From £142,3659
Motorsport-inspired suspension and aero tweaks make the GT R Pro the sharpest and most rewarding AMG GT on track by a big margin. Pricey, though

Our Verdict

Mercedes-AMG GT R

Mercedes-AMG launches its hottest GT yet, to take on Porsche’s 911 GT3 with track-focused handling and supercar performance

  • First Drive

    Mercedes-AMG GT R Pro 2019 review

    Motorsport-inspired suspension and aero tweaks make the GT R Pro the sharpest and most rewarding AMG GT on track by a big margin. Pricey, though
  • First Drive

    2017 Mercedes-AMG GT R review

    Backs up its aggressive looks and ferocious noise with a stunning drive. Worth the extra over an AMG GT S? Every last bit of it
7 April 2019

What is it?

With no more power than the Mercedes-AMG GT R and the same Michelin Cup 2 tyres, the new AMG GT R Pro is around seven seconds a lap faster around the Nurburgring Nordschleife. It registered a time of 7min 4.6secs late last year, making it one of the fastest front-engined road cars ever to lap the wriggly 13-mile circuit.

How? It’s all down the revised aero and suspension setup, as well as a modest weight saving. Mercedes-AMG doesn’t quote any exact downforce figures but that prominent front spitter, dive planes ahead of the front wheels, Porsche 911 GT3 RS-style vents in the wheel arches, a bigger rear wing, a Gurney flap and various other wings and flicks reduce aerodynamic lift, keeping the car pressed into the surface of the track at speed.

The suspension has been completely overhauled as well. The new coilovers are manually adjustable - for high- and low-speed compression at the front, plus rebound at both ends - as is the ride height. The anti-roll bars are both adjustable as well (the bar at the front is made of carbon fibre to trim away 3.3kg), while the upper rear wishbones are now attached to the body by uniball bearings that have no play in them whatsoever (only the lower wishbones use uniballs on the GT R).

There’s much more to the GT R Pro than that. It has a carbon fibre sheer panel attached to its underside, for instance, that actually increases the body’s torsional rigidity by as much as eight per cent. Lightweight bucket seats remove another 3.6kg between them, the wheels and ceramic brakes are all lightweight items and the dynamic engine and transmission mounts - which tighten up when driving on circuit to reduce inertia - have been retuned. Those weight saving measures remove something like 40kg, although the AMG Track package (standard-fit in Europe) adds in a roll cage, fire extinguisher and four-point harnesses, so the actual saving is closer to 25kg.

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The AMG GT R Pro is the road-legal sum of Mercedes-AMG’s expertise in production-based motorsport. It exists for one purpose only: so that a small number of rather well-heeled owners can drive it to a trackday, spend many joyful hours lapping the circuit and fiddling with damper clicks between sessions, then drive home again at the end of the day. This is a car that really should be used as intended, and not left to gather dust in a climate controlled lock-up somewhere.

The drivetrain is unchanged compared to the GT R. The Pro uses exactly the same 4-litre twin-turbo V8 that develops 577bhp and 516lb ft of torque. Drive goes rearwards via the transaxle that houses a seven-speed twin-clutch transmission. Mercedes-AMG quotes a 0-62mph time of 3.6 seconds and a 198mph top speed.

What's it like?

Taut, responsive, agile and exceptionally well controlled. Quite how that uncompromising chassis setup will deal with a bumpy public highway is anybody’s guess, because for now we’ve only tried the car on Hockenheim’s flat and smooth grand prix circuit.

What’s curious about the GT R is that it’s pretty firm and unyielding on the road, but then just a little loosely controlled and hesitant on circuit. This new Pro model addresses almost every one of the on-track criticisms we’ve levelled at the GT R because it feels so at home on a circuit. There is a little body roll to allow you to feel the grip building along the outside of the car, but otherwise the Pro is keyed-in to the track surface. The instant the front axle is locked into a bend the car takes a set, as though it’s dropped into a groove, then carves its way through the corner. There’s none of the hesitancy or up-down heave that could make the GT R a wild ride, just immediate and precise responses.

