Mercedes-AMG GT 4-Door Coupe review
It might share a model name with AMG’s Porsche 911-rivalling GT sports car, but the four-door AMG GT is quite a different animal. Its E-Class underpinnings – albeit heavily reworked – mean it lacks some of the exoticism of the two-door, but it’s hard to complain about the performance. The AMG GT 4-Door Coupe is wickedly fast, as rumbustious as an AMG should be, and hugely impressive to drive.
The four-door saloon format opens up a new realm of practicality, although if that’s your bag the AMG E63 is roomier all round – especially in estate guise. But unlike the E63, the AMG GT 4-Door Coupe genuinely handles like a sports car, which is an impressive feat indeed. Running costs? Not brilliant, but understandable in a big luxury car which knocks on the door of a 200mph maximum speed.
29 Jan, 2019
We’ve already mentioned the Mercedes-AMG GT 4-Door Coupe shares its platform with the E-Class and CLS models, but that is rather over-simplifying the situation. AMG engineers have beefed up the metalwork with aluminium and carbonfibre to add rigidity to the overall structure and help sharpen up the handling. The technology on board also mirrors the S-Class flagship, which is only reasonable at the price.
The exterior design sets the AMG car apart too, as although it shares the CLS wheelbase the nose is longer and the engine bay wider to make space for the V8. There’s quite a lot of the two-door AMG GT evident in the design at the front and rear, and the stylists have done well to mask this big saloon’s relative bulk, although it’s not as low and sporty as the two-door. The deep front grille and tapered rear end are most evocative of the two-door car, as the side profile is in some respects comparatively mainstream – although it does have a dynamically sweeping roof line and big muscular haunches worthy of the ‘coupe’ tag.
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Inside the feel is of a large Mercedes saloon too, rather than a figure-hugging sports model, but that’s by no means a disappointment. The broad sweeping dashboard looks contemporary and impeccably screwed together from the finest materials. It also features Merc’s latest dual-screen display with a pair of 12.3-inch TFT screens. The one directly in front of the driver can be configured to display driving info with classic sporty dial graphics, while the other serves for navigation and infotainment.
Sat-nav, stereo and infotainment
You’d be hard-pressed to criticise the standard of the infotaiment in the AMG GT 4-Door Coupe, which is very highly specced as standard. The Mercedes system controller and menus are highly intuitive and a pleasure to use, and there’s full connectivity with Apple CarPlay and Android as well as options like a head-up display and a separate touchscreen for rear seat passengers.
On the road, the initial impression is that the GT 4-Door Coupe is similar in character to the Mercedes-AMG E 63. It’s a rumbustious performer with all sorts of sonorous excitement from its meaty quad exhaust pipes, with the same relentless surge of acceleration and refinement levels that are similar too. Even the ride has a similar feel, supple but with a disciplined firmness over jarring bumps, and the E-Class platform-sharing means the chairs are at saloon car level – the AMG GT coupe’s bespoke chassis puts your backside much closer to the tarmac.
There is a direct connection to the two-door GT though, as the steering is superbly crisp, and the highly developed drivetrain and chassis – the car’s AMG Dynamics set-up includes exotic features as rear-wheel steering – mean you can change direction with an agility and poise that is quite exceptional for a car of this scale. There’s stacks of grip from the front end when you turn in, and the rear-wheel biased 4MATIC 4x4 set-up works seamlessly to adjust the car’s balance when powering through corners near the limits of adhesion. In the top spec GT 63 S the Dynamic Select drive modes include ‘Race’ and ‘Drift’ for owners with an unlimited tyre budget and the confidence to play around on track. Fortunately, excellent brakes rein-in the GT 4-Door with the same alarming rapidity as the car accelerates.
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Engines, 0-60mph acceleration and top speed
The two versions of the 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 in GT 63 and 63 S models make 585bhp and 639bhp respectively, with 0-62mph times of 3.4 seconds and 3.2 seconds, and top speeds of 193 and 196mph. The six-cylinder GT53 mild-hybrid model makes 429bhp with an extra 22bhp from its electric motor. That’s good enough for a 4.5-second 0-62mph time and 177mph.
