mercedes-AMG line up, it good enough that when Aston Martin was shopping for an engine to power its range of cars it visited Mercedes-AMG at its Affalterbach HQ in Germany and signed a contract. 

In the AMG GT that sensational, hand-built 4.0-litre V8 engine, which wears a plaque proudly displaying the technician who built it, is positioned as far back as possible for it to be front mid-engined.

Lifting the bonnet reveals that, with the V8 nestled low and close to the windscreen, well behind the front axle. That aids the GT’s agility, though for all that, the AMG GT does feel more of a very talented muscle car than pin-sharp sports car.

That’s part of its appeal, it a brawny, fun and involving driver’s car, that’s pleasingly different from its rivals. Among those is the Porsche 911, it, like the AMG GT offering a broad range, the AMG GT also counting cars like the Audi R8, Lamborghini Huracan, McLaren Sports Series. Mercedes-AMG also sells a ‘four-door coupe’ under the GT name, but it’s different enough to warrant its own report, so you can read about it here.

It sounds spectacular, that V8 not just muscular, but characterful of voice, too. The GT R and GT R Pro versions are a little bit tougher to recommend against their rivals, but the core Edition 476 and GT C are appealingly different and exciting cars, and, unlike the range-toppers, relatively sensibly priced, too.

Ask Honest John

Can you recommend something fun and sporty, that's also safe for kids in the back?
"I'm looking for a sports car under £40,000. The Ford Mustang would get my vote but the safety rating is just a no-no for when kids are in the back. What should I buy?"
Don't dismiss the Mustang straight away - the two-star safety rating is mainly because of the lack of standard safety assist features like autonomous emergency braking. This was addressed when the Mustang was facelifted in 2017. As an alternative, how about a Mercedes-Benz C43 AMG Cabriolet? It'll be a bit more luxurious than the Mustang but still an awful lot of fun. Just be prepared for the fuel bills...
Answered by Andrew Brady
Are Mercedes-Benz starting to soften on the GLC steering issue?
"Please see excerpt below from review of Mercedes-Benz E43 AMG Estate by pistonheads.com. Seems to be in line with the GLC, GLC Coupe 4-Matic full-lock steering issues. Note the final sentence. "As in the C-Class (C43 4Matic Estate) though there seems to be some clunkiness in the application of the (4Matic torque split) system. In the C43 we noticed some low-speed chuntering on full lock and at low speeds, such as pulling out of parking spaces. In the E43 it's arguably even more noticeable, the front wheels 'skipping' as if there's some transmission wind or a locked diff somewhere in the system. Interestingly the Porsche Panamera 4 S we've got in at the moment does the same thing, albeit to a lesser extent and Mercedes is promising to get back to us since raising the issue.""
That's helpful. Many thanks. I've had the same thing anecdotally from a pal at Parkers who has a GLC on long-term test. Caused a bit of a stink at the SMMT after my last news announcement on HJUK, so I think the 'Motor Ombudsman' is now paying attention too. The problem comes in the way MB Germany expects MB UK to handle the PR over this sort of thing, especially when it seems to be a RHD only issue. Let's hope it now gets resolved sensibly, even though the 'solution' might be to put lock stops on the steering that gives the cars a supertanker turning circle, like Volvo 4WD estates.
Answered by Honest John
My Mercedes-Benz AMG is having steering problems on full lock at low speed - what do I do?
"We own a Mercedes-Benz AMG 4matic with the same issue that you have written about on the Mercedes-Benz GLC and GLA a few days ago. So far we have had the same response from Mercedes AMG in writing and the dealer, where the "fix" is a winter wheel tyre package which they can't get as the rear wheels are out of stock. I have also contacted Dunlop who have provided the staggered tyres. 225/45/18 front and 245/40/18 rears. The technical department called me today and stated that they don't have an issue with the tyre angle of the front tyre as long at they are MO tyres. I have provided a video to both Mercedes and Dunlop that shows the front tyre appear to "fold" under the rim at full lock, then skip across the ground at full lock and low speed. When AMG called me they stated that this isn't being reported in Germany. I pointed out that I doubt that the German cars have the UK steering option that is quoted on the options list. We have also been told that the fix is winter tyres, the wheel package I have been quoted is £2500 plus the tyres! Looking at the mean temperature for my area of the UK (Chester) they would be needed for 5 months of the year and I'm not sure that can be counted as suitable for UK roads. I'm also not convinced that the winter tyres will solve the issue but we are thinking of investing in some MO winter tyres today and just swap them on the current rims to prove it. The tyre dealer I use has a hunter machine with the Mercedes sensor kit, I will ask them if they have the settings for my car and at least get a printout of the current settings and report back. This was going to be our dream car, so far its less than that. My video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YLuMcjSS838"
This and the email from the GLC owner in Australia suggests that the problem is RHD and, typical of German car manufacturers, Mercedes is in denial and simply telling its UK operation to "deal with it". The fact is that your car is "not of satisfactory quality" and you have a full legal right to reject it as such. Mercedes-Benz did have a problem before, years ago, of not being able to fit its 4-Matic system to E-Class and S-Class because it interfered with the steering. Your legal rights here: http://www.honestjohn.co.uk/faq/consumer-rights/
Answered by Honest John

What does a Mercedes-Benz AMG GT (2015) cost?