2021 Mercedes-AMG GT Black Series first drive review: Wolf in wolf’s clothing

It’s a disgustingly sizzling day in Florida, however the Mercedes-AMG GT Black Series is not breaking a sweat. This factor seems to be prefer it’s come straight out of hell, all snarly and bulgy, able to beat me up and take my lunch cash. So you will forgive my temporary second of intimidation whereas approaching the Magmabeam orange coupe, the phrases “most powerful AMG V8 ever” and “there are only two of these in the country right now” echoing in my head. Black Series or not, the AMG GT is a complete brute. And with 720 horsepower and a few completely insane aero, this one’s… effectively, it is a doozy.

AMG redesigned the GT’s 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 for the Black Series, adopting a flat-plane crankshaft design that outcomes in smoother, stronger energy supply, to not point out a perfectly sonorous soundtrack. The Black Series barks and burbles like another GT, however the enhance in aural high quality comes right down to refinement. You can play one in every of my awful highschool rock band’s demo tapes simply as loud as a document professionally engineered by Steve Albini, however solely one in every of them’s going to make it to the radio.

In addition to 720 hp, the 4.0-liter V8 places out 590 pound-feet of torque. All that energy shoves its solution to the rear wheels through AMG’s Speedshift seven-speed dual-clutch transmission, permitting the GT Black Series to hit 60 mph in 3.1 seconds — 0.4 seconds faster than the not-a-slouch AMG GT R. More impressively, the Black Series can hit 124 mph in below 9 seconds, and should you’ve received an autobahn or airstrip lengthy sufficient, it’s going to prime out at 202 mph.

The Black Series’ prolonged use of carbon fiber outcomes in a roughly 70-pound weight discount over the GT R, and that is regardless of the addition of an entire bunch of aero bits. There’s a vented hood, two-stage entrance splitter, new wheels and probably the most ridiculous rear spoilers I’ve ever seen. Check it: There’s a small ducktail spoiler in addition to a two-tier wing that appears like a brutalist bookshelf, and if that is not sufficient, there is a small, power-retractable flap on the tippy prime. All advised, Mercedes-Benz says this excessive aero package deal outcomes in 882 kilos of most downforce, holding the Black Series flat as a pancake by corners.

Those aero enhancements are one of many the explanation why, regardless of trying like a banshee, the GT Black Series is shockingly straightforward to tame on the monitor. Credit additionally goes to the Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 R tires, which provide heroic ranges of grip. Still, for as delightfully devilish as this coupe seems to be whereas parked in the paddock, out on the monitor it is hardly a handful. Progressive turn-in and an easy-to-modulate throttle make it straightforward to assault corners each rapidly and exactly, and there is solely the slightest playful shimmy from the rear finish while you lay again into the gasoline and let ‘er rip down a straight.

Michael Shaffer/Mercedes-Benz

The Black Series has a borderline absurd stage of adjustability, however I suppose meaning you may as well tailor the driving expertise to match your actual ability stage. There are 4 preset AMG packages — Basic, Advanced, Pro and Master — that alter most of the GT’s parameters primarily based on how good you’re (or how good you assume you’re). On prime of that, the Black Series-specific coilover suspension has three-stage adaptive dampers, with Comfort, Sport and Sport Plus settings. If that is not sufficient, twist the yellow-rimmed dial slightly below the central air vents to discover the 9 totally different ranges of traction management. Or, you recognize, go wild and switch it off.

However you select to arrange the Black Series, it is a unbelievable companion for a day of sizzling lapping (and it is Florida in June, so I imply sizzling lapping). AMG’s robust man is tactile and exact as you velocity from nook to nook. In some ways it is so much like a Porsche 911 GT2 RS — immensely succesful however reassuringly approachable. I’m actually not saying it is a nice automobile for first time monitor drivers, however the Black Series has a stage of authority to its motion that conjures up confidence and makes you need to strive tougher and push sooner.

Considering its inherent craziness, the Black Series’ inside is fairly refined.


Equally as spectacular as the facility and stability are the Black Series’ brakes. The large, carbon-ceramic stoppers gradual issues down rapidly and easily, and you may dive deeper into braking zones and actually give the pedal a jab understanding the sudden motion is not going to upset the GT’s stability. A variety of carbon-ceramic brakes are robust to modulate and have sensitive pedal really feel, however that is not the case right here. Of course, my time with the AMG GT Black Series is simply restricted to some laps round The Concours Club in Opa-Locka, Florida, so I can not communicate to their grabbiness do you have to resolve to make use of the Black Series for a fast jaunt to Walgreens. I can not actually communicate to the suspension’s off-track stiffness, both, however I’m going to imagine this factor is not precisely supple.

On that notice, in phrases of livability, the Black Series is theoretically no higher or worse than an ordinary AMG GT. The inside is simply as cramped and laborious to see out of, however nonetheless completed in beautiful supplies with supportive sport seats. It’s straightforward to get in and out whereas carrying a helmet, although I want my arms had been about 3 inches longer when it comes time to succeed in for a strap and shut the door. Dinamica suede strains the dashboard and steering wheel, and the middle console nonetheless requires a bizarre contortion of your proper hand to place the gear selector in Drive or to succeed in the buttons on the passenger’s aspect. Mercedes’ MBUX tech is rock strong, displayed on a ten.3-inch central touchscreen with customary (wired) Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity. There’s a 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster, too, that means that regardless that the Black Series is a super-focused monitor automobile, it does not skimp on cabin tech.

Seriously, that wing.

Michael Shaffer/Mercedes-Benz

Then once more, the AMG GT Black Series should not skimp on something, contemplating its $326,050 price ticket (together with $1,050 for vacation spot). And whereas I might waste digital ink making an attempt to place that value into context, it does not matter, since fewer than 400 of those Black Series coupes might be imported to the US, and each single one is spoken for. I simply hope somebody received a Magmabeam orange GT to match their new Cigarette boat.

Considering the present AMG GT coupe’s time on this earth is brief, this 720-hp riot on wheels serves as one hell of a swan music — one which follows in the footsteps of rockstars just like the CLK63 AMG Black Series, SLS AMG Black Series and C63 AMG Black Series. It’s a tremendously particular sports activities automobile packing the perfect of what AMG has to supply, and although it seems to be like a lunatic, it is a rewarding beast to tame.

Editors’ notice: Travel prices associated to this story had been coated by the producer, which is widespread in the auto trade. The judgments and opinions of Roadshow’s workers are our personal and we don’t settle for paid editorial content material.

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