While there’s no Euro NCAP independent crash test data available for the AMG GT in any of its guises, we have little doubt the firm’s rigorous approach to engineering means the GT should be one of the safest cars around. As well as it’s rigid construction, there’s an array of passive and active safety kit mirroring what’s available on the top-spec Mercedes S-Class limo. That means you get active cruise control, brake assist and blind spot assist as well as all the other ‘Intelligent Drive’ functions.
It’s too early to say how reliability will fare, but Mercedes scored a 20th place in the 2018 Driver Power Customer Satisfaction survey, with strong ratings for build quality. Around 12 per cent of drivers reported some sort of issue in the first year of ownership, but we can’t extrapolate figures specific to the AMG GT as it’s too new.
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The standard Mercedes warranty applies to the AMG GT 4-Door, which means you get a three-year/unlimited mileage warranty package that can be extended for an extra charge assuming the correct dealer inspections are carried out. The warranty is competitive among premium manufacturers, but not exceptional when some cheaper brands are offering five or even seven years.
The AMG GT 4-Door Coupe needs servicing annually, and Mercedes ServiceCare plans are available to spread the cost.
There’s no doubting that comfort for occupants up front in the AMG GT 4-Door is superb, as its lavish spec and equipment means they’ll travel in the lap of luxury. That said, the firm edge to the suspension means passengers aren’t quite as cosseted as they might be.
As previously mentioned, you sit higher in the 4-Door than the two-seat GT models, which is less thrilling from a driving perspective but means you have a better view of the road and the car is easier to get in and out of. As standard it comes with a two place rear seat, but you can specify a three-seat rear bench as a cost option.
In spite of its shared underpinnings the AMG GT 4-Door Coupe is bigger than the CLS – although the length between the front and rear wheel-centres is identical. The AMG is 5,054mm long, 1,953mm wide and 1,442mm tall. That compares with the CLS at 4,996mm, 1,896mm and 1,436mm respectively. The Porsche Panamera measures 5,049mm by 1,937mm by 1,427mm, while the BMW 6 Series Gran Coupe saloon is 5,007mm by 1,894mm by 1,392mm.
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Leg room, head room & passenger space
There’s no shortage of room in any direction for front seat occupants, but while those in the rear have plenty of leg and shoulder room, that swoopy roofline does compromise rear headroom.
Lift the Mercedes-AMG GT 4-Door Coupe’s large tailgate, and you’ll find a roomy boot with a volume of 456 litres – that’s 40 litres or so less than a Porsche Panamera, but nevertheless it’s certainly big enough for four peoples’ luggage.
With two monster V8 engines in the line-up, it would be optimistic to imagine running an AMG GT 4-Door Coupe on a shoestring. But while it has a massive thirst and is hardly a front-runner in the race to save the planet, the truth is the big AMG does pretty well by the standards of its class.
Driven like an ordinary saloon car without dipping into the extraordinary reserves of power should allow drivers to average MPG in the low 20s, but of course any lack of discipline will result in a hammering at the pumps. You wouldn’t have to drive an AMG GT very hard to breach the MPG ‘teens’, and single figure fuel consumption is a definite possibility if you drive with a degree of commitment.
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Emissions levels range from 252 to 257g/km of CO2 for the V8s, which means drivers will be faced with the highest possible company car Benefit-in-Kind tax rate of 37 per cent. Road tax will also be steep with a £2,070 first year charge and a £310 surcharge for four years after that. The GT 53 six-cylinder model fares a bit better with a combined mpg figure quoted at 31mpg and C02 emissions of 215g/km.
Servicing and consumable parts replacement won’t be cheap either.
You’re going to have to fork-out significant insurance premiums to run an AMG GT of any kind, as a Group 50 insurance rating applies. That’s a fact of life for any car with similar performance of course, but it doesn’t sweeten the pill.
While the two-door Mercedes-AMG GT Coupe has held onto its money well, expensive AMG saloons have traditionally shed value at an alarming rate once driven out of the showroom. We don’t expect miracles with the GT 4-door, but its more bespoke nature may make it a slightly safer bet for your money than say an AMG E 63.