AMG’s four-door rip-snorter is a wild combination of the brutal AMG GT powertrain, a few other Mercs and a hand-crafted bodyshell to fit passengers.
It might be called the GT but there is little under the skin to tie the two together, apart from (obviously) the twin-turbo V8. This thing exists because so does the Panamera and Mercedes customers just have to have something in the same vein.
How much is an AMG GT Four Door and what do I get?
GT53: $256,600 + ORC
GT63S: $359,100 + ORC
Well, that’s not messing about, is it? More than a hundred grand over the six-cylinder suggests there’s a lot to play with on the top-of-the-line. As usual in Australia, we don’t get the toned-down version, “making do” with the full-fat GT63S.
You get (deep breath) a 14-speaker stereo, climate control, reversing camera along with cameras every which way, keyless entry and start, front and rear parking sensors, active cruise control, electric front seats, sat nav, active LED headlights, head up display, power tailgate, nappa leather and Dinamica, auto parking, active power steering and wireless charging.
Options aplenty, of course, with things like carbon-ceramic brakes ($17,900), the luxury rear package (which adds of all things, cup holders for a stonking $5900)(okay, not just cupholders), carbon fibre trim ($6600), rear-wheel steer ($4400) and 21-inch alloys ($6000). Pricing seems all over the shop there, but the rear-wheel steer seems like a no-brainer.
The GT has the old COMAND system on a small-ish screen but also has Apple CarPlay. The stereo is mint.
Safety – No ANCAP rating
Because the four-door shares a lot in common with the E-Class, it has tons of safety gear. Seven airbags, ABS, advanced stability and traction controls, blind spot with assist, active safety bonnet, forward AEB (high and low-speed), forward collision warning, lane departure warning, lane keep assist, speed sign recognition and tyre pressure monitoring.
As you might expect, there’s no crash test ratings for the GT given its specialised nature.
Warranty and Servicing
Five years/unlimited km
Pre-pay servicing/capped-price servicing, 12 months/20,000km.
One of the unexpected bits of good news in the recent announcement where Mercedes has moved to five year warranties was the inclusion of AMGs. This is a vast improvement on the old regime which just felt a bit skinny.
And believe it or not, you can pre-pay three years ($4300), four years ($6450) or five years ($7150) of servicing. You only need to see your dealer once a year or every 20,000km.
You can skip the pre pay and stick with pay as you go, which costs a further $1230 for the three year plan. Looking at the figures, that fourth service looks properly pricey.
Now, normally I’d complain about stiff service prices, but dead-set, if you’re spending $360,000 on a car, you clearly don’t have to worry about total cost of ownership.
Look and Feel
Despite Mercedes trying to make a link to the hunkered-down two-door GT, the Four Door rolls on the E-Class platform. It’s a lot higher and obviously more sedan-ey than the GT and is sort of less convincing than, say, an 8 Series Gran Coupe in that argument.
It still looks pretty cool though. It’s not as attractive as the GT but it sure as hell isn’t the abomination that is the Panamera, which itself is only slightly better than its predecessor.
It’s not pretty, is what I’m saying, but few cars are in this segment. There’s something about presence in a four-door car that hard to get, even Aston’s Rapide tried to hide the rear doors from your eyes.
The cabin is far more spacious than the coupe’s, which is obviously the point. You get a decent-sized boot to begin with, two seats in the rear for a snug fit laterally but with plenty of legroom and much more space for the front seat occupants.
Given its E-Class roots, the interior is top-notch. On top of that, given its got a bit of a handmade vibe, the materials are all very pleasant indeed. You sit really low in the chassis and so the low roof doesn’t bruise your bonce, which is handy. Once you’re in, you’re really in.
The AMG twin-turbo V8 is the engine, seemingly, for all things. Someone probably tried to cram it into the A-Class variants. I can just imagine a sweaty team of AMG engineers coming back to the boss and saying, “We just need to completely re-engineer it to fit, then we can have an A63.” And the boss briefly thinking about it.
Anyway, as ever, it’s a 4.0-litre V8 with two twin scroll turbos rustling up a massive 470kW and 900-freakin-Nm of torque. The huge twist figure is available from 2500-4500rpm and sends this big beast on to the ton in 3.2 seconds.
Similar to other German V8s and V6s, the turbos are “hot side inside”, crammed between the V8 to get them nice and close to the exhaust headers and reduce pressure losses.
The now-familiar nine-speed MCT transmission – with its low-inertia wet clutch for start-off – brings its usual mix of smooth shifting in normal driving and lightning-fast shifts on the go.
The 63S also has active engine mounts which change with the drive select.
11.3L/100km (combined cycle)
You can safely ignore the official figure, because there’s little chance of you seeing it if you drive this the way AMG intended. Start with the more sensible 15.1L/100km of the city cycle and you’re better prepared.
The car does have a couple of fuel-saving tricks up its sleeve – the engine features cylinder on-demand and will drop a few cylinders to save fuel in the cruise. When you want all eight back, it obliges virtually instantly (ie, you won’t notice). It’s also got stop-start for saving fuel in the city, where it will obviously have the biggest effect.
I only had a quick go in the AMG GT Four-Door but it certainly made an impression on me. This thing is fast.
Nine hundred Newton Metres of torque is a lot. So is, let’s face it, a 2.2-tonne (give or take) kerb weight, especially as this isn’t a high-riding SUV. This AMG V8 makes complete mince meat of everything in its path.
I kind of approached this car as more of a grand tourer, the kind of car you could pop Ma and Pa in the back (well, my octogenarian parents) and they’d be perfectly happy. In every good sense of the phrase, they absolutely would not be happy back there because I would drive it like a loon.
The immense performance is always there, whether you potter around in Comfort mode or dial it up to RACE. The 4Matic all-wheel drive keeps you glued to the ground and even the modest suspension travel encourages you to push, push, push.
It’s not often something this long and heavy feels so agile. The power is just endless, with the nine-speed keeping the turbos spinning and the exhaust roaring. I was on a lovely country B-road, a road I know but full of surprises. Long fast bends with diving crests should be a recipe for disaster, but the grip of this thing is bottomless.
The only problem was, it was all over in forty-five minutes. But even with this brief taste, this car is clearly something special.
Peter Anderson is the Editor and founder of the theredline.com.au. He’s been writing about cars for years and finds it difficult to talk about anything else.