2016 Mercedes-Benz AMG GT

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Key Specs
Our Take
Road Test
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Key Specs

of the 2016 Mercedes‑Benz AMG GT. Base trim shown.

Our Take

From the Cars.com Vehicle Test Team

The Good

  • Eye-popping acceleration
  • Active, adjustable suspension
  • Comfortable interior
  • Extensive accident avoidance features
  • Knockout styling

The Bad

  • Conventional doors replace SLS gull-wings
  • Terrible forward visibility
  • High center console
  • Ride quality borders on stiff

Notable Features of the 2016 Mercedes-Benz AMG GT

  • Two seats
  • Front-engine design
  • Twin-turbo 4.0-liter V-8
  • Dual-clutch seven-speed automatic
  • 19- or 20-inch wheels
  • 8.4-inch display

2016 Mercedes-Benz AMG GT Road Test

Aaron Bragman

Fast, gorgeous and more affordable than its predecessor, the new Mercedes-AMG GT S may just be the best-driving car the automaker has ever made.

The old Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG coupe was a unique sports car. Crazy fast, equipped with crowd-favorite gull-wing doors and seriously expensive, it was a limited-production machine meant for a very exclusive clientele. When it came time to replace it, Mercedes decided it would be better to go after a higher-volume segment: The high-end but more affordable sports car. Players like the Porsche 911, Audi R8, Nissan GT-R, Dodge Viper and Chevrolet Corvette ZR-1 all operate in this niche, but Mercedes-Benz didn't have a dog in that hunt.

Enter the new 2016 Mercedes-AMG GT S coupe. Note that it's not labeled a Mercedes-Benz — this is part of the company's new branding scheme that has created two sub-brands for Mercedes-Benz: Mercedes-AMG and Mercedes-Maybach. No longer a discrete ultra-luxury brand, Maybachs will be Mercedes-based cruisers aimed at Bentley and Rolls-Royce. AMGs will be serious sports machines like the one seen here: Dedicated go-fast vehicles that combine the visceral thrill of a high-powered sports car with the luxury amenities and technology-based refinement for which Mercedes-Benz is known.

So with this much less expensive GT S coupe, what has Mercedes wrought? Is it a true 911 fighter, a harder-edged SL with a fixed roof, a successor to the outrageous SLS or something new?

Exterior & Styling
From ...

Fast, gorgeous and more affordable than its predecessor, the new Mercedes-AMG GT S may just be the best-driving car the automaker has ever made.

The old Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG coupe was a unique sports car. Crazy fast, equipped with crowd-favorite gull-wing doors and seriously expensive, it was a limited-production machine meant for a very exclusive clientele. When it came time to replace it, Mercedes decided it would be better to go after a higher-volume segment: The high-end but more affordable sports car. Players like the Porsche 911, Audi R8, Nissan GT-R, Dodge Viper and Chevrolet Corvette ZR-1 all operate in this niche, but Mercedes-Benz didn't have a dog in that hunt.

Enter the new 2016 Mercedes-AMG GT S coupe. Note that it's not labeled a Mercedes-Benz — this is part of the company's new branding scheme that has created two sub-brands for Mercedes-Benz: Mercedes-AMG and Mercedes-Maybach. No longer a discrete ultra-luxury brand, Maybachs will be Mercedes-based cruisers aimed at Bentley and Rolls-Royce. AMGs will be serious sports machines like the one seen here: Dedicated go-fast vehicles that combine the visceral thrill of a high-powered sports car with the luxury amenities and technology-based refinement for which Mercedes-Benz is known.

So with this much less expensive GT S coupe, what has Mercedes wrought? Is it a true 911 fighter, a harder-edged SL with a fixed roof, a successor to the outrageous SLS or something new?

Exterior & Styling
From just about any angle, the GT coupe is gorgeous. Pictures truly do not do the shape justice. This may be one of the most expressive cars Mercedes-Benz has brought to market since the 1963 230 SL "Pagoda." The shape evokes the old Jaguar E-Type in its proportions, with a long hood, short deck and a quickly sloping roofline behind a bulbous top. It's taut, clean and mean looking, whipping just as many heads around outside the car as inside.

