Opinion: Mercedes exploits another niche
AMG's Porsche Panamera rival will reach customers during the first quarter of 2019. Official pricing has yet to be revealed but a starting price of about £85,000 is likely for the normal car, with the Edition 1 to be priced well above that.
Like the first version of the two-door GT sports car, the Edition 1 will get more standard features, including the sportiest aerodynamics package, 21in AMG wheels and a bespoke grey and black scheme.
It will kick-start the arrival of AMG's all-new and division-specific GT 4-door Coupé model, which follows the SLS Coupé and Roadster and the GT Coupé and Roadster as the fifth dedicated model from Mercedes-AMG.
The ‘4-door Coupé’ component of its name suggests that it is a saloon-cum-coupé model in the mould of the mechanically similar Mercedes CLS. However, it does in fact take inspiration from the existing GT Coupé by featuring a fastback-style tailgate. That design is integral to providing the new AMG model with the sort of practicality that the company’s chairman, Tobias Moers, says allows it to deliver a “high level of day-to-day suitability”.
The GT 4-door Coupé will be offered with the choice of two petrol engines from the outset. One is Mercedes’ new 3.0-litre inline six-cylinder unit with a mild-hybrid system in the GT53 4Matic+. The other is AMG’s 4.0-litre V8, which, in line with other AMG models, will be available in two separate states of tune in the GT63 4Matic+ and GT63 S 4Matic+. A new entry-level 3.0-litre petrol powertrain has also been added to the range, badged GT 43 4Matic+ 4-door Coupé.
The 3.0-litre straight six engine, shared with the S450 and CLS450 models, produces 362bhp and 369lb ft of torque, with an additional 184lb ft available from the EQ boost mild hybrid function. Power is transmitted to all four wheels from Mercedes' 4Matic system, contributing to a 0-62mph time of 4.9sec. Top speed is a claimed 168mph. Prices start at €95,259 in Germany - around €14,000 less than the hybrid-powered, 53-badged model, although it won't be offered in the UK.
As their names suggest, all three models in the launch line-up feature as standard a fully variable four-wheel-drive system, as revealed on the latest E63 4Matic+, along with a nine-speed automatic gearbox.
The basis for the first ever four-door fastback from AMG is Mercedes-Benz’s MRA platform. A large proportion of its underpinnings, including its chassis, as well as its electrical architecture, is shared directly with the recently unveiled third-generation CLS and the latest E-Class.