Used 2016 Mercedes-Benz AMG GT Coupe
Used 2016 Mercedes-Benz AMG GT Coupe for Sale
Edmunds' Expert Review
With its combination of compelling good looks and stunning performance, the 2016 Mercedes-Benz AMG GT ranks among the top choices for a high-end luxury sports car.
Every few years, another automaker announces it has cracked the code. Its new car, it claims, will rival the vaunted Porsche 911 as the purest of the purists' sports cars. And somewhere in Porsche's home offices and factories, we imagine a collective yawn before workers turn their attention to, well, furthering world sports car domination. But hey, you've got to try, right? And judging by the new 2016 AMG GT, there are few companies better equipped than Mercedes-Benz to do just that.
The AMG GT (or the "Mercedes-AMG GT," as the company is calling it) could be viewed as a successor to the now discontinued SLS AMG. But it's a more refined yet considerably less costly successor. And whereas the brawny SLS AMG was a temperamental-handling sports car that could punish even experienced drivers when pushed hard, the AMG GT's smoother, more predictable responses and more compact dimensions provide greater driver confidence. As such, you'll probably find the 2016 Mercedes-Benz AMG GT a more enjoyable companion than the SLS both for everyday driving adventures and the occasional track day.
The 2016 Mercedes-Benz AMG GT is the spiritual successor to the SLS AMG.
Of course, anyone familiar with Mercedes' high-performance AMG division will know that the GT packs plenty of heat as well. The S version has a turbocharged 4.0-liter V8 that applies its 503 horsepower to the rear wheels through a rear-mounted seven-speed automated manual transaxle. The result is a 0-60-mph sprint in a claimed 3.7 seconds and a top speed of 193 mph.
Plenty of other cutting-edge technologies have been used in the AMG GT as well. The lightweight body and underlying structure are made almost entirely out of aluminum. There are active motor and transmission mounts that vary their stiffness to suit the driving situation, variable-ratio power steering that automatically adjusts based on both speed and lateral G-forces, and powerful optional carbon-ceramic disc brakes. The result is a car that corners, steers and stops like a true performance machine, stacking up very well against other sports cars in this rarefied segment.
Choosing a car in this class isn't going to be easy, though. The 911 continues to be fantastic and comes in more flavors than Baskin-Robbins offers. The Audi R8 is fully redesigned this year and will hold sway with its more powerful V10 and exotic-car looks. And for the best combination of value and performance, the Chevrolet Corvette Z06 is simply unbeatable. Has the code been cracked? Only time will tell. But the 2016 Mercedes AMG GT certainly seems like it's quite close.
Trim levels & features
The 2016 Mercedes-Benz AMG GT is a two-seat sports car with a hatchback body style. It is currently offered in a single "S" model. A slightly less powerful (and less expensive) AMG GT variant will debut later.
Standard equipment on the AMG GT S includes 19-inch front and 20-inch rear wheels, an electronically controlled rear differential, an adaptive suspension, a dynamic exhaust system with driver-selectable settings, LED headlights, automatic high-beam headlight control, auto-dimming outside mirrors, a power-operated trunk lid, a pop-up rear spoiler, front and rear parking sensors and keyless ignition and entry.
Inside, you'll find dual-zone automatic climate control, leather upholstery, heated sport seats, driver memory settings, adaptive cruise control, an 8-inch central display, a rearview camera, the Mercedes COMAND control system with a built-in touchpad, a navigation system, voice controls, and a 10-speaker Burmester surround-sound audio system with a CD player, HD radio, a USB/audio interface and satellite radio.
Options include a Lane Tracking package that bundles blind-spot monitoring and lane-keeping assist systems. An available AMG Dynamic Plus package includes revised engine tuning (for a wider engine power band), adaptive engine and transmission mounts, even more performance-oriented suspension tuning and a sport steering wheel. The mbrace telematics package and a Mercedes apps package are also offered. Other options include upgraded Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires, carbon-ceramic brakes, an 11-speaker Burmester surround-sound audio system, premium leather upholstery and various exterior and interior trim upgrades.
