Mercedes-AMG GT Black Series will have “most powerful V8 ever,” AMG boss tells us
Mercedes-Benz’s AMG line-up is currently spearheaded by the hardcore GT-R Pro (pictured), but even its scorching pace will pale in comparison to the GT Black Series that’s due to be unleashed in 12 months.
Speaking to us at the Frankfurt motor show, Mercedes-AMG boss Tobias Moers said the upcoming Black Series will be “in a different universe” to the existing GT-R Pro that we drove at Germany’s Hockenheim circuit earlier this year.
“The Black Series is a whole different car to the GT-R Pro,” Moers said. “Everything is new. The body-in-white is shared, but regarding everything else – driving dynamics, powertrain and outputs – expect something totally different. We’re going to move up the horsepower by far. It could be the most powerful AMG V8 ever. It could happen,” he says with a slight smile.
The existing GT-R Pro kicks out 585 hp, but currently the most powerful AMG V8 is slotted in the GT 63 S four-door, with the swoopy sedan packing a 639 hp clout. It’s rumoured the GT Black Series will push the 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8’s outputs close to 700 hp.
It won’t just be a straight-line bully though, as Moers says the Black Series will gain bespoke suspension componentry and a comprehensive aero package to keep it glued to the tarmac. In recent months prototypes have been seen pounding around the Nurburgring, wearing a huge Le Mans-style fixed rear wing and a more aggressive front splitter/spoiler than even the badass GT-R Pro.
The GT-R Pro has circulated the Nurburgring Nordschleife – the benchmark venue for posting lap times – in 7 minutes 4.6 seconds, while the current record for production cars is held by the Lamborghini Aventador SVJ at 6 minutes 44.97 seconds. Moers won’t confirm whether a Nordschleife lap-record attempt is on the agenda for the Black Series, but when questioned on potential lap times he just smiles and says, “Wait and see. It will be fast.”
Production of the GT Black Series won’t be capped at a specific number, but as per previous Black Series models – the last of which was based on the gullwinged SLS – it will be a low-volume offering. Moers says the significant investment in developing the Black Series is justified as “We have good feedback from the market. It’s definitely worth it for us.”
Further down the track, Moers says the next generation of AMG products will be performance hybrids that pair a combustion engine with a supplementary electric motor. While Moers says the instant torque benefits of having an electric motor will be the payoff, the real reason behind the shift is to help Mercedes lower its fleet emissions in line with ever-tightening Euro norms. Other powertrain developments in the pipeline include electric turbochargers, which will first be used in the hyper-expensive AMG One before trickling down to lesser AMG offerings.
Despite the ever-increasing amount of computerised wizardry that’s being packed into cars, Moers says it’s vital that “a car in the sports car segment should feel analogue, even if a lot of software is taking care of you.
“It’s very important for us that the car is drivable without ESP and that you can handle it quite well on the racetrack,” Moers says. “Even if you get into trouble, the car should give you the ability to ‘catch’ it, provided, of course, you’re a good driver.”