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Mercedes-Benz AMG GT 4-door — long-term review

What do non-car people think of the AMG GT 4-door?

Specification:
Mercedes-Benz AMG GT 4-door 63S
Engine:
4.0-litre, V8 twin-turbo
Claimed MPG:
21.4mpg, 257g/km CO2
Performance:
0–62mph in 3.2secs, 196mph
Weight:
2045KG
Price:
£135,550 OTR / £146,625 as tested / £2,090pcm

My friends are categorically not car people. They’re the type who think a pound-foot of torque is the latest cold cut at Wholefood’s deli counter. And mistake alloy wheels for parking sensors. That’s why it’s fascinating to plop them in a car and get their opinion. So, on a recent weekend away to the Peak District, I got them to muse over the AMG GT 4dr which had them both stumped and impressed in equal measure.

They loved the two tablet-sized hi-res 12.3in screens that dominate the cabin. They coo’d with intrigue as the ambient lighting changed with the car’s temperature. And were convinced the way the adaptive highbeam system fans out at start-up and masks out oncoming traffic was black magic.

What had them stumped was simpler: what the hell was it and what was it for? To be honest, so am I. But I defended the mighty Merc, toeing Merc’s party line and going into the minutiae of Mercedes’ marketing strategy and how the go-faster arm of the three-pointed star needed a competitor to the Porsche Panamera. At this point, they switched off and started looking at their phones. So I continued; telling them you could disable the front driveshafts, how the engine is narcoleptic on a cruise and how all four wheels are used for steering. They were more fascinated by the onboard perfumery.

To get their attention, I put it on full lock and did a slow speed manoeuvre. That woke them up. Actually, it made them swear. See, the AMG suffers from a dreadful front axle hop where the front tyres judder violently. It really is quite unpleasant – like the centre diff is too tight – but Merc claims it’s the tyres struggling for grip in low ambient temperatures. Either way, my mates thought a wheel had fallen off.

Flooring it onto the motorway was a good distraction. And took their breath away. They’d never felt torque like it. And the way the 4dr accelerates on a wave of unrelenting shove is deeply impressive. Especially four-up with a boot full of luggage. Actually, while we’re on that. To look at, the boot is cavernous. And with 456 litres – 40 litres or so less than a Porsche Panamera – it is big. But because of the roofline and awkward tailgate, it’s not easy to pack. But even with that chopped roofline, no one complained about space on the five-hour drive. However, they did fight for the plusher, front massaged seat. But we all agreed (even the automotive Luddites) that the ride is far too harsh and busy. And it’s a big old lozenge to hustle around the Peak’s narrow lanes. But fast? There’s no denying that.

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