Mercedes-AMG GT R Pro races into LA
Mercedes-AMG has delivered its fastest GT R yet.
The facelift brings an updated look inside and out - all models benefitting from a 12.0-inch digital display cluster, touch pro steering wheel and digital buttons on the console - but it’s the new flagship model that’s most impressive.
Honed from the brand’s experience in all forms of motorsport, the GT R Pro is a race car for the road.
Outside are a number of carbon-fibre aerodynamic enhancements, such as GT3-inspired fins flanking the nose, carbon side skirts, active aero front lip spoiler and a Gurney flap on the big boot-mount GT wing. The gaping mouth underneath the Panamericana grille has also opened up for better flow.
Weight is reduced over the GT R – though by how much is not yet known – thanks to a carbon-fibre roof, ceramic brakes, lightweight forged alloy wheels and AMG Performance seats made from carbon-fibre with a glossy clear coat finish. Underneath the vehicle is a shear plate of thin carbon-fibre which stiffens the rear-end and sharpens communication and response.
Complimenting the downforce modifications is a retuned chassis featuring new coil over suspension. Beyond being able to individually adjust the pre-loaded spring length and affect ride height, each damper has finely adjustable compression and rebound settings for perfecting ride on a variety of track surfaces. The front and rear suspension setups are further stiffened by a carbon-fibre torsion bar front and hollow tube steel anti-rollbar in the rear.
And the adjustable ride setting will be even sharper than before, with spherical bearings used in the upper wishbone joints that complement bearings already used in the lower joints. The combination mitigates any unwanted play when cornering under high loads, keeping camber and tow-in angles unchanged as the wheels become stressed with lateral force.
Further equipment made for the track include a steel rollover protection system, four-point safety harness for driver and passenger and a 2kg fire extinguisher, normally available as a cost-option in the Track Pack.
Using the same 430kW, 700Nm 4.0-litre bi-turbo V8 engine as the GT R, the track-focused GT R Pro does not come with any engine performance enhancements but has proven itself faster than all other GTs, shaving six seconds from the GT R's best lap time around the Nürburgring.
Australian availability and pricing for Mercedes' new flagship coupe is yet to be confirmed.
Alex Rae is Drive’s Melbourne based reporter with over 10 years’ experience in the automotive industry as a photographer and journalist. Having studied both engineering and the arts, Alex understands what makes things tick while appreciating that sometimes it’s all about form over matter…