Performance & mpg
Power for the 2016 Mercedes-Benz AMG GT S comes from a turbocharged 4.0-liter V8 engine that cranks out 503 hp and 479 pound-feet of torque. Power flows to the rear wheels through a seven-speed automated manual transmission. In Edmunds testing, the AMG GT S launched from zero to 60 mph in a chest-compressing 3.6 seconds. EPA-estimated fuel economy stands at 18 mpg combined (16 city/22 highway).
The AMG GT is equally at home charging on flat straightaways or carving through mountain passes.
When the AMG GT model debuts, it will have a detuned version of this powertrain with the V8 generating an estimated 456 hp and 443 lb-ft of torque.
Standard safety features on the 2016 Mercedes-Benz AMG GT S include antilock brakes, stability and traction control, side airbags, head-protecting side curtain airbags and knee airbags. The GT S also comes with a driver drowsiness monitor (Attention Assist), a frontal collision warning system, automatic braking for frontal crash mitigation (Collision Prevention Assist Plus), a rearview camera and front and rear parking sensors.
Lane keeping assist and blind spot monitoring are available as part of the Lane Tracking option package. The optional Mercedes mbrace telematics system provides automatic crash notification, crisis assist and more.
In Edmunds brake testing, an AMG GT S with the Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires and carbon-ceramic brakes stopped from 60 mph in 99 feet, an impressive showing that's nonetheless just average for this segment.
Once you get past the shortcomings noted above and actually get settled into the driver seat, the beauty of the 2016 Mercedes-Benz AMG GT S becomes readily apparent. The old SLS AMG's V8 was well known for its stout power and memorable soundtrack, and the new turbo V8 is a fine successor. Nail the gas and that muscular V8 delivers a level of propulsion that few other cars can match. There's even a button that, when pushed, opens a bypass valve in the exhaust system to amp up the V8's full-throated roar. The seven-speed gearbox is excellent and provides quick gearchanges in normal driving, though we've found the Race mode's programming for track duty isn't always perfect.
Drive the 2016 AMG GT S on a challenging road (or road course) and you'll find it impressively well balanced and very engaging. This is a car with communicative steering and adept handling. Whereas earlier AMG offerings had all the delicacy of a chainsaw when carving up a back road, the GT feels like a far more precise instrument when you're pushing hard. Driven more sedately, the AMG GT S is a pretty civilized beast, but its ride quality is certainly on the firm side. In particular, watch out for the AMG Dynamic Plus package's stiffened suspension. Even with the adaptive dampers on their most supple setting, impacts are transmitted through the seats with an un-Mercedes-like harshness.
The 2016 Mercedes-Benz AMG GT's cockpit is a thing of beauty. The design, materials and workmanship are all top-notch. Buyers have the ability to customize the space with different upholstery materials, contrasting stitching and trim choices that include matte or glossy carbon fiber. The 8-inch display boasts crisp graphics, but it looks a bit like an iPad perched atop the center vents and is one of the few inelegant touches in an otherwise stunning cabin.
Mercedes' latest version of the COMAND interface controls what appears on that display. Floating above the traditional dial controller is a touchpad that mimics tablet and trackpad gestures like swiping, pinching and tapping. You can also trace letters and numbers on the surface (when inputting a street address, for example), though this feature is mainly aimed at buyers whose primary language does not use the Roman alphabet. Although the new touchpad takes some getting used to, COMAND remains one of the best infotainment systems available.
The seats are wonderfully supportive, but thin padding makes them unsuitable for extended road trips.
The seats are well-bolstered for sporty driving, but their thin padding makes the AMG GT just uncomfortable enough that you wouldn't necessarily want to take it on a really long road trip. Taller drivers might not be able to slide or recline the seatback far enough to get comfortable. Outward visibility is limited by the thick A-pillars, low windshield header and long hood.
