Luxury Cars

The 2024 Mercedes-Benz AMG GT 63 will be larger and more solid

High in the Sierra Nevada mountains outside Granada, Spain, in the 2024 Mercedes-Benz AMG GT 63, I’m in the outside lane of this winding road with what feels like a million feet of drop to my right. As I get comfortable in my heated and massaging seats at full speed, the ambient temperatures drop and I quickly approach the clouds. Damn, I came all the way here to experience the glory of a mountain road in a fancy GT car. Instead, Mother Nature gave me fog, rain and temperatures near freezing.

The second generation of the two-door GT is related to the current SL Roadster and is oriented towards the breathtaking Gullwing SLS from 2010-2015. This time it’s a whopping 7.1 inches longer, with nearly three inches more wheelbase to add a small second row of seats. With all-new, lighter body panels, a hand-built AMG twin-turbo V8 under the hood and loads of cutting-edge technology, the latest GT seeks to improve on the stunning handling and good looks of its predecessor while transforming it from a two-seater to a 2+2. However, I leave my first drive with the sleek German model a little confused about what the GT is supposed to be.

2024 Mercedes-Benz AMG GT 63

2024 Mercedes-Benz AMG GT 63

Mercedes-Benz AMG GT 63: Hips don’t lie

However, I am absolutely sure that the GT is a real eye-catcher. With curvy hips, a long dash to axle ratio and a dream rear end, it cuts well through the streets of Grenada. Pedestrians stop to take photos and locals in mountain towns jokingly try to catch a ride. Drivers can opt for a Chrome or Night package to add a little more character to one of the 11 paint colors, or opt for performance upgrades with the Carbon Fiber or Aerodynamic packages. A large selection of 20 or 21 inch wheels completes the design selection.

2024 Mercedes-Benz AMG GT 63

2024 Mercedes-Benz AMG GT 63

When I’m behind the wheel, I love the feeling of carrying the car and not just sitting in it. The door panels blend seamlessly into the dashboard and are highlighted by contrast stitching. The latest MBUX infotainment software runs on a large 11.9-inch touchscreen in portrait format. The home button opens the large navigation screen with smaller tiles for other common functions, but you can still easily get to the menus for climate control, music and the like.

Traditional aviation cockpit-inspired design is also present, with turbine-style air vents flanking the configurable 12.3-inch instrument cluster. I’ve always loved the retro chic of Mercedes interiors, and the GT doesn’t disappoint.

2024 Mercedes-Benz AMG GT 63

2024 Mercedes-Benz AMG GT 63

Mercedes-Benz AMG GT 63: Now with all-wheel drive

When it hits dealers in the first half of 2024, the coupe will be available as a GT 55 or GT 63, both equipped with 4Matic+ all-wheel drive, a 9-speed automatic transmission and a twin-turbo 4.0-liter V – 8th. The GT 55, which I can’t test, makes a respectable 469 hp and 516 lb-ft of torque. However, my tester comes in big at 577 ponies and 590 lb-ft. That’s enough to accelerate from a standstill to 60 mph in an estimated 3.1 seconds and reach a top speed of 310 mph. Yowza!

Even though I had some bad weather with the GT, I still got a taste of what it can do during my two-day test drive. On the first day I lose out and my time in the corners is affected by the fact that the track is only one and a half lanes wide. I don’t plan on pounding around blind corners in a car that probably costs four times as much as my college education.

However, my driving partner hits a section of road that is absolutely shitty. He is quick and confident and pushes the car in Sport+ mode. While Race is the best driving mode, Sport+ still accelerates faster, holds gears longer, and firms up the suspension while easing the nannies. This is where the variable all-wheel drive shines, shifting all torque to the rear or splitting it evenly between the front and rear wheels for best results.

It’s great fun even from the passenger seat, but I notice that he has to make a lot of steering corrections mid-corner. The car has variable ratio power steering, which is fastest at dead center at 14.4:1. It also features variable support. The steering ratio changes when the steering wheel is turned, which can happen mid-corner, and it’s annoying for him behind the wheel to have to adjust on the fly.

2024 Mercedes-Benz AMG GT 63

2024 Mercedes-Benz AMG GT 63

Mercedes-Benz AMG GT 63: Comfortable

My time on the first day is rather quiet, but allows me to assess the car’s suitability as a grand tourer. After all, a GT car should be easy to drive over long distances, right? The Mercedes delivers here, but not in every respect. Comfort mode features light steering, slack shifts and a slightly dampened accelerator pedal, but the suspension, while quiet, is far from comfortable. I understand that the AMG GT 63 is a performance car and I don’t expect it to ever drive like Grandma’s Cadillac, but a little more padding in Comfort mode would be nice.

Plus, the optional performance seats are damn uncomfortable. I own a car with racing seats and understand that more lightness means a sacrifice in comfort, but I don’t want to spend a day driving up the California coast while squeezing my hindquarters into these bad boys. If you value your back and buttocks, you should not choose these seats. To save some weight, Mercedes has also done without a quiet cabin. There is a lot of road and wind noise in the AMG GT.

