2018 Mercedes-Benz AMG GT

2018 Mercedes-Benz AMG GT Review

The Mercedes-AMG GT is easily among the world's best driver's cars.
8.4 / 10
Edmunds overall rating
author
by Carlos Lago
Edmunds Editor

Edmunds expert review

With its long nose and swooped-back cabin, the 2018 Mercedes-Benz AMG GT evokes imagery of its sports car ancestors, starting with the original 300 SL and moving up to the more recent SLR and SLS. There's a functional reason for this design, too — the length of that snout means the GT's powerful V8 engine sits behind the front axle, improving overall vehicle balance. Putting the driver so close to the rear wheels makes for a unique driving experience, once again reminiscent of classic sports cars.

Little else is stuck in the past. As Mercedes-Benz's sports car flagship, the GT represents the best of performance and technology. As you move up through the four different trim levels, the amount of electronic sophistication increases; computer controls take over the suspension dampers, limited-slip differential and even steering for the rear wheels.

Yet the GT isn't overwhelmed by technology. Jamming the gas is thrilling, not only because of the engine's power but also thanks to the deep roar it makes under hard acceleration. Each trim level boasts rewarding handling that will satisfy anyone, even those set on extreme racetrack performance.



What's new for 2018

Four new variants join the lineup. The base GT is now available as a drop-top Roadster, and the new widebody GT C comes both as a coupe and Roadster. The coupe-only and extreme GT R significantly increases the performance envelope. The existing base model GT and GT S receive a newly designed fascia along with modest horsepower and torque increases.

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While discerning enthusiasts will enjoy the GT C's nuanced upgrades — not to mention the bragging rights — the less expensive GT S coupe delivers enough thrills to satisfy most drivers. The bodywork is a little narrower, but the lovely styling remains. Plus, the GT S still benefits from an adaptive suspension and an electronically controlled limited-slip differential that are absent from the base model. Not to mention, most performance additions, from ultra-aggressive track-specific tires to carbon-ceramic brakes, are still available.



Trim levels & features

The 2018 Mercedes-AMG GT is a two-seat, rear-wheel-drive sports car that is available in four levels of increasing performance. The base GT model has the lowest power output of the family, but still comes well equipped as a convertible in GT Roadster form. The GT S gets a solid power bump and more sophisticated drivetrain and suspension hardware. Along with more power, the GT C gains wider rear fenders and rear steering. It is also available as a convertible called the GT C Roadster. At the top is the hardcore GT R, whose manually adjustable suspension and slick tires mean it's intended primarily for racetrack use.

Like all trim levels, the GT employs a 4.0-liter V8 and seven-speed, dual-clutch automatic transmission. It is available as both a coupe and convertible called the GT Roadster. For the base version here, the V8 produces 469 hp and 465 lb-ft of torque. Standard equipment includes 19-inch wheels, a mechanical limited-slip differential, an 8.4-inch center infotainment display, a navigation system, a four-speaker sound system, a rearview camera, parking sensors, dual-zone automatic climate control and heated eight-way power-adjustable seats. Convertible models come with a standard neck heating system and dual roll bars. Options include an aerodynamics package, black exterior trim appearance package, panoramic roof, and Burmester stereo system. Buyers can also opt for driver-adjustable exhaust and adaptive dampers, along with a variety of wheel choices.

The engine in the GT S gets a power pump (515 hp, 494 lb-ft of torque), while the chassis gains more sophisticated tools in the form of electronic control for the dampers and limited-slip differential. Drivers have access to a more aggressive Race driving mode and can adjust the loudness of the exhaust. The 640-watt, 10-speaker Burmester stereo system is standard, as are 19-inch front and 20-inch rear wheels. Options are similar to what's available on the base model, but the GT S also gets access to a Dynamic Plus package that broadens the V8's powerband and adds a more aggressive suspension calibration and drivetrain mounts. A high-end 1,000-watt Burmester stereo system, carbon-ceramic brakes and extreme performance sport tires are also available.

The GT C (late availability) offers an even higher engine output (550 hp, 502 lb-ft of torque) in both coupe and convertible GT C Roadster variants. It's 2.3 inches wider in the rear than the previous models, with space used to house wider wheels and a rear-wheel steering system that improves low-speed agility and high-speed stability. The GT C rides on adjustable and continuously variable dampers and has a sharper overall setup thanks to the standard Dynamic Plus package, which adds stiffer engine and transmission mounts and widens the power delivery.

The GT R is the most powerful trim available (577 hp, 516 lb-ft of torque) and is further endowed by carbon-fiber bodywork and a big rear wing. Large and lightweight forged wheels wrapped with extremely aggressive tires along with manually adjustable coil-over suspension mean this hardcore variant is intended primarily for track use. It even has a nine-mode traction control system styled after Mercedes' GT3 racecar. The GT R doesn't have a few features that are standard on lesser models due to its focus on performance, but most are available as options.