There's a useful amount of cargo space under the hatch, though at 12.4 cubic feet, it's slightly less than a Porsche 911's capacity. Soft luggage bags are a good choice to best fit the unusual shape, but you can squeeze a couple golf bags in there if you need to.
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Features & Specs
More About This Model
Consider the 2016 Mercedes-AMG GT S an outrageously rapid instrument of analog high fidelity in a world that is embracing digital feedback. Its micrometer-precise responses to throttle and steering inputs are unlike those we've experienced in any other AMG product.
In the words of AMG, it's a genuine driver's car — a pure sports car. After driving the GT, we can't disagree.
What Is It?
The 2016 Mercedes-AMG GT is a two-seat sports car that will be sold in two trims: GT and GT S. Both versions are serious performance cars similar to the Porsche 911 and Corvette Stingray.
Though both GT models share underpinnings (the cabin, mostly) with the outgoing Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG supercar, they ride on a 2-inch-shorter wheelbase and utilize an all-new engine.
Targeting the 911 is no small task, and AMG shows little restraint in its pursuit of balancing radical capability and everyday road-worthiness. The GT S's wheelbase is 7 inches longer than the Porsche's but shorter than the Stingray's. A 911 Turbo S is about the same height as the GT, but the Mercedes is 122 pounds lighter (3,461 vs. 3,583).
What Kind of Power Does It Have?
It's under the hood, however, where the real rivalry is fought. Both GT and GT S trims utilize a 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8. The all-new engine packages its turbochargers inside the V8's cylinder banks, which enhances both efficiency and emissions. Dry-sump lubrication eliminates the oil pan, thereby lowering the engine in the chassis, while direct fuel injection adds power and efficiency.
In GT trim it produces 456 horsepower and 443 pound-feet of torque. GT S models are more powerful, making 503 hp and 479 lb-ft of torque. Both utilize a seven-speed dual-clutch transaxle packaged between the rear wheels to produce a 47/53 fore/aft weight distribution.
Though base GT models come with passive dampers and a mechanical limited-slip differential, GT S models come with electronically controlled dampers and an electronically controlled limited slip. AMG's Dynamic Select drive mode adjuster tweaks throttle response, steering effort, shift speed and, on GT S trims, suspension damping and differential response. Five settings are available: Comfort, Sport, Sport+, Race and an Individual mode that permits customized settings.
Carbon-ceramic brakes are optional on both models. The GT S model also offers more extreme performance options like active engine and transaxle mounts, more negative camber in the front suspension and stiffer springs and dampers when fitted with the optional AMG Dynamic Plus package. Forged wheels and super-sticky R compound Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires are also available for the GT S, but our tester wore Michelin Pilot Super Sports.
How Does It Drive on the Track?
Race mode, though instantly involving on the track (the only place it should be engaged), isn't perfect. We were drawn quickly to the idea that the GT S can select the appropriate gear in nearly any situation, but, in practice, this isn't always the case.
There's speed, novelty and a solid measure of surplus processing power to spend elsewhere if the car can do the entire job itself. And in most cases the GT S does exactly that — rev-matching downshifts and popping off upshifts with weapons-grade precision at exactly the right time. But occasionally it would find itself a gear too high and order a downshift after we'd already committed to full throttle, which was both annoying and slower than shifting ourselves.
Even so, everything else about the GT S (from the way it manages its weight to the way it explodes from corners) is both confident and involving. The line between the edge of grip and the edge of control is a broad one painted by the hands of capable drivers and engineers.
The brakes, too — carbon-ceramic rotors on our test car — were among the most confident we've used, slowing the big sports car time and again without any indication that they were working hard.
That this car is tuned to produce fine-edge control and absolute speed is obvious when its limits are probed. Walk the GT's front tires to the edge of grip and its steering communicates clearly where the line lies. Balance among front-tire, rear-tire and four-tire slides is completely adjustable. What's more, the car's three-stage stability control stays at bay in Race mode unless it's genuinely needed.
