Mercedes-AMG has unveiled the fastest, most powerful non-hybrid car in its history: the 2021 GT Black Series.
The Black Series nameplate, last used on 2013’s SLS AMG Black Series supercar, signifies the flagship model in the AMG lineup – a quick glance at the GT Black’s specs indicates it is certainly worthy of its hallowed badge.
Under the bonnet is a heavily-reworked version of AMG’s venerable 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8. Changes to the banked-eight mill are so significant that it scores an all-new designation, M178 LS2 – not to be confused with General Motors’ small block V8.
Revisions compared to the regular M178 include a flat-plane crank – the first AMG V8 to feature such a setup, it sacrifices low-end torque for increased peak power high in the rev range and a greater willingness to rev – in addition to new camshafts, new exhaust manifolds, a 1-8-2-7-4-5-3-6 firing order and a dry sump oil system.
The upgrades appear to have paid off, with Mercedes-AMG claiming peak outputs of 537kW (730 PS) of power and 800Nm of torque – 107kW/100Nm more than the previous AMG GT range flagship, the GT R.
Drive is sent exclusively to the rear wheels through a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission, which gains a retuned Race Start launch-control function, increased cooling and revised shift tuning to improve response.
Mercedes-AMG claims its flagship front-engined supercar can sprint to 100km/h from a standstill in 3.2 seconds, complete the 0-200km/h dash in less than nine seconds, and achieve an aerodynamically-limited top speed of 325km/h.
The GT Black Series gains an extensive aerodynamic package inspired by the AMG GT3 and GT4 race cars. Up front there’s an overhauled front fascia with a larger grille, brake cooling ducts and carbon-fibre canards, complemented by a manually-adjustable lower splitter with ‘Street’ and ‘Race’ positions.
The carbon-fibre bonnet and front fenders are adorned with an array of black vents to improve cooling and/or improve aerodynamics, while deeper side skirts, lighter window glass and a carbon-fibre roof also feature.
At the rear, the most obvious upgrade comes in the form of a mammoth fixed rear spoiler, which offers both manual and electronic adjustment – the latter in the form of an electrically-adjustable flap that offers up to 20 degrees of adjustment and raises up at speeds below 250km/h or under hard braking or cornering.
Further details at the rear include a carbon-fibre rear bumper, carbon-fibre rear tailgate, quad exhaust outlets and an aggressive lower diffuser. There’s also an enclosed underbody and front shear panels for improved aerodynamics and stiffness respectively.
The result of AMG’s aerodynamic upgrades is a claimed 400kg of downforce at 250km/h.
Under the skin, the GT Black Series rides on adjustable coilover suspension with adaptive dampers, with the former enabling owners to adjust camber and anti-roll bar stiffness to their liking. Aluminium suspension components and motorsport-derived rear wishbone bearings reportedly improve steering feel, as the GT R’s rear-wheel steering system has been deleted to save weight.
Filling the arches are 19-inch front and 20-inch rear forged alloy wheels, wrapped in Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 R semi-slick tyres. Hiding behind the lightweight alloys are standard-fit carbon-ceramic brakes clamped by black calipers.
A range of drive modes are available (including Comfort, Sport and Sport Plus for the dampers), as is AMG’s nine-mode traction control system.
Inside the cabin, highlights include Nappa leather and microfibre combination trim for the carbon-fibre bucket seats, a microfibre-trimmed AMG Performance flat-bottomed steering wheel also features and lightweight door cards with fabric loop door pulls. Orange contrast stitching and matte-black carbon-fibre inlays adorn most trim pieces.
Customers planning to head to the racetrack can specify the ‘AMG Track Package’, which includes four-point harnesses, a 2kg fire extinguisher and a titanium half roll-cage.
The suite of available interior technology matches that of ‘standard’ GT models, centering around a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster and a 10.25-inch infotainment display.
The 2021 Mercedes-AMG GT Black Series will touch down in Australia sometime in 2021, with a sticker price considerably exceeding that of the $453,200 GT R Pro.