Mercedes-AMG isn't content to leave well enough alone with its flagship sports car. Today at the Los Angeles Auto Show, it's showing off some significant upgrades for the GT family, and a very cool new model—the GT R Pro. It appears to be a monster.
To create the GT R Pro, AMG didn't touch the standard GT R's 577-hp 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 or its seven-speed dual-clutch transaxle, but that's about all that's unchanged.
As you can see, the GT R Pro gets some significant aero upgrades. At the front, there are carbon-fiber dive planes that look like they could've come off a GT3 race car and new vents in the fascia to better channel air over the front wheels. The splitter itself is also bigger and is held up by two metal posts. All of these, vents over the front wheels, help reduce lift at the front, which should help with turn-in and cornering grip. At the back, the carbon-fiber wing is now held up by milled aluminum stanchions and features a Gurney flap to help create more downforce. There's also new carbon-fiber aero elements just behind the rear wheels that seamlessly blend into the GT R's double diffuser.
What you can't see here is a new coilover suspension setup with manual adjustments for spring preload length, damper rebound and both high- and low-speed compression. Knobs on the coilovers mean all of this can be set up without tools. At the Auto Show today, AMG boss Tobias Moers told us that it's basically the same suspension setup as the GT4 race car. AMG also fitted a new carbon-fiber sway bar at the front, while the rear sway bar is made from hollow steel. Both the upper and lower rear wishbones are attached using rigid spherical bearings, rather than rubber bushings. This won't help with ride quality around town, but it will help maintain toe and camber at high speed. The half-cage pictured here won't make it to US spec cars.
All of this in service of track performance, Moers told us. "If you're at the Nordschleife and you push down to the Fuchsröhre, which is the lower part where you have a compression in it, the [regular] GT R is always moving a little bit sideways. It's easy to control. With the GT R Pro, you just have vertical movement, no sideways movement."
The carbon-ceramic braking system that's optional on the regular GT R is, as you might expect, standard on the Pro, as are lightweight twin-five-spoke forged alloy wheels. There's a lot of standard carbon-fiber trim, too.
Yes, the stripes are standard as well. On cars painted in Selenite Gray Magno (like the one pictured here), they're green, while they're gray on any other color. If you want, you can have the stripes deleted, but why would you?
All of these upgrades add up—with AMG factory driver Maro Engel at the wheel, the GT R pro ran a 7:04.6 at the Nürburgring earlier this month. That puts the it within spitting distance of the Dodge Viper ACR and ahead of the Nissan GT-R Nismo. It's also over six seconds faster than a GT R driven by Sport Auto journalist Christian Gebhardt.
Unfortunately, only 750 examples of the GT R Pro are going to be made. Get your name on the list soon.
The rest of the AMG GT family gets some nice upgrades, too. The exterior looks mostly the same, but inside, there's a world of difference. A new steering wheel ported over from the AMG GT four-door brings nifty controls for drive modes and other user selectable functions, while a new center console also mimics the GT's more family friendly sibling. A new digital gauge cluster comes standard, while the infotainment screen gets bigger.
More interesting to us is a feature called AMG Dynamics that Mercedes says can help change the handling balance of the car on the fly. Moers told us it uses torque vectoring by braking to change yaw characteristics and reduce the amount of steering input required. There's four modes—Basic, Advanced, Pro, and Master—which slacken off stability control as you go up through the GT's various driving modes. Moers says the system in its less restrictive modes allows for nice big drifts without any sudden intervention from ABS. That helps make the car less snappy when coming out of a slide. On top of this, the GT R and GT R Pro still offer AMG's trick nine-stage traction control system.
Pricing and availability dates haven't been announced yet, but we don't think we'll have to wait long to find out more. In the meantime, we're going to fantasize about hitting our favorite tracks in the GT R Pro.