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Entry-level Mercedes-AMG GT sprints in

The price of entry to the Mercedes-AMG GT range has just dropped by $40,000, with confirmation that the entry-level variant will be offered in Australia.

While the flagship – for now – Mercedes-AMG GT S is already offered Down Under for $299,000 plus on-road costs, the non-S base version will be priced from $259,000.

From the AMG GT’s launch back in July last year, Mercedes-Benz Australia/Pacific has all but ruled out offering the base version, preferring instead to sell the more generously specified and more powerful S.

Mercedes has employed this strategy with a number of AMG variants, electing to offer the C63 and E63 in S guise only for the performance-car-loving Australian market.

The new pricing for the AMG GT puts it directly in competition with the likes of the Porsche 911.

The GT pumps out 340kW/600Nm from its 4.0-litre biturbo V8 engine, which represents a drop of 35kW and 50Nm compared with the ramped up GT S.

The lower output has also resulted in a slight increase to the 0-100km/h sprint time from 3.8 seconds in the S to 4.0s, while the top speed is 6km/h slower at 304km/h.

Mercedes-Benz Australia/Pacific is yet to confirm exact specifications for the base GT, but a quick look at the global spec list gives a few hints as to what Australian sportscar buyers can expect.

The GT features smaller 360mm front and rear disc brakes as well as silver brake callipers as opposed to the red units on the GT S.

While both variants feature full Nappa leather trim, the S gets synthetic suede inserts instead of the perforated leather in the GT, which also misses out on an AMG emblem embossed into the centre armrest. The instrument cluster is in white, rather than the red of the GT S.

The entry GT also misses out on the ‘Race’ setting in the drive mode system that is offered in the hi-po S.

Both variants get the AMG sports suspension as standard fitment but the S also gains the AMG Ride Control adaptive damping system, although this is likely to available as an option on the new GT.

At 1615kg, the GT also weighs about 30kg less than the S, despite the GT having a lead-acid battery as opposed to the lithium-ion battery in the S.

The new pricing for the AMG GT puts it directly in competition with the likes of the Porsche 911 Carrera S Coupe ($252,500), the Aston Martin V8 Vantage S ($254,200) and the all-paw Jaguar F-Type R ($244,765).

Does the sharper price of the Mercedes-AMG GT put it in the same ballpark as the Porsche 911? Tell us what you think in the comments below.