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    Not All Nice Guys Finish Last

    The 2024 Mercedes-AMG GT: A Nice Guy Finishes First

    The idealist in me looks forward to the day when I’m proven wrong, but I staunchly believe that nice guys do indeed finish last. It’s almost empirically true in business, it’s demonstrably true in racing, it’s anecdotally true in romance, and—without getting too specific or incriminating—I will readily admit that many of my own personal and professional achievements would not have been possible without a, uh, loose interpretation of rules. What does this have to do with the three-pointed star’s newest sports car?

    Well, for better or worse, the 2024 Mercedes-AMG GT has become a nice guy. For starters, you can now get it as a four-seater so you can bring your kids along. All-wheel drive is not just standard, it’s mandatory. It rides softer, there’s a lady in the infotainment system who can tell jokes, and there’s even a less potent, 469-horsepower GT 55 variant coming if this 577-hp GT 63 is a bit too much car for ya.

    In short, the Mercedes-AMG GT has grown up. Yes, it’s naturally more powerful than before but it’s also less prickly and more practical. Easier to live with and friendlier on the everyday. Does this mean it’s lost its edge? Sort of. But its sheer capabilities, style, and delicious V8 thunder mean it’s still a sports car that deserves your attention.

    The Basics

    Let’s get down to the basics of the 2024 Mercedes-AMG GT 63 Coupe:
    – Base Price: TBA
    – Powertrain: 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 | 9-speed automatic | all-wheel drive
    – Horsepower: 577 @ 5,500-6,500 rpm
    – Torque: 590 lb-ft @ 2,500-5,000 rpm
    – Curb Weight: TBA
    – 0-60 mph: 3.1 seconds
    – Top Speed: 196 mph
    – Seating Capacity: 2 or 4
    – Cargo Volume: 11.3 cubic feet | 23.8 cubic feet with rear seats folded
    – EPA Fuel Economy: TBA
    – Quick Take: A capably cool but slightly clinical sports car that deserves a fair shake.
    – Score: 8.5/10

    The Stylish Gent

    Perhaps the biggest tell that this AMG GT is a softer, more versatile affair than the car it replaces is the fact that it is mechanically very similar to the new SL roadster, with the two cars sharing a chassis and drivetrain. Matching power with the last-gen AMG GT R, a 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 still hand-assembled in Affalterbach pumps 577 hp to all four wheels in this 63 model and boasts a new oil pan, a repositioned intercooler, and active crankcase ventilation. To make it feel more athletic to drive than the SL, AMG has taken all of the soft rubber bits—dampers, bushings, what have you—and stiffened them up for the GT while tracks have been widened (0.8 inches up front, 2.3 inches in the rear). And while the SL is a convertible, the GT is strictly a coupe.

    The new AMG GT may be a nice guy now, but I don’t think many will accuse it of being a dowdy one. Restyled to look supercar-wide and aggressive, it’s visually very clearly a successor to the first generation of AMG’s halo coupe. The hips are bulbous, the hood is long, and the optional 21-inch wheels look cartoonishly big. Its front fascia may not be as distinctively Mercedes as the old GT’s, but it is more attractive to me. Yassified BMW Z4 infused with hints of the last-gen Dodge Viper and a rear three-quarter view that could frankly be a homage to the Porsche 911.

    Speaking of Zuffenhausen-inspired things, there’s a 911 Turbo-style hidden deployable front chin splitter that reduces front lift without raising the rear, as well as active grille shutters that open and close as needed and a standard five-position active rear wing. An optional aero package adds little flics near the intakes, on the fenders, and on the rear diffuser, and replaces the adjustable rear spoiler with a fixed one that engineers say is superior to the deployable wing in terms of pure aerodynamic properties.

    Inside Comfort and Technology

    Less has been done to differentiate this car from its SL platform sibling on the inside, though. In fact, if you’ve been in the SL, you’ve been in the GT because as far as I can tell, it is the same cabin. And from a high-level usability standpoint, if you’ve been in any recent Mercedes product, you’ve been in the GT. In short, it’s a very pretty place to be—turbine air vents, polishedly ornate Burmester speaker grilles, color-rich, sharp displays, and generally great build and material quality remain highlights—but MBUX with no volume knob and touch-sensitive steering wheel controls remain frustrating to use.