There are distinct cues from other Mercedes-Benz vehicles in the GT coupe's lines, such as taillights that look lifted from the stunning new S-Class coupe and a front end that evokes the CLA. Nobody will mistake it for anything other than a Mercedes, but it's in no way stodgy or reminiscent of a conservative past. Parked next to a current-generation SL, it becomes obvious the GT S is the future of Mercedes-Benz styling. It's a far more attractive design than the SL.

How It Drives
Under the long and shapely hood is a brand-new, twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V-8 engine making 503 horsepower in the GT S, where it's attached to a lightning-fast, seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. The standard GT model isn't available yet, but it will feature less horsepower, fewer standard features and a lower sticker price when it arrives in 2016.

The GT S' combination is good enough for a 3.7-second zero-to-60-mph dash, Mercedes says, with a top speed of 196 mph. It's a fantastic engine, docile when it needs to be, blindingly powerful when called upon. While it doesn't have quite the visceral, sky-ripping, thunderous roar of the SLS' old naturally aspirated 6.2-liter V-8, it still makes plenty of its own music. That's especially true when you push the "loudener" button that opens the exhaust flaps and brings all that glorious V-8 exhaust noise into the surrounding environment.

It's reasonable to compare this car with the Porsche 911, given their similar missions and pricing. Like the Porsche, an astonishing amount of electronic-minder technology helps you control all the GT's power and agility. But unlike the Porsche, it provides a layer of refinement and luxury that acts as a firewall between the machine and the driver.

A selector knob allows drivers to essentially dial in how thin they want that insulating blanket to be. Keep it in Comfort mode, and the GT coupe is as easy to drive as the larger, calmer SL touring roadster. Start twisting the knob toward Sport or Sport Plus, and you'll allow more feedback through the suspension, require more effort through the steering wheel and generate faster responses from the transmission. Twist it all the way to Race mode, and the GT S turns into a track monster: Shifts become extremely quick, torque is available instantly, and the roar from the twin pipes out the back of the coupe becomes formidable.

You can also dial in various settings to create your own mix, using the configurable Individual setting. I generally preferred to keep the suspension in Comfort mode, the steering in Sport Plus, the transmission in Sport and the exhaust as loud as possible.

Out in the hills and forests south of San Francisco, the AMG GT S coupe was far more sporting and stiff than an SL, as is appropriate for the vehicle's sports car nature. Broken pavement sets up some jolts in the cabin even in the Comfort setting, but it's not harsh or uncomfortable.

Out on the swoops and dips of Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, the AMG GT S coupe showed just what it can do — and what it can do is go seriously fast. It is a wonderfully balanced car, with phenomenal amounts of grip for a rear-wheel-drive vehicle. You can rotate the car easily in turns using either throttle or steering input, and the amazing amounts of grip mean that later braking into — and earlier acceleration out of — corners is possible.

Interior
The GT coupe is smaller than you might think, which becomes apparent when you walk up and open one of its feather-light aluminum doors. The cabin looks tight, but it's remarkably comfortable for people of all shapes and sizes. Ingress and egress are no more difficult than in a 911 or Audi R8, and once inside the multi-adjustable seats and scalloped headliner (a glass panel roof is optional) provide plenty of position options for all body types and heights.

In the driver's seat, in front of you is a massive, chunky wheel covered in faux suede. To the right is an extremely wide center console done up either in aluminum or piano black, depending on your trim options.

The biggest issue with the interior is visibility. The windshield is extremely short, the A-pillars are rather thick and the rearview mirror/forward camera assembly takes up too much real estate. This means the driver's forward visibility is far more compromised than it is through a 911's taller, upright windshield, but it's no worse than in an R8 or Corvette, with their similarly low roofs. It becomes especially troublesome in twisty left-hand bends, as you try to position your head around the thick windshield pillar to see the road ahead.

