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2018 Mercedes-AMG GT R: Green Car of the Year?

PORTIMAO, Portugal – No, it’s not what you’re thinking – this is not the most environmentally-friendly car of the year. But it is without a doubt at the top of my wish list.

PORTIMAO, Portugal – No, it’s not what you’re thinking – this is not the most environmentally-friendly car of the year. But it is without a doubt at the top of my wish list. And don’t kid yourself, the GT R’s brilliant green paint isn’t just a matter of taste. Mercedes-AMG calls this particular shade “AMG Green Hell Magno” in reference to famous portion of the north loop of the Nurburgring known as “the Green Hell.” What’s more, the brass at AMG was proud to own the new track record of 7:10:92 on the legendary German circuit.

If this particular green doesn’t do it for you, fear not: the GT R comes in other colours like yellow, red or bright blue. We, however, are more interested in what’s inside than what’s outside, namely the same twin-turbo, 4.0-litre V8 as the other versions of the GT, albeit with 577 horsepower instead of 456 for the entry-level and 503 for the S.

More power and grip
The engine is paired with a seven-speed, twin-clutch gearbox updated by the engineers at AMG. This combination helps it achieve a 0-100 km/h time of 3.6 seconds according to the manufacturer. At its heart, meaning the engine and gearbox, it’s the same as the GT and the GT S, but its additions truly set the R apart.

Right when you begin driving, you’ll notice the little yellow button in the middle of the dashboard that helps adjust the involvement of the traction control system. Depending on the conditions of the road or track, you will be able to overindulge in controlled drifting to your heart’s content. What’s more, you’ll have several established driving modes, individual or customized, Comfort, Sport, Sport+ and finally Race for you know what!

To facilitate taking on tight turns, this variant of the GT offers active rear-wheel steering. This system turns the rear wheels in the opposite direction of the front wheels for better agility. It’s ideal for short and winding tracks or slalom testing. Above 100 km/h, the rear wheels go the same direction as the front wheels for greater stability. Note that the maximum caster angle is 1.5 degrees.

The coil-spring suspension can be adjusted by the owner, and the front skirt is also adjustable according to the speed you reach. When opened completely, the airflow pins the car to the pavement like a ground effect. Also note that the additional air intakes in front as well as the rear extractors are functional.

Brawny style
In numerous ways, this AMG GT R has a different appearance. The wheel wells are wider and curvier and the single-branch grille has also been replaced by a more imposing design, decked out with thin vertical strips. Furthermore, the lower part of the shield is now active.

The beast is equipped with oversized Brembo brakes as well as 19- and 20-inch Michelin Pilot Sport Cup tires mounted on exclusive stylized wheels. At the tail end, the diffuser is much larger with the exhausts located behind, except for the third outlet that is found in the middle of the group. Oh yes, for a more enjoyable sound, this GT R has three exhaust outlets.

An immense spoiler mounted on the trunk rounds things out. Inside, this GT features enveloping AMG Performance seats covered in nappa leather and Dinamica microfibre. The yellow belts are highly visible, while an option package called Interior Night is offered with shiny black accents on the wheel-mounted paddles, the steering wheel and the lower part of the doors.

Finally, note that his variant of the Mercedes-Benz sports car weighs in at a slim, trim 1555 kg, and the carbon fibre has a little something to do with that. The front fenders, the roof and the passage between the engine and the transmission are made with this material.

For the time being, no price has been announced. If we base it on the $150,700 asking price for the GT S and consider the technological additions of this R version, we could easily see this version going for about $200,000. But here’s the surprise: this Mercedes-AMG GT R should arrive here this summer, at the same time as the GT S cabriolet.