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The all-new Mercedes-AMG GT 4-door Coupe has been revealed, with the performance oriented rival to the Porsche Panamera carving its own niche in the realm of four-door AMG models.
Set to slide in between the Mercedes-AMG E63 S and Mercedes-AMG S63 L models in Australia, the new four-door version of the GT sports car is no limousine like its sibling sedan models: in fact, Mercedes claims the new model “combines the impressive racetrack dynamism of our two-door sports cars with a high level of day-to-day suitability”.
The all-new GT 4-door Coupe model will arrive in Australian showrooms in early 2019, and of course it will sit above the new CLS four-door ‘coupe’ - but the simplest way to look at it is this: the CLS is now the luxury-focused model, where the GT 4-door is a more hardcore plaything.
As a result the four-door 'fastback' model is destined to be offered with a mad 4.0-litre twin-turbocharged V8 petrol engine producing as much as 470kW of power (at 5500-6500rpm) and peak torque of 900Nm at 2500-4500rpm.
Those are the outputs for the Mercedes-AMG GT63 S 4Matic+ model, which is 100 per cent locked in for local consumption. As you may be able to tell from its name, the 4Matic+ bit means there’s an advanced all-wheel drive system with a variable torque split function and drift mode. Shifting gears is a nine-speed sports automatic transmission.
Mercedes-AMG claims the GT63 S model will sprint from 0-100km/h in a Porsche Panamera Turbo-smashing 3.2 seconds, on its way to a 315km/h top speed. The Porsche’s 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 has 404kW/770Nm, and does 0-100km/h in 3.8sec.
Other options that may be sold in the local market include the less manic Mercedes-AMG GT63 4Matic+ - note there’s no 'S' in this moniker, and that means a little less performance. It uses the same drivetrain as the GT63 S, but with 430kW of power (5500-6500rpm) and 800Nm of torque (2350-5000rpm).
The non-S GT63 model will cover the sprint from 0-100km/h in 3.4sec, and its top speed is 310km/h. Fuel use is claimed at 11.2L/100km - identical to the GT63 S.
The third drivetrain to be offered internationally in the GT 4-door Coupe is that of the GT53 4Matic+ variant: a 3.0-litre six-cylinder turbo-petrol with an additional electric turbo and on-board 48-volt electric mild-hybrid system.
It’s the same system used in the CLS53 model, with peak outputs of 320kW (at 6100rpm) and 520Nm (from 1800-5800rpm) for the engine, plus the additional 'EQ Boost' system that gives an extra 16kW/250Nm when it's needed.
The system can facilitate advanced brake energy recuperation and will allow the car to cut the engine when it is coasting. It doesn’t directly power the wheels in any way, though - it just supplements what’s already there.
Inside the GT 4-door Coupe there are some elements we’ve come to expect from the Benz group, including a broad, bold pair of 12.3-inch screens and lashings of leather and carbon-fibre.
But the new GT 4-door Coupe also brings a completely rethought centre console control area, with eight miniature screens that control an array of different systems including the media system and the settings of the car's suspension and drive modes. There are even two colour mini screens on the steering wheel - one for adjusting drive mode, the other which has two 'favourites' settings you can toggle between.
There's also a new touchpad media interface rather than the rotary dial Comand system we've seen in every modern-era Benz to this point. It's the same as is set to be offered in the new A-Class and so is the shift indicator near the gear selector - you will be forgiven for thinking that there are several "I" modes between "P", "R", "N" and "D", but there isn't.
Clear from the images is the fact AMG will offer a luxury-focused interior package with tan and silver trim finishes alongside the carbon-clad version, with style highlights such as the Affalterbach seal embossed on the seat headrests, the central console that spans from the dash to between the rear seats, and multiple ambient lighting elements.
There will also be a rear control screen for backseat passengers to change the media playback, lighting and other elements of the cabin environment. But if that gets annoying, the driver can lock the screen by hitting the window lock button on their door. Neat!
It's understood the standard GT 4-door will come with five seats, with a four-seat layout offered for those who know they'll never actually subject someone to that middle spot.
Mercedes-Benz Australia is looking at the potential for all three models in the Australian market, with local rep Jerry Stamoulis stating there is potential space for the trio. Stamoulis indicated that since the company added the regular E63 sedan alongside the E63 S version, sales had been solid: 25 per cent in the few months since it went on sale, and that could paint a picture of the possibilities for the GT 4-door Coupe.
Whether the GT53 will be offered is unknown: Benz is set to offer that drivetrain in the CLS model, and it may be of questionable value to the company to have a six-cylinder version of the GT 4-door Coupe, given the intended buyer.
Full details, pricing and specifications for Australian models will follow later in 2018.