More than a few eyebrows were raised when the AMG GT Black Series debuted with an MSRP north of $320,000. It’s the kind of price one would typically associate with supercars from marque brands like Lamborghini, Ferrari or McLaren.
Who would part with that much cash for a production Mercedes, supercar or not? Heck! For that amount, you can snag a McLaren 720S, a supercar that’s widely regarded as one of the best modern-era performance vehicles.
Even so, the AMG GT Black Series marks the return of an iconic name to the rarefied world of performance machines. The challenge at hand is whether it will be able to make much of a statement in a small but hotly contested market space.
A statement on the Mercedes-AMG website touts the latest Black Series as ‘a legend in its own time.’ That is a bold assertion, and it may be a while yet before the AMG GT Black Series is inducted into the supercar hall of fame. However, it is safe to conclude that the big Mercedes supercar has certainly charged out of the starting blocks.
The Mercedes-Benz AMG Black Series: Laying Down a Marker
The infamous Nurburgring circuit has gained quite a reputation over the years and has become something of a proving ground for performance vehicles. It is not unusual for carmakers to take their supercars to the ‘Ring in a bid to set the best lap times and secure bragging rights over competitors.
The lads at Mercedes-Benz know this only too well. The AMG GT Black Series had to prove its mettle at the Nurburgring in order to be taken seriously by rivals. So, the carmaker shipped the car out to the Nurburgring and unleashed the beast at the racing circuit.
It was all over in a few minutes, but in that time, the Mercedes Benz AMG GT Black Series had managed to set a world record as the fastest street-legal sports car around the circuit. Piloted by GT3 driver Maro Engel, the GT Black series posted an incredible time of 6:43.616 minutes for the 12.8-mile circuit layout.
That’s over a second faster than the 6.44.97 time posted by the previous record holder, the Lamborghini Aventador SVJ. The ‘almighty’ Porsche 911 GT2 RS needed an aftermarket performance kit from Manthey Racing to beat that record.
The Nurburgring circuit does have some long straights, but there are also a number of twisty sections that require a delicate balance of different aspects of the car to navigate successfully. The AMG supercar’s achievement was not all about engine power.
The car’s handling, chassis and suspension setup all had crucial roles in conquering the Nurburgring. It was a clear statement of intent from the AMG GT Black Series, and it sure sent a shock wave rippling through the car community.
Built for Performance: Under the Hood of the Mercedes-Benz AMG GT Black Series
The Black Series badge has always represented the peak of Mercedes-AMG performance, reserved for a special vehicle class breed that represents the most direct transfer of motorsport technology to road-going cars. The latest member of that lineage is no different.
The AMG GT Black Series is based on the racing program’s GT3 racecar and is the closest you can get to the thrill of hardcore racing without crossing the limits for a street-legal sports car.
At the heart of the car’s performance is a flat-plane twin-turbocharged engine that’s the most powerful AMG V8 power plant yet. The front mid-mounted unit cranks out a thumping 720-hp at 7,200 rpm, while an impressive 590 lb-ft of torque is available from 2,000 rpm to 6,000 rpm.
All that power is fed to the rear wheels through a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission—specially strengthened to cope with the torque load.
Weighing about 3,600 lbs, the AMG GT Balck Series is not exactly lightweight. Yet, it will still rocket to 60 mph in 3.1 seconds and on to 125 mph in less than 9 seconds. That’s as quick as the Huracan Evo RWD. The quarter-mile marker is checked off in 11 seconds at 139 mph as the car continues on to a 202 mph top speed.
The entire construction of the Black Series was based on optimizing the performance of that formidable AMG engine. Carbon fibre components for several parts, including the fenders, hood, and tailgate, help the car shed crucial weight.
It is at least 77 pounds lighter than the AMG GT R. The radiator grille is massive, and that, together with various vents, scoops and intakes, helps with engine cooling.
It is impossible not to notice the towering rear wing, positioned with a priority for function over any kind of aesthetic intent. The twin-tier carbon fibre wing design incorporates an electronically controlled center section that can lay flat for low drag or angle up to 20 degrees for max downforce. The peak downforce generated—up to 880 pounds at 155 mph—is crucial to keeping the car planted as it works its magic on the racetracks.
The Verdict on the Mercedes-Benz AMG GT Black Series
As mentioned earlier, the performance segment of the automobile world is a hotly contested space, and the AMG GT Black Series is up against established rivals like the Ferrari F8 Tributo, Huracan Evo and the McLaren 720S. These supercars all have a legitimate claim to being numbered among the best performance cars of this generation.
The AMG GT Balck Series sure has its work cut out in its bid to mark its territory. However, it is certainly equipped with enough arsenal to get the job done. In the end, the choice of which one to go for may well come down to personal preference and other factors—such as brand loyalty and after-sales support.
One thing is sure, though: whichever way you sway, don’t for one moment think the AMG GT Black Series is a pretender. As far as supercars go, this is as real as it gets.