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Mercedes-AMG GT3 racer revealed

Mercedes-AMG reveals next Bathurst 12 Hour contender.

Mercedes has released the first images and details of its new GT3 series competitor and replacement for the current SLS AMG GT3 race car used since 2011.

Based on the new AMG GT road car, the racer benefits from major body alterations to hide widened front and rear tracks and packs an aggressive aerodynamic package.

Despite the obvious race focus, Mercedes claims the GT3's double-wishbone suspension is closely related to the road car.

Curiously however, Mercedes has not chosen to use the road car's new 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8. Instead, the new GT3 competitor will adopt a version of the 6.2-litre naturally aspirated V8 used in the current race car.

According to AMG, the proven 6.2-litre V8 comes with long maintenance intervals and low running costs, making it a more cost effective choice for endurance GT3 racing.

Turbocharged engines also bring increased complexity when it comes to GT3 homologation, which may be another reason why AMG has stuck with the old-fashioned 6.2.

Unlike the road-going GT that uses a dual-clutch transmission, the GT3's transaxle is a more race-oriented six-speed sequential unit to drive the rear wheels.

In its pursuit of weight-optimisation, the new GT3 features carbon fibre doors, bonnet, front splitter, side skirts, boot lid, front and rear bumpers and rear wing. 

The the racer also uses a modified version of the road car's lightweight aluminium spaceframe chassis, while a high tensile steel roll cage made adds extra driver protection.

Deliveries of the new AMG GT3 race car will begin towards the end of 2015 - or just in time for next year's Bathurst 12 Hour...