What Car? says...
Here’s something that might surprise you: building a low volume supercar isn’t that much of a challenge for a big car maker.
Now we’re not saying it’s easy – cars like the Ford GT, Honda NSX and Lexus LFA needed some seriously cutting-edge engineering – but with manufacturers only having to produce such cars in low numbers, and collectors willing to pay big bucks to have one on their driveway, the risk to cost ratio is fairly acceptable.
Indeed, the far harder challenge is to take that low volume supercar and turn it into a mass market machine. That’s the challenge Mercedes-AMG had on its hands when it was tasked with turning the wild – and wildly expensive – SLS into a practical, and more importantly, affordable, Porsche 911 and Audi R8 rival.
The GT Coupe is the result. It's similar in concept to the SLS: a big engine is located in front of the cabin rather than behind, the driver virtually sits over the rear wheels and an automatic gearbox is your only option. However, gone are the dramatic gullwing doors, the V8 is now turbocharged (for both increased power and lower emissions) and there’s even a pretty big boot, courtesy of a clever hatchback design. You can buy a soft-top Roadster version, too, and we've reviewed it separately.
The GT Coupe comes in a range of variants from the regular GT to the track-spec GT R. But the question remains, is it as good as rivals such as the Audi R8, McLaren 540C and Porsche 911? That’s what we’ll be exploring in this review. Or alternatively, to see how much you can save on a new Mercedes, click here.