Fifteen lucky Australians will get their hands on the closest thing you can get to an AMG GT3 racing car – the Mercedes-AMG GT R Pro.
AMG is only building 750 examples of the track-prepped weapon but Australia’s love of the German performance brand’s machines has seen a healthy supply for local customers. But it didn’t come cheap, starting at $453,200 (plus on-road costs) although it’s unlikely with orders now open any will still be available when the first deliveries begin in September.
“Australians continue to show their affection for Mercedes-AMG, with an appreciation of the way each vehicle looks and performs and also of the brand’s motorsport heritage,” explained Horst von Sanden, Mercedes-Benz Australia CEO. “We are very pleased to have secured a limited quantity of the AMG GT R PRO for our Australian customers who want to take the already impressive AMG GT R to the next level in performance.”
What makes it so special?
The AMG GT R Pro has been designed as the ultimate track-day car, that you can still drive to and from the circuit (unlike the AMG GT4 which will require a trailer), and takes lessons the company has acquired racing the coupe in the GT3 and GT4 categories around the world.
But the AMG GT R had already benefited from those track learnings, so how has Mercedes turned up the wick even more?
Performance from the 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 is actually unchanged for the Pro – but it’s still a healthy 430kW of power and 700Nm of torque. It sends all that grunt to the road through the rear wheels, via a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission.
Where AMG has instead focused on improving the car is its handling and cutting weight.
There’s a new AMG coil-over suspension system that allows the driver to tailor the set-up, with adjustments to the spring pre-load as well as the compression and rebound of the dampers, based on their preference and the track they’re on.
There’s also adjustable front and rear torsion bars, with the former made from lightweight carbon fibre. The same material is used extensively across the car, with everything from a rear-end underbody panel to the front splitter, diffuser and even the seats made from carbon fibre in a bid to cut kilograms.
Mercedes has upgraded the brakes, with carbon ceramics fitted as standard, behind 20-inch forged alloy wheels; finished in titanium grey exclusively for the GT R Pro.
As for the aerodynamics, AMG has redesigned the car’s package, adding a pair of aero flics for great stability, vented front wheel arches, rear wheel arch extensions while keeping the GT R’s fixed rear wing.
How fast is it?
Mercedes claims the GTR Pro can lap the 20km Nurburgring Nordschleife in 7m04secs, that’s six-seconds quicker than the already rapid AMG GT R.
But this isn’t a stripped-out track special, the cabin still has the level of comfort and presentation you expect from Mercedes-AMG. The racing-style seats – as well as the rest of the cabin – are trimmed in a combination of Nappa leather and Dinamica upholstery for a luxurious but sporty look and feel.
AMG’s Track Package is also included as standard on the Pro, meaning there is a partial steel roll cage fitted to the cabin, which includes a pair of four-point racing harnesses to keep you in place as you hot lap.
The regular lap-sash seatbelts are finished in designo silver and there’s a retractable cargo area cover to keep your valuables out of sight. Mercedes will also throw in an AMG car cover – for indoor use obviously, because no-one is likely to park their $400k track car on the street.