Test: Mercedes-AMG GT R Pro

Achim Hartmann
Mercedes-AMG GT R Pro
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D éjà-vu in the Hatzenbach. THE here feels suspiciously like DEM on the Nordschleife, which Bernd Schneider, Patrick Simon, Jethro Bovingdon and I beat with the starting number 190 in the 24h race in 2018 to 22nd overall and to the SP-8T class victory. Even if it sounds like a typical platitude in motor journalism, the driving behavior of a street legal sports car has seldom been as similar to its GT4 racing counterpart as that of the Mercedes-AMG GT R Pro. Let's go - I'll take you on a fast lap of the Nordschleife in the new special version of the AMG high-flyer.

Shortly after the start of the brisk Eifel lap, you will notice that the AMG driving dynamics developers are still have added a lot once. Brief comparison of watches. Midcornerspeed Hatzenbachbogen in the 'normal' GT R? 151 kilometers an hour. And in the GT R Pro? 168 kilometers an hour.

That's an announcement, because even the original version without the Pro abbreviation was anything but a snail. We briefly remember the Supertest 5/2017 . At the time, the Mercedes-AMG GT R knocked the fastest Porsche 918 Spyder to date (7.13 minutes) from the Nordschleife throne of the super test with a lap time of 7.11 minutes. A big surprise at that time.

Achim Hartmann
Jump on the Nordschleife podium: With 7.06.60 minutes the Mercedes-AMG GT R Pro achieved the third fastest lap time.

The Mercedes-AMG GT R Pro can also surprise - for example, with how it competes in the Hatzenbach alternating curvesits phenomenal mechanical grip level sticks on the ideal line. Nothing slips, shifts or pushes here - the driving precision feels like a life-size slot car that follows the specified line with a guide keel.

Advantage thanks to fine tuning

And what the GT R is already good for the GT R Pro can do even better. He immediately gives you a lot of trust that allows you to quickly advance to the limit. In addition to the largely neutral driving behavior, the steering provides precise feedback that is not too hectic around the central position. The traction control, which is already known from the GT R and can be set to nine settings using a rotary control, works imperceptibly in the background. All building blocks that contribute to easy drivability at the limit.

How did the further increased lateral dynamics succeed? I'll tell you right after turning into the Quiddelbacher Höhe section. It's definitely not the tires. With the Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 ZP, the Mercedes-AMG GT R Pro has the same track option tire with road approval that the normal Mercedes-AMG GT R was soled with.

Achim Hartmann
Standard on the Pro: Ceramic brake system and track package with roll bar. Optional: Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 ZP.

The new coilover kit with its specific setup has a large share in the optimized performance. In contrast to the GT R, the height of the coilover kit can not only be adjusted, but now offers additional setting options for individual adjustment.

Instead of the adaptive dampers from Sachs known from the GT R, the Pro has three-way manually adjustable KW Mute. Not only the spring base can now be changed mechanically, but also the rebound and compression stage of the damper (adjustment range rebound stage: 16 clicks). The pressure level setting is also separated into high-speed (adjustment range: 15 clicks) and low-speed (adjustment range: 12 clicks).

The adjustment can be made without tools using the click system with a built-in dial on the damper. Click setting for the Nordschleife? Coming from “completely closed”, the following clicks “open again”: 6, 6, 6 in front and6, 8, 8 at the back. In addition, the Pro version uses adjustable stabilizers (two-way adjustable at the front, three-way adjustable at the rear). Setting the Nordschleife? Front axle: hard, rear axle: center.

Further fine-tuning details of the chassis: Even the normal Mercedes-AMG GT R has uniball spherical bearings on the lower wishbones of the rear axle. With the Pro, the bearings are now also used for the upper wishbones. In addition, the electronically controlled engine and transmission mounts have been retuned.

And what about the weight? At 1,657 kilos, the normal GT R was known to be no lightweight. A direct comparison is difficult, because the Basic-R once competed in the Supertest without a “track package” with a screwed roll bar; with the Pro, this race-track-specific package is part of the standard scope of delivery. The ceramic brake system, which is now standard in the Pro, was also carried by the test car of the normal GT R, but as an optional detail that reduces the weight by 15 kilos.

Achim Hartmann
The rollover protection system is part of the standard scope of delivery of the AMG GT R PRO Track Package.

We also know the carbon roof and the AMG forged wheels from the standard R. Both the carbon roof (now lowered in the middle) and the forged wheels (titanium gray, matt lacquered) were designed a little differently for the Pro. Overall, the Pro uses a little more carbon parts as standard. The bottom line is that the Mercedes-AMG GT R Pro is ten kilos lighter than the normal GT R.

Driving to the airport, here you notice for the first time on the Nordschleife that not only the driving dynamics department, but also the aerodynamics department Experts were allowed to lend a hand at the Pro. The aerodynamic appearance of the Mercedes-AMG GT R Pro is visually difficult to resemble its GT4 racing car brother.

The Pro uses a longer splinter that is pulled forward and held in place by small metal struts. There are now two small flics on each side of the front apron. Louvers are now also found on the front fenders to optimize the wheel arch ventilation. New aero details at the rear: an additional gurney on the adjustable rear wing andside aero elements that are pulled up vertically from the diffuser at the wheel cutout to almost the rear lights.

