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Development of the Mercedes AMG GT3: This is how the V8 cracker was made suitable for racing

Andreas Lindlahr /Mercedes
Development of the Mercedes AMG GT3
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The gray man got around a lot in his young life. At the end of February he completed his first kilometers on the race track in Vallelunga, Italy. Then it went straight to the Geneva Motor Show. There the M ercedes AMG GT3 made its first big appearance at the beginning of March - at an ungodly early hour. Mercedes boss Dieter Zetsche insisted on rushing to the podium with the horror, musically nicely accompanied by a hearty eight-cylinder naturally aspirated engine roar. So everyone was really awake at eight in the morning.

Bernd Schneider tested the Mercedes AMG GT3

Of course, for a thoroughbred like the Mercedes AMG GT3, it can not be particularly satisfying to be To stand the tires square in a salon and to be gazed at. But this procedure did not take long, because his fathers could hardly wait to give the GT3 in Alcarras, Spain, the opportunity to show its true talent.

True to the company motto 'The best or nothing', it became a special one successful driver asked for service: The five-time DTM champion Bernd Schneider took care of sorting out various chassis settings. The 50-year-old knew exactly what was expected of him:

'I am always aware that I am not developing a car for professional racing driver Bernd Schneider, but a GT3 that gentleman drivers can also use cope easily, 'he says. 'I've driven countless GT races in recent years. I know what the guys need. And a car that is easy to control. Only then can customers get the most out of themselves.'

There is maybe two or three tenths of a second per kilometer between a performance-optimized car and a 'forgiving' car, 'estimates Schneider.' But if you are eight tenths too slow in qualifying on a track like Spa, then you will be on the grid in nowhere . '

500 test kilometers - per day

On that early spring day in mildly temperate Catalonia, Schneider has a full program. The whole morning he drove a lot of short stints with five or six laps in the Mercedes AMG GT3 to try out different setups. The test program is being processed according to plan, because the new oneGT3 doesn't make any antics. Everything works flawlessly from the start - not a matter of course with a new racing car. But not surprising either, at least as far as the engine is concerned. Because the 6.3-liter naturally aspirated V8, whose temperament is curbed by two air flow limiters, each 36 millimeters in diameter, was already in service in the predecessor of the AMG GT3 - the tried and tested SLS.

Two are available for the afternoon Long runs over 40 laps each. The technicians want to know how the Pirelli slicks behave. 'By the evening I had reeled around 500 kilometers', says Bernd Schneider. But now it's lunch break. So 40 minutes to take a closer look at the AMG, which is painted in matt understatement anthracite. Above the splinter, the authoritarian radiator throat grins with vertical chrome ribs in a prison look.

Two mini-wings below the headlight slots are intended to eliminate understeer. The chocolate side of the Mercedes AMG GT3 is certainly the rear. Mighty wheel arch vents, the diffuser with its neatly coiffed air guardrails and the huge wing make an impression. Viewed from the side, the Mercedes AMG GT3 looks significantly more compact than the SLS. In bare numbers: it is nine centimeters shorter, and five centimeters have also been cut off on the wheelbase. 'That's why the GT feels more agile than the SLS,' says Schneider.

Air conditioning option in the AMG GT3

Gullwing doors are now a thing of the past at Mercedes. Bad for the show, good for the package. Because the normal hatches are much lighter. Like all other body parts (with the exception of the roof), they are made of lightweight CFRP. A curb weight of less than 1,300 kilos does not seem utopian for the GT.

'All GT3 cars are classified by an FIA commission,' says AMG engineer Stefan Wendel. With the help of this balance of performance, the rule makers try to choose engine power, weight and tank volume in such a way that all professionally prepared GT3 cars can start with the same chances. That is why it is still premature to publish exact dates.

The predecessor of the AMG GT3, the SLS, was a box-office hit: no fewer than 84 copies of the GT3 version were sold in four years. You don't have to be a prophet to say that the newcomer can do that too. Especially since there is another option that is by no means a matter of course in the GT3 scene - namely air conditioning for ailing male drivers.

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