Ergonomics & Electronics
An array of dedicated buttons on the wide center console governs features such as engine stop-start, multimedia system volume, exhaust noise level and more. Centered is a multifunction trackpad that partially covers the traditional Mercedes rotary knob controller. The Comand multimedia system is no different from those in any other Mercedes-Benz, so it's familiar and relatively easy to use. The screen itself is typical of Mercedes' recent designs: an iPad-like tablet display propped up on the dash that looks like an afterthought. It doesn't really fit with the rest of the artistry in the interior, but it functions well. It's clear, and its high position keeps your eyes closer to the road.

The interior controls are similar to the 911's in their execution. Several functions have dedicated buttons — instead of being accessible only through multimedia menus — making them easy to use on the fly. The 911 is a bit more obsessive with this, however, notoriously including dozens of buttons. The R8 uses the excellent Audi MMI system, which remains my benchmark for multimedia systems. The Viper's Chrysler Uconnect system, however, isn't far behind, with its equally clear and easy-to-use controls.

Cargo & Storage
Pop the liftgate, and you're treated to a decent amount of cargo room. The GT coupe's hatch will swallow 12.3 cubic feet of luggage; that's enough for two (small) golf bags, according to Mercedes-Benz. A decent roll-aboard suitcase would also fit, and there are some storage pockets throughout the interior that help with smaller items.

That space is fairly generous for the segment. The Porsche 911 features just 4.8 cubic feet of room in its front trunk (frunk), but a total of 12.0 cubic feet when you account for the parcel shelf behind the front seats. The Audi R8 doesn't have much room for bags, featuring just 3.5 cubic feet in its frunk, but the Nissan GT-R has a surprisingly deep trunk, offering 8.8 cubic feet of cargo room.

Safety
The AMG GT S has not yet been crash-tested.

Like all Mercedes-Benz products, the GT is available with a raft of electronic safety options. Being the S model, my test car had a number of them included. Items like collision prevention assist with automatic braking, front and rear parking sensors, a backup camera and a driver attention-assist monitor are standard on the GT S. The only major safety option is a lane-keeping and blind spot warning package. See all the AMG GT S' standard features here.

Value in Its Class
The standard version of the AMG GT isn't yet on the market and won't be until sometime in 2016. Right now, the only version available is the more powerful, more expensive GT S model. It starts at $130,825, and its most expensive individual option is the $9,900 AMG Solarbeam Yellow paint. Spec all the options, and the sticker can rise past $158,000 — quite a bit of coin, and not far from Mercedes-AMG's SL roadster's top performance models, which can easily hit $150,000-$200,000. Build one your way here.

So the question becomes: Is the GT S better to drive than a Porsche 911, a vehicle many of us consider to be the aspirational sports car benchmark? The most accurate answer would be that it's simply different to drive from a 911, more resembling the Audi R8 in character and style. It can certainly keep up with a 911, but it goes about its mission very differently, providing the owner with a blisteringly fast sports coupe that, like the R8, feels more exotic than the Porsche, especially in the styling department.

In a move that may be pretty smart on Mercedes' part, the GT S doesn't seem to be aimed exactly at the base 911. It may be in terms of price, size and capability, but it provides a level of luxury, style and overall refinement that the 911 doesn't have. It will appeal to people who aspire to a 911 for its cachet, but who aren't necessarily as interested in what the 911 can do. Instead, they'll filter over to their Mercedes showroom, where an equally capable — yet more dramatically styled and luxurious option — awaits them.

In that mission, the GT S may be more similar to the Jaguar F-Type or Audi R8, both of which are immensely capable; the Audi feels more exotic, and the Jag is more affordable. An intriguing option may be the Dodge Viper, which is now available with a customization program that makes each one an individual statement at no extra cost. But the Viper is less comfortable, less luxurious and far more of a handful to drive than the GT S. Compare the GT S, R8, 911 and Viper here.

