Traditionally, the letters AMG have indicated the highest possible performance for any given Mercedes-Benz model. The company has been using it on more versions of its vehicles recently, however, and some of these might be described as "warmed up" rather than "maximum strength." But there's no confusion when it comes to the 2017 Mercedes-AMG GT. This is a whole different animal, an exotic sports car developed from the ground up by the AMG engineering wizards to be the pinnacle of what they are able to achieve. The result is truly one of the best cars to drive in the world.
As a replacement for the SLS AMG, the GT is a more advanced, more manageable, more affordable and all-around better-performing sports car. Yes, it will deliver blistering acceleration in a straight line and sound magnificent doing it, but it can also go around corners with the utmost precision and engagement. The highly communicative steering, in particular, may seal the deal for you.
Then again, it could be its gorgeous styling and interior design, which certainly help the AMG GT stand out a bit more from the comparatively stoic Porsche 911. Its meticulous craftsmanship and engineering also give it a leg up on the go-fastest versions of the Jaguar F-Type, a car that starts off at a considerably lower price. Really, though, any sports car in this price range is bound to put a big old smile on your face whether you're bombing along your favorite back road or just admiring it in the driveway. And in both respects, the wonderful GT is every bit as desirable as those letters AMG promise.
Standard safety features on the 2017 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 drowsy driver warning system, a forward collision warning system, automatic braking for front crash mitigation, a rearview camera, and front and rear parking sensors.
Lane departure warning 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 assistance 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. This is impressively short, though typical among high-end sports cars like the GT.
trim levels & features
The 2017 Mercedes-AMG GT is a two-person coupe available in GT and GT S trim levels.
The standard GT comes standard with 19-inch wheels, LED headlights, keyless ignition and entry (Keyless Go), a rearview camera, parking sensors, dual-zone automatic climate control, heated eight-way power-adjustable seats (with power-adjustable lumbar adjustment and side bolsters), driver-seat memory functions, simulated-leather and suede upholstery, and a power tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel. Also standard is forward collision warning (with emergency automatic braking), the COMAND infotainment interface (8-inch display, knob and touchpad controllers), voice controls, a navigation system, Bluetooth, two USB ports, satellite and HD radio, an auxiliary audio jack and a media player interface.
The GT S gains a more powerful V8, a three-mode adaptive suspension, upgraded wheels (19-inch front, 20-inch rear), an upgraded exhaust, a power-operated trunklid, leather upholstery and a 10-speaker Burmester surround-sound audio system. Apart from its engine, all of the extra GT S content is optional on the base GT.
Options are available for both. The Lane Tracking package adds blind-spot monitoring and lane departure warning systems. The AMG Aerodynamics package adds a fixed rear spoiler, a deeper front splitter and special front air-dam modifications. Stand-alone options include carbon-ceramic brakes, forged wheels, adaptive cruise control (Distronic Plus), a panoramic roof, various upgraded leather seat and interior trim, and an 11-speaker Burmester surround-sound audio system.
The GT S is further available with the AMG Dynamic Plus package, which includes revised engine, steering and suspension tuning, plus dynamic engine and transmission mounts.
Every 2017 Mercedes-AMG GT is powered by a turbocharged 4.0-liter V8 connected to the rear wheels through a seven-speed, dual-clutch automatic transmission. The base GT version of this engine produces 456 horsepower and 443 pound-feet of torque, while the GT S produces 503 hp and 479 lb-ft of torque.
In Edmunds testing, a GT S went from zero to 60 mph in 3.6 seconds, which is suitably quick for this class of car, though some rival all-wheel-drive sports cars post even better numbers.
The EPA estimates that both versions will return 18 mpg combined (16 city/22 highway), which is respectable considering the GT's prodigious power.
Driving the 2017 Mercedes AMG GT is an event. Whatever engine you choose, acceleration is instantaneous yet controllable, and the turbocharged V8 feels as if it's even more powerful than its lofty specs would indicate. When fitted with the performance exhaust (optional on the GT, standard on the GT S), a bypass valve opens that amps up the V8's full-throated roar and sends a shiver down your spine. The neighbors may be less impressed, however.
Most cars these days have electric power steering, but the GT's old-school hydraulic setup is gloriously direct, responsive and characterized by a class-leading amount of feedback. Together with its superb suspension tuning, excellent brakes and sharp transmission, the GT is an effortlessly fast sports car. 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, it's 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 2017 Mercedes-Benz AMG GT's cockpit is a thing of beauty. The design, materials and craftsmanship 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.
That display can be controlled by one of two interfaces: a traditional knob controller or a touchpad that gracefully arcs above it. The latter mimics tablet and trackpad gestures such as 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. We actually appreciate that Mercedes provides drivers with this control redundancy, but certain menus and audio controls are convoluted. As such, COMAND isn't always the easiest interface to use.
For some drivers, the GT will be a little uncomfortable. 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 front roof pillars, low windshield header and long hood.
There's a useful amount of cargo space under the hatch, which at 12.4 cubic feet, is about what you'd expect in traditional four-seat coupes. The space is unusually shaped, so soft luggage bags are a good choice, but you can squeeze a couple golf bags in there if you need to. In general, you're likely to find the GT a less livable car than a Porsche 911, but more livable than a Jaguar F-Type.
edmunds expert review process
This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.
We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.