Trim tested

Each vehicle typically comes in multiple versions that are fundamentally similar. The ratings in this review are based on our full test of the 2016 Mercedes-Benz AMG GT S (turbo 4.0L V8 | 7-speed dual-clutch automatic | RWD).

NOTE: Since this test was conducted, the current Mercedes-AMG GT S has received some revisions, including an increase in horsepower and torque. Our findings remain broadly applicable to this year's Mercedes-AMG GT, however.

Edmunds Scorecard

Overall8.4 / 10

Driving

9.5 / 10

Acceleration9.5 / 10
Braking9.5 / 10
Steering10.0 / 10
Handling10.0 / 10
Drivability9.0 / 10

Comfort

8.5 / 10

Seat comfort8.5 / 10
Ride comfort9.0 / 10
Noise & vibration8.0 / 10

Interior

7.0 / 10

Ease of use7.5 / 10
Getting in/getting out7.0 / 10
Roominess6.5 / 10
Visibility6.5 / 10
Quality9.0 / 10

Driving9.5

The turbocharged 4.0-liter V8 makes 515 horsepower, but it feels like much more than that when you floor the gas pedal. Grip and balance are beyond impressive, making this car devastatingly fast on any road. Great brakes and the best steering we've felt in years.

Acceleration9.5

The AMG hits 60 mph in 3.6 seconds and clears the quarter-mile in under 12 seconds at over 123 mph. Out on public roads, acceleration is instantaneous yet controllable, although it can feel laggy at part-throttle. Makes great sounds.

Braking9.5

Predictable, linear pedal combined with Michelin Pilot Sport Cup tires and optional (and expensive) carbon-ceramic brakes add up to incredibly short stopping distances (99 feet) and awesome consistency. No jumpiness during casual driving.

Steering10.0

Mercedes fitted the AMG GT with hydraulic steering in a world where everything else comes with electric steering. It's glorious. Direct and responsive with tons of feel. Class-leading. The thick-rimmed steering wheel feels fantastic.

Handling10.0

Incredible tires, outstanding steering, sharp transmission and precise throttle. This is the kind of car that rewards skilled drivers but doesn't penalize mediocre ones, thanks to great communication. It's shockingly and effortlessly fast.

Drivability9.0

Whether you want a cruiser or a high-powered canyon carver, the AMG GT will work for you. Smooth and powerful motor, responsive seven-speed automatic transmission. Being turbocharged, there can be some lag at low-mid throttle settings.

Comfort8.5

Comfort isn't the AMG GT's reason for being, but thanks to the adjustable suspension and reasonably compliant seats, this car can handle long-haul duty almost as well as track duty.

Seat comfort8.5

The seats in the AMG GT offer a good deal of support, but they won't fit all body types. They have minimal adjustability, plus the seat controls are difficult to reach. But the seat holds you in place extremely well.

Ride comfort9.0

Usually performance cars like the AMG GT suffer from unpleasant ride characteristics, but this one does not. The adjustable suspension is stiff in the firmest setting, with limited usability, but Comfort mode is truly comfortable.

Noise & vibration8.0

The AMG GT is quiet considering its performance capabilities. Minimal wind noise, and the engine only gets loud when you stomp on the gas pedal. The summer tires make lots of road noise, but that's the price you pay for great grip.

Interior7.0

Stylish but still quite functional, the interior of the AMG GT is a lovely place to spend time. Most everything is close at hand and easy to use. However, this is a small car with a low seating position. It's not that easy to get out of and visibility is compromised.

Ease of use7.5

This car is made to be driven and AMG made sure the GT's myriad functions don't get in the way of that. Temp controls and most other functions have big, clearly marked buttons. Only real oddity is the shifter, which is funky and hard to reach.

Getting in/getting out7.0

Like most sports cars, the AMG GT is low, and getting in requires some finesse. Getting out takes a similar amount of effort. It's easier to get in and out of the AMG GT than the Mercedes SLS AMG but harder than a 911.

Roominess6.5

The AMG GT is not a big car and that's evident inside the cabin. Space is quite tight and there are minimal perches for your elbows. Headroom is surprisingly good, though taller drivers will wish the seat slid back farther than it does.

Visibility6.5

Forward visibility is very good thanks to a wide windshield and tapering pillars. Visibility rearward isn't so good. Small mirrors, a low seating position and small rear window mean you need to rely on the standard backup camera.

Quality9.0

The AMG GT has outstanding materials and superb craftsmanship. Not a rattle, squeak or uneven panel gap was to be found. But then, this is what you should expect from a six-figure car.

Utility6.5

There are 12.4 cubic feet of cargo space in just the right shape for two golf bags. That's slightly more than a Jaguar F-Type, slightly less than in a Porsche 911. Minimal in-cabin storage, so-so cupholders. No exterior latch to pop the hatch.

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.