The Porsche 911 is no stranger to attacks—and now a fresh one has been whipped up in Affalterbach by Mercedes’ high-performance arm, AMG. True sports cars wearing the three-pointed star are rare; the last two times such cars appeared, the company aimed sky-high with the McLaren SLR and the just-departed SLS AMG. Both were priced to appeal to folks with incomes matching the GDPs of small countries. This time around, however. Mercedes-AMG is in attack mode and the new GT guns straight for the semi-attainable Porsche 911 and competitors such as the Audi R8 and uplevel versions of the Jaguar F-type.
The Mercedes-AMG GT is a classic example of trickle-down technology. Instead of ripping off a clean sheet of paper, the engineers started with the awesome SLS AMG supercar; you can see the similarities in their proportions. Both feature a long hood, a steeply raked windshield, and a compact greenhouse, but this car is softer, more refined, and less brutal to behold. Unlike the SLS, however, the GT has a large hatch to access the trunk, and the bay to which it grants access will swallow plenty of gear—12.4 cubic feet of it—for a week away. The gullwing doors of the SLS coupe (the roadster had conventional doors) were binned for cost reasons, which also serves to protect both that model and the door type’s special places in the brand's history.
We won't see a roadster version of the GT anytime soon. That product decision was made to protect the SL, which isn’t selling in anywhere near the volume Mercedes would like and needs a brand-new AMG GT roadster sitting next to it in the showroom like it needs a hovercraft mode. (Actually . . .) But if Mercedes’ brass changes its mind, such a model could be added in very little time.