When Mercedes Benz released the AMG GT they aimed it directly at one of the most accomplished cars in the business; the Porsche 911 Turbo. Like the SLS that went before it, it was built from the ground up by AMG rather than modifying an existing Mercedes Benz car for extra performance. As a result, they were able to create a car specifically to perform as they wanted it to. Not content with just producing a car that on paper could rival their Stuttgart neighbours, they also enlisted the former Porsche 911 chassis development leader to make sure it certainly drove like one.

By taking the outgoing SLS as a starting point, despite the fact no parts are carried over, they lowered the car by over an inch, shortened the wheelbase by 2 inches, revised the suspension geometry and made sure the weight distribution matched the 47:53 front-to-rear split of the 911. Despite the long bonnet and nose protruding beyond the front wheels, the engine actually sits far back effectively making the AMG GT a front-mid engine car. Higher specification models incorporated a few Porsche tricks of the trade with active dampers and active engine mounts and taking cues from Jaguar’s F-Type SVR with an electronically controlled limited slip rear differential. The resulting car may drive and handle as effectively as a 911 but its streamlined looks, long bonnet and voluptuous curves mean that for many looking for something a bit different it is a more desirable prospect.

The traditional long bonnet styling means you sit far back in the car, but it offers a more relaxed feel to the driving position, as well as an impressive view of that bonnet stretching endlessly out in front of you. Being so far back in the car means you are never far from the burble and growl of the exhausts, but leave the car in Comfort mode and it’s easy to think you are in a comfortable cruiser not a track monster. The levels of equipment and refinement are enough to match Mercedes’ own S Class standards and the ride quality remains comfortable and luxurious, more Grand Tourer than track monster.

That is, until you select SPORT+ or RACE modes and unleash the ‘Beast of the Green Hell’ as Mercedes themselves have christened it. Named specifically after the Nurburgring after the AMG engineers worked tirelessly to ensure the GTR performed to its maximum potential at the famed track. Round Germany’s fearsome Nurburgring the AMG GTR is quicker than cars such as the Porsche 911 GT3 (991.2), the Nissan GTR and is just 2 seconds behind the ballistic McLaren 720 S. In fact, at the time of recording the lap time of 7 minutes 10 seconds it broke the production car record for rear wheel drive sports cars.

The GTR takes the purposeful start of the ‘base’ AMG GT car and uses Mercedes AMG’s motorsport development and expertise to show what the car is really capable of. Using the same 4.0 V8 bi-turbo engine but turned all the way up to 11, the GTR produces 585 BHP and 700Nm of torque to enable the car to accelerate from 0-62 mph in just 3.6 seconds and a top speed just shy of 200 mph. More aggressive styling not only makes the car look more purposeful but the wider track, larger air intakes, huge rear diffuser and fixed rear wing is why the AMG GTR can really perform when it needs to.

Our latest AMG GTR pair offer the same visceral experience of Mercedes’ flagship car but have individual specifications depending on how you prefer your performance car. Both cars come with the Premium Pack, Exclusive Black Nappa leather and Dinamica microfibre interior, and 19/20” AMG Performance forged wheels offering all the creature comforts you’d ever need. However, in one corner we have our 2018 Magnetite Black metallic AMG GTR which has the AMG Track Package with 4-point safety harnesses and roll cage painted Black, it also comes with the AMG Sports bucket seats for ultimate racing feel. In the other corner we have our 17/67 Selenite Grey metallic AMG GTR which has AMG Ceramic-composite brakes, the Carbon Fibre Exterior package, AMG carbon fibre engine cover, AMG Performance seats, Driving assistance package, AMG Matte Black carbon fibre interior trim package and more. One is set up ready for the track, while the other offers more of a ‘Comfort’ specification to offer the same pace and potential, but with a more luxurious setting to exploit the Grand Tourer credentials that the car offers. Which one is the better car, well that is up to you…