Why Mercedes-AMG Built a Four-Door GT

Tobias Moers, head of Mercedes-AMG, tells us that the GT 4-Door is not a CLS with different bodywork.

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The Mercedes-AMG GT 4-Door is a confusing proposition. Why would AMG go through the trouble to build a new four-door with a coupe-like profile, when Mercedes already makes the CLS, a four-door with a coupe-like profile? To get to the bottom of this critical mystery, we spoke with AMG boss Tobias Moers at the New York Auto Show. The reason? It's what customers want.

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"We saw that if C63 and E63 customers were looking for the next level, we didn't have a great offering," Moers told me. "For most of them, a CLS was not the right approach, so we lost some people to other brands."

Moers didn't name any of those "other brands," but it's pretty obvious he's referring to cross-town rival Porsche. The GT 4-Door is very clearly aimed at the Porsche Panamera in that it's a sedan with more aggressive looks, and the promise of sports-car performance.

The AMG GT 4-Door is based on Mercedes' modular sedan platform, using a floorpan similar to that of the E63 Wagon. But don't think of this as just a cynical re-body—the GT 4-Door is significantly different than any other Mercedes sedan.

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AMG worked hard to make sure the GT 4-Door's body was extra stiff, and there are new subframes front and rear. The rear subframe had to be different because the AMG fit the GT 4-Door with rear-axle steering, technology it introduced to great effect on the GT R.

And in 63 S form, the GT 4-Door offers more power than any other AMG, 630 horsepower from its 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8. It's basically the same engine you get in 577-hp form in the GT R, but the combustion ratio and charge-air cooling have been changed to eke out more power. I asked Moers if we'd see another AMG with this 630-hp V8, and he replied simply, "let's wait."

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The message Moers wants to stress is that the GT 4-Door isn't like other AMG sedans.

"It's not just a modified CLS," Moers said. "There's an understanding at AMG of how to engineer, how a car feels, how a car should drive—this was done with that car."

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I suggested that the GT 4-Door might be the ideal AMG sedan because instead of starting with a preexisting car, as with the E63, AMG built this one from the ground up. "It's not far away," Moers said.

DW Burnett/Puppyknuckles
DW Burnett/Puppyknuckles
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DW Burnett/Puppyknuckles
DW Burnett/Puppyknuckles
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