The good news on the Touring front is the spacious cargo area. The liftgate offers nearly 24 cubic feet of space, more than behind the rear seats in the company’s GLE SUV. You could fit four people’s equipment back there and still have room to spare. However, drivers in the back seats are unlikely to be comfortable as the new back seat is not suitable for people over 5 feet tall.

2024 Mercedes-Benz AMG GT 63

2024 Mercedes-Benz AMG GT 63

Mercedes-Benz AMG GT 63: It’s my turn in the corners

On a second day I grab a car and head into the mountains alone. This time I have the standard seats which are much more comfortable and have a massage function like luxury GT seats should. I put the car in sport mode and let it go.

The performance development here is remarkable. Turbo lag? Never heard of her. Sloppy shifts? No, I wasn’t unhappy. Instead, I get a transmission that downshifts when braking and adds even more excitement with a “bang” from the exhaust. Mercedes provides paddle shifters, but this transmission works very well on its own, converting the engine’s smooth flow of power into propulsion at the wheels. It is wonderful.

A limited-slip rear differential efficiently reduces power and the rear wheels, which turn in up to 2.5 degrees, improve low-speed agility and higher-speed stability, but I don’t expect as much grip. Sure, the car wears wide 295/30R21 front tires and 305/40R21 rear Michelin Pilot Sport S5 tires, but the grip is still overwhelming for me. This is all thanks to an underbody aerodynamic system that keeps the car grounded and stable by essentially sucking it to the ground. A sophisticated hydraulic anti-roll system also ensures that the car remains remarkably flat when cornering. This miracle replaces a mechanical stabilizer and pushes exactly the required amount of oil into the outside corner. Although it reduces body roll, it also maximizes grip many times over.

2024 Mercedes-Benz AMG GT 63

2024 Mercedes-Benz AMG GT 63

All of this hardware allows me to brake later and with less force before corners without completely spooking me, although I have to admit I can never fully trust the GT during my short drive. At every corner you come across the thought: “Now you’ve done it, Hall.” You’re going way too fast and you’re going off the mountain.” It never happens. I’m cornering faster than I’ve ever been on the road and living to tell the tale.

I don’t have the same mid-corner steering problems that my partner had the day before. I’m not quite as fast and spend most of my time in Sport mode, not Sport+, which may have something to do with how twitchy the steering is. If you’re a driver who likes to steer a car through a corner at nine tenths, this is something to pay attention to. If your style is around 7 or 8 tenths, you probably don’t need to worry.

Except I scare myself for once. When applying the brakes at about 120 km/h before a 90 degree right turn, the car becomes nervous and restless. I’m not sure why, since I’m on dry, slippery pavement, I don’t apply steering input and haven’t applied the brakes any differently than I have on the countless other corners I’ve tackled in the last 48 hours. Regardless, it is not repeatable. Stability control may have detected a problem. I attribute it to the GT reminding me who’s boss.

As for my time in the fog and haze at the highest elevations of the Sierra Nevada, it’s the first time I’ve been able to try out Slippery mode in a Mercedes product. Even with summer tires, it keeps the car under control with muted throttle, reduced torque curve and the electronic nannies at maximum. I probably wouldn’t be so careful in my own car, but if you had the keys to a ridiculously expensive luxury car, you’d be careful too.

2024 Mercedes-Benz AMG GT 63

2024 Mercedes-Benz AMG GT 63

Mercedes-Benz AMG GT 63: what is it?

I come back from my drive and I’m not quite sure what the 2024 Mercedes-Benz AMG GT 63 is supposed to be. It’s certainly a performance car – it’s an AMG after all – but it doesn’t offer the same push-button comfort as other touring cars on the market. If you’re okay with that, then by all means spend your money. You will not be disappointed.

With the addition of all-wheel drive, the new GT inspires significantly more confidence than the previous rear-wheel drive model. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still a car to be respected behind the wheel, but because the power is transferred to the front wheels, the driver can accelerate a little earlier on corner exit. And if you find yourself on a cold and rainy mountaintop, all-wheel drive will get you back downhill.

However, if you want to be isolated from the outside world after high-speed carving fun in a comfortable ride, the AMG GT 63 is probably not for you. Would you like to immerse yourself in quiet luxury? Try watching this Bentley Continental GT. If you’re looking for a Japanese version of long-distance driving, you could do worse than the Lexus LC500. Do you want four doors and a real back seat? The Porsche Panamera GTS should be on your shortlist.

Mercedes hasn’t announced pricing for the 2024 AMG GT 63 yet, but we expect it to start at around $130,000 and likely top out at close to $200,000 after options are added.

Mercedes-Benz covered Motor Authority’s travel and accommodation expenses to bring you this first-hand report.

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