    Sport seats up front are appropriate, not overly firm and nicely shaped and bolstered for spirited driving. But, as mentioned, the AMG GT can now be had with two back seats. Naturally, these are limited to children, very small adults, or regular-sized adults you really don’t like, and even Mercedes says they are only meant to accommodate passengers 4’11” and shorter. These can be folded down for more cargo space.

    Driving Experience

    For all of its newfound relative practicality, the new Mercedes-AMG GT is still mightily fast, but you didn’t need me to tell you that. Just look at it—how could it not be? Zero to 60 mph is dealt with in 3.1 seconds and it reaches terminal velocity at an autobahn-ready 196 mph. In the EV era, though, a 0-60 time in the threes is barely anything to brag about anymore and sports cars like this have been approaching (and exceeding) 200 mph for a while now.

    No, what a car like the AMG GT needs to do to prove its sports car mettle is maneuver and excite on a visceral level. And it does that, to a point. As an instrument of speed built to reel in stoplights and devour corners, the new GT is a monster. The grip is immense, as is the turbocharged V8 grunt which comes with an appreciably loud, fire-and-brimstone soundtrack.

    The nine-speed automatic transmission features a wet start-off clutch instead of a torque converter to reduce both weight and inertia and does its thing in the background without drawing too much attention to itself outside of some spirited kicks in the back when it changes gear in Sport+ mode.

    Fully variable, rear-biased all-wheel drive can send up to 50% of the torque to the front only as needed, which means the car still feels practically rear-driven most of the time. There is, of course, a drift mode that locks it into rear-drive only for deliberate sideways action. An electronic limited-slip rear differential and rear-axle steering of up to 2.5 degrees further up the AMG GT’s cornering prowess.

    A good way to describe the way this car handles would probably be “goal-oriented.” Easy to drive fast and easy to drive smooth, the new sport Mercedes makes light work of winding roads whether they’re long and sweeping or tight and technical. It moves with a grace, agility, and competence that’s quite satisfying to behold in a huh, would you look at that kind of way.

    Here’s the somewhat predictable caveat, though: it really isn’t the most communicative machine. Steering is fairly precise and well-weighted but isn’t quite as analog-feeling in its movement as what you’d get in, say, a comparable 911 while that old-school run-your-hand-over-each-pebble chatter and feedback is almost nonexistent. The brakes are like this, too. 15.4-inch, six-piston front and 14.2-inch, single-piston rear composite brakes slow things down admirably, of course, and even bigger ceramic units are available, but the pedal simply isn’t as precise an input device as it probably should be in a car like this.

    While its inputs are about a half-notch too vague, its chassis and suspension have struck a nice balance between comfort and athleticism. Multi-link suspension all around made of forged aluminum with Active Ride Control and semi-active roll stabilization means eerily stable, deeply impressive road-holding and mid-corner behavior while retaining a ride that’s just on the side of dailyable. High-speed highway cruising yields notably more road and wind noise than what I remember experiencing in the SL and are the two biggest things keeping this from qualifying as a true grand tourer, despite its name.

    The Early Verdict

    Let me put this in Taylor Swift terms: If, say, the previous-gen AMG GT Black Series was Mercedes-AMG in its vindictive goth girl Reputation era, the new AMG GT is 1989. Poppy, palatable, bright-eyed, and beautiful. Old GT? John Mayer. New GT? Harry Styles. You get it.

    As a driving experience, though, the new AMG GT leaves me a bit conflicted. At face value, it is an objectively fabulous motor vehicle. It’s hard to have a bad day with world-class chassis tuning, AMG V8 sound, AMG V8 speed, and an empty, winding Spanish mountain road. But it exists in a bit of a no man’s land. Less-than-perfect controls mean it still plays second fiddle to the Porsche 911 as a canyon scalpel while simultaneously being a little too buttoned down and relaxing to drive to be billed as a German caviar-gargling muscle car like some of its ancestors were.

    It is a more interesting choice than the 911 and perhaps that’s its niche. Cars like this should be purchased with the heart and not the head, after all, and if a 911 that’s 20% less sharp but 20% cooler as an item is what you want, the 2024 Mercedes-AMG GT is the ticket.

    So, does this newly cleaned-up, buttoned-down Boy Scout AMG really finish last? Absolutely not. Second, maybe. Or third. Part of me does wish it were edgier—permanently rear-driven, lighter, louder, less insulation between my hands and the road—but, as it sits, this Boy Scout can throw down.

    And with that, I guess I was wrong. Nice guys can win sometimes.

    Got a tip or question for the author about the AMG GT? You can reach him here: chris.tsui@thedrive.com

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