How Does It Drive on the Street?
The hand-built engine lacks subtlety to the same extent that it lacks calm when driven in anger. Of course it can be damped to socially responsible levels via variable exhaust flaps using a dedicated button on the center console. The flaps are also employed more or less aggressively depending on the drive mode selected.
There's little point in utilizing Sport+ mode on most back roads, as it's too stiff to be even remotely practical, which is where customizing your own settings becomes critically important. We did just that and found that relaxing the dampers allowed the compliance needed, while still providing the body control, steering and powertrain responses we wanted for back-road pounding.
The dual-clutch transmission manages to be an ally most of the time — even during situations that demand fine control at low speeds. Drive the GT S in Comfort mode and it is relatively smooth-riding. Though you'll not mistake the ride for that of a luxury car, it's livable enough that anyone accustomed to modern performance cars won't likely complain.
What's the Interior Like?
A mix of carbon fiber, synthetic suede, leather and satin-finish aluminum covers every surface inside the cockpit. Everything that moves is space-program precise.
The seats are firm and well bolstered and utilize sticky suede on the seatback and seat bottom, which makes them genuinely functional when it comes to holding their occupants in place. The racecar-inspired flat-bottom steering wheel looks cool but makes little sense outside of a Formula 1 car.
An optionally available panoramic glass roof is slick but adds weight up high, which isn't ideal for maximum performance. Early production Edition One models come exclusively with a carbon-fiber roof.
There's a useful amount of cargo space under the hatch, though at 12.4 cubic feet, it's slightly less than a Porsche 911. Soft bags are a good choice to best fit the unusual shape.
How Much Will It Cost?
Though official pricing isn't available yet, the AMG GT will be priced similarly to the Porsche 911 and 911 Turbo. Expect the GT to come in under $120,000, and the GT S to begin around $130,000 and increase from there.
What Safety Features Are Offered?
In addition to multistage stability control, ABS and eight airbags, the GT offers various autonomous braking features as standard equipment. You'll pay extra for a back-up camera, however.
The optional Lane Tracking package includes lane-keeping assist and blind-spot assist, though the latter can be had by itself. The optional PreSafe system pretensions seatbelts and closes the windows and sunroof if the car senses an imminent collision.
What Are Its Closest Competitors?
2015 Chevrolet Corvette Z06: If you're shopping this segment for value, the Z06 is the obvious choice. It's the most powerful and least costly car here. It's also among the most focused driver's cars on offer today. Hard to beat that combo.
2015 Jaguar F-Type R Coupe: Though the F-Type isn't as focused as a driver's car, its striking styling and bonkers engine make it undeniably desirable. It offers more power than the GT and costs less.
2015 Porsche 911 Turbo: Similar weight, power and dynamic targets make Porsche's 911 Turbo the GT's closest competitor. Because the 911 Turbo offers similarly stunning performance and everyday drivability, it should be weighed carefully if you're considering the AMG.
Why Should You Consider This Car?
Mercedes-AMG has successfully landed the GT in the small niche of track-capable cars we'd have no trouble driving every day. Balancing the demands of track capability with the needs of a commuting and pleasure car is no small feat, yet the GT manages both capably.
Also, there will (at least initially) be some small measure of exclusivity in owning an AMG GT or GT S. Every Newport Ned has a 911, after all.
Why Should You Think Twice About This Car?
As a true two-seater, the GT lacks both the 911's rear seats and the Corvette's massive cargo area. If carrying the occasional (small) rear-seat passenger is a need for your everyday supercar, you'll be better served by the Porsche. And if a genuinely large cargo area means something, the Corvette is a better choice.
The manufacturer provided Edmunds this vehicle for the purposes of evaluation.
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Should I lease or buy a 2016 Mercedes-Benz AMG GT?
Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.