271 kilometers per hour: Fuchsröhre is full

The total downforce at 200 kilometers per hour increases by 21 kilos for the normal GT R to 76 kilos. Compared to the competition, the Mercedes-AMG GT R Pro is also not numerically an output animal. However, what is important is not what is on the technical data sheet, but what reality looks like. The aerodynamic grip and driving stability at high speeds have been further optimized compared to the Mercedes-AMG GT R. And what is very important on the Nordschleife: the downforce feels constant on bumps and hilltops.

Airfield, first right turn. Another watch comparison. Midcornerspeed GT R 176 kilometers an hour, GT R Pro 179 kilometers an hour. Accordingly, the Pro version takes more momentum from the airfield double right in the direction of Schwedenkreuz. There are 279 kilometers an hour on the Schwedenkreuz summit. The normal GT R was 2 kilometers per hour slower here, although its longitudinal dynamics were even better than the Mercedes-AMG GT R Pro. A lateral dynamic highlight follows in the fast left after the Schwedenkreuz summit. At 212 kilometers per hour midcornerspeed, the Mercedes-AMG GT R Pro is only slightly slower than its GT4 racing brother with slick tires.

Achim Hartmann
On the engine side, the new spearhead of the GT series continues to use the four-liter, internally named M 178 DE 40 AL -V8 biturbo back.

On the engine side, the new spearhead of the GT series continues to use the four-liter, internally named M 178 DE 40 AL V8 biturbo back. Not only the nominal power in the Mercedes-AMG GT R Pro remains at the well-known 585 hp, we also know the good controllability and largely even power development of the unit from the normal GT R.

At speeds over 200 kilometers the Hour the modified aerodynamics of the Mercedes-AMG GT R Pro is clearly noticeable. For example, the GT R Pro falls relatively casually with a top speed of 271 kilometers per hourthrough the Fuchsröhre (GT R: 263 kilometers per hour).

The resulting driving stability gives you even greater confidence in the limit area, and you can 'stand' in the Fuchsröhre compression. Only shortly before the notch on the right side do you have to brake. If you are one of the 750 selected customers: Please do not try out the “Fuchsröhre voll” project in the first lap, but slowly approach the limit.

Thanks to the almost racing-like chassis set-up, the Mercedes-AMG GT R supports itself Pro not only does better than the basic R, but it also swallows curbs better. A good example of this can be found at the exit of the Fuchsröhre in the quick links. At 194 kilometers per hour, the GT R Pro irons the curb away with extremely stable driving. Watch comparison with the normal GT R: It took the said curb at 173 kilometers per hour.

Optimized braking performance

The next bend, in which the pro impressively demonstrates his lateral dynamic ability and clearly stands out normal GT R stands out is the fast Metzgesfeld links. GT R: 171 kilometers an hour, Pro: 178 kilometers an hour.

Kallenhard, Spiegelkurve, Dreifachrecht, Wehrseifen - not only the partial re-asphalting of the route, but above all the mix of optimized driving stability and improved braking Performance helps in these sections of the route. So it is not surprising that the Mercedes-AMG GT R Pro has a lead of 4.2 seconds over the normal GT R in the second Nordschleife sector, from 'Bridge exit Aremberg' to 'Post 122 exit Ex-Mühle'. p>

Keyword braking performance. The mix of the almost racing tire-like grip level of the semi-slick tires of the Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 ZP type and the successful ABS tuning already gave the R standard model a good deceleration. The Mercedes-AMG GT R Pro does not achieve a braking distance of less than 30 meters in the 100 to 0 km /h hot brake measurement, which is currently the benchmark, but at 30.7 meters it is one meter earlier than the normal GT R (31.8 meters).

Aremberg, Kallenhard and Wehrseifen - especially at these points you brake almost as late into the corners with the Mercedes-AMG GT R Pro as with your GT4 -Car brother with slicks. The ABS control works even better in the Pro than in the normal GT R.

How strongly the performance also depends on the external temperatures is shown on the second part of the Nordschleife lap. While the Pro had already gained 5.1 seconds ahead of the GT R's time in the first and second sectors, he lost 0.9 seconds again on the GT R in the fourth sector.

From here the grip level increases of the ZP tire this time a little more. Reason: The GT R had almost perfect conditions with an air temperature of four degrees and an asphalt temperature of eight degrees, while the Pro had significantly higher temperatures (air 18 degrees, asphalt 27 degrees)had to compete. Regardless, the Pro's lead over the normal GT R at the finish is four seconds. At 7.06.60 minutes, the special model achieved the third fastest lap time ever driven in the super test. Goodbye, AMG!

Measurement data engine & chassis

With 617 hp at 6,010 revolutions per minute, the V8 biturbo exceeds the factory specification by 5.5 percent. The torque curve initially moves around 720 Newton meters and increases above 5,000 revolutions per minute to 740 Newton meters. The increased performance results from this excess, but it is still within the legal framework. According to the factory, the maximum torque of 700 Newton meters is from 2,100 revolutions per minute to 5,500 revolutions per minute.

Dino Eisele
The measurements of the Mercedes-AMG GT R Pro take place on a test bench of the engineering office Müller checks in Backnang.


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