The steering is fairly light but intuitive while the brakes didn’t show any sign of fade during a quick four-lap stint. What counts against the GT R Pro is its sheer size, because the front axle feels so far ahead of you and the car’s nose in another county altogether. It’s wide as well, all of which means there’s a significant familiarisation period while you learn where the car’s extremities are. And despite the Pro’s weight saving measures, 1575kg is still a significant amount of weight for a trackday machine.

It is an absorbing and thrilling track car, though. Being able to fiddle with its chassis settings adds another dimension to a trackday and allows you to play out your race engineer fantasies. It isn’t a particularly difficult car to drive quickly, though, nor is it intimidating. All that results from an overcooked corner entry is predictable and safe front axle push. There is good traction as well thanks to the transaxle layout and an electronically-controlled LSD, although with so much power on tap it is easily overcome with a generous extension of your right foot. The multi-stage traction control system that first appeared on the GT R is present here too, which means you can find the exact right setting for a given circuit and the conditions on the day to balance security with playfulness.

The whole drivetrain is excellent and the soundtrack is thunderous, while the bucket seats and harnesses make a real difference out on circuit. There’s no doubt the GT R Pro is a far more adept track car than the GT R - it couldn’t be anything else with all that motorsport-derived hardware - but at £188,345 you’ll be paying a premium of more than £40,000 for it.

Should I buy one?

If you’re really serious about trackday driving and its asking price doesn’t put you off, the GT R Pro should absolutely be on your shopping list.

Of the 750 that will be built, around 80 will come to the UK. For anybody who had been hoping for more from the Mercedes-AMG GT R, your car has arrived.

Mercedes-AMG GT R Pro specification

Where Hockenheim, Germany Price £188,345 On sale now Engine 3982cc, V8, twin-turbocharged petrol Power 577bhp at 6250rpm Torque 516lb ft at 2100-5500rpm Gearbox 7-speed dual-clutch automatic Kerb weight 1575kg Top speed 198mph 0-62mph 3.6sec Fuel economy 22.8mpg CO2 284g/km Rivals Porsche 911 GT3 RS, McLaren 600LT

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Comments
8

289

8 April 2019

....these little tweeks will make all the difference whilst negotiating traffic around Knightsbridge or Monaco!

8 April 2019

Mercedes are having a laugh with that price! It's bad enough with Mercedes charging over £100k for some of their other cars when they barely merit costing more than £50k, but £188k is simply a joke. Ok, this may be a track-focussed version of the GT but come on Mercedes, any version of th GT isn't worth their asking price in the first place as they neither look or feel special and they're not bespoke enough either. At least with the rival Aston Martin Vantage and McLaren 570S you're getting something special and feels worth their price.

8 April 2019
Roadster wrote:

Mercedes are having a laugh with that price! It's bad enough with Mercedes charging over £100k for some of their other cars when they barely merit costing more than £50k, but £188k is simply a joke. Ok, this may be a track-focussed version of the GT but come on Mercedes, any version of th GT isn't worth their asking price in the first place as they neither look or feel special and they're not bespoke enough either. At least with the rival Aston Martin Vantage and McLaren 570S you're getting something special and feels worth their price.

Better value than the Jag Project 8 though, which wouldn't see what way this went, nor is a tenth as special. Comment coming from a non merc fan.

8 April 2019

...if you are a well heeled amateur racing driver then "knack yourself out".

9 April 2019

i like Mercedes. but expensive

20 April 2019

We like Mercedes So cute unagi scooters coupons

25 April 2019

Mercedes-AMG GT R Pro is my dream car but right now i have no enough money to buy this. I am saving my money and one day i will buy this car. I am earning money by whatsapp hacking and i will collect enough money soon.

25 April 2019

I want to buy this car. Possible soon i will have enough money to buy this. Visit us

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