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Latest 2016 AMG GT Stories

Consumer Reviews

Exterior Styling
(4.9)
Performance
(5.0)
Interior Design
(4.6)
Comfort
(4.6)
Reliability
(4.7)
Value For The Money
(4.4)

What Drivers Are Saying

(5.0)

Best of the Best

by Tim the tool man from Houston, TX on July 22, 2018

This is by far the finest car I have ever owned. I have owned 109 cars according to USAA. Jag F Type R, Porsches, BMW M5, Mercedes CL55, SL63, Corvettes, Audi R8, ect... The AMG GT S is a classic ... Read full review

(5.0)

Exceptional Super car

by fezz1450 from Boca Raton, FL on June 18, 2018

Exceptional vehicle with tones of power, elegance and design. Highly recommended. Can be driven every day or raced on the track. Fantastic value for the money. Read full review

Safety & Recalls

Recalls

The 2016 Mercedes-Benz AMG GT currently has 2 recalls

Crash and Rollover Test Ratings

The 2016 Mercedes-Benz AMG GT has not been tested.

Manufacturer Warranty

  • Bumper-to-Bumper

    48 months / 50,000 miles

  • Powertrain

    48 months / 50,000 miles

  • Roadside Assistance

    48 months / 50,000 miles

CPO Program & Warranty

Certified Pre-Owned by Mercedes-Benz

Program Benefits

24-hour roadside assistance, trip-interruption services, trip-planning services and Carfax vehicle history report

  • Limited Warranty

    5 years / Unlimited Miles*

    Up to 5 years/Unlimited miles from original in-service date if purchased while under original warranty, or 1 year/Unlimited miles if purchased outside of new-vehicle warranty; no deductible, transferable to subsequent owners
  • Eligibility

    Under 6 years / 75,000 miles

    Vehicles receive a Rigorous inspection by factory-certified technicians.

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Cars.com Car Seat Check

Certified child passenger safety technicians conduct hands-on tests of a car’s Latch system and check the vehicle’s ability to accommodate different types of car seats. The AMG GT received the following grades on a scale of A-F.*
* This score may not apply to all trims, especially for vehicles with multiple body styles that affect the space and design of the seating.

Warranty FAQs

What is a Bumper-to-Bumper warranty?

Often called a basic warranty or new-vehicle warranty, a bumper-to-bumper policy covers components like air conditioning, audio systems, vehicle sensors, fuel systems and major electrical components. Most policies exclude regular maintenance like fluid top offs and oil changes, but a few brands have separate free-maintenance provisions, and those that do offer them is slowly rising. Bumper-to-bumper warranties typically expire faster than powertrain warranties.

What is a Powertrain warranty?

Don't be misled a 10-year or 100,000-mile powertrain warranty doesn't promise a decade of free repairs for your car. It typically covers just the engine and transmission, along with any other moving parts that lead to the wheels, like the driveshaft and constant velocity joints. Some automakers also bundle seat belts and airbags into their powertrain warranties. With a few exceptions, powertrain warranties don't cover regular maintenance like engine tuneups and tire rotations.

What is included in Roadside Assistance?

Some automakers include roadside assistance with their bumper-to-bumper or powertrain warranties, while others have separate policies. These programs cover anything from flat-tire changes and locksmith services to jump-starts and towing. Few reimburse incidental costs like motel rooms (if you have to wait for repairs).

What other services could be included in a warranty?

Some automakers include free scheduled maintenance for items such as oil changes, air filters and tire rotations. Some include consumables including brake pads and windshield wipers; others do not. They are typically for the first couple of years of ownership of a new car.

What does CPO mean?

A certified pre-owned or CPO car has been inspected to meet minimum quality standards and typically includes some type of warranty. While dealers and third parties certify cars, the gold standard is an automaker-certified vehicle that provides a factory-backed warranty, often extending the original coverage. Vehicles must be in excellent condition and have low miles and wear to be certified, which is why off-lease vehicles feed many CPO programs.

See also the latest CPO incentives by automaker