Colin-on-Cars – Eish! This is a keeper

Born from the success of the GT3 race car, the new Mercedes-AMG GT Black Series manifests a power punch of 537 kW and 800 Nm of torque from the V8 bi-turbo squeezed in under the long bonnet.

It simply is the most powerful AMG V8 series engine of all time, the most expressive design, has the most elaborate aerodynamics, the most intelligent material mix and the most distinctive driving dynamics.

Yet, for the new Mercedes-AMG GT Black Series the automaker claims a combined fuel consumption of 12,8 l/100 km and combined CO2 emissions 292 g/km.

“The new GT Black Series is our latest automotive highlight and continues a tradition established in 2006. The sixth version of its kind is another AMG milestone and impressive proof of the incredible development expertise in Affalterbach. I am proud of the team who have created a unique super sports car, which now represents the absolute peak of our successful GT family. The performance, looks and driving dynamics of the GT Black Series are second to none. This project was a fantastic end to my work at AMG, for which I am truly thankful,” says Tobias Moers, outgoing Chairman of the Board at Mercedes-AMG GmbH.

The design of a V8 engine gives designers plenty of room to play with in one key element: the crank arrangement on the crankshaft. This influences the characteristics of the engine. There are usually two variants in V8 engines: the ‘cross plane’ where the crankpins of the four pairs of cylinders are at 90-degree angles to each other, which AMG has used in all previous V8 engines, or the ‘flat crankshaft’, where all crankpins are on the same plane with a 180-degree offset (‘flat plane’).

If you look at the front of a cross-plane crankshaft, you will be able to identify the cross that gives it its name. The benefits of these crankshafts are superb smoothness and high torque at low rotational speeds. The characteristic sound is another hallmark feature of the cross-plane V8 engine. In order to make optimal use of the displacement and therefore the performance potential in the case of the 4.0-litre V8 biturbo engine, the AMG engineers have essentially moved the exhaust side into the hot internal V of the two cylinder banks in the V8 engine.

Uniformly oscillating gas columns for even more power

Another way of increasing performance is by using a ‘flat’ crankshaft. In the flat-plane V8 engine, it looks like an inline four-cylinder model – except for the wider crankpins, which have two connecting rods each in the V8. Ignition in the flat-plane V8 jumps from one cylinder bank to the next, which further improves the gas cycle. The characteristic firing order with a 180-degree crankshaft angle offset is 1-8-2-7 4-5-3-6.

This creates uniformly oscillating gas columns in the exhaust tract and on the intake side, whose resonance can easily be used to increase performance. An even greater advantage is a more agile throttle response.

The new GT Black Series engine may be based on the AMG 4,0-litre V8 bi-turbo engine with dry sump lubrication, but it has been given numerous modifications. It achieves 537 kW at 6 700 r/min and delivers a maximum torque of 800 Nm from 2 000 r/min-6 000 r/min. New camshafts and exhaust manifolds are adapted to the new firing order and further improve the gas cycle.

Both twin scroll exhaust turbochargers are mounted in anti-friction bearings, as in the top-of-the-range four-door AMG GT Coupé, which optimises their throttle response even further. However, in the Black Series, the turbo-chargers have been given a larger compressor wheel, meaning that both can deliver a total of 1 100 kg air per hour.

Power is transmitted to the rear wheels via the seven-speed AMG SPEEDSHIFT DCT 7G dual clutch transmission, which is located on the rear axle in a transaxle arrangement for optimal weight distribution, as is the case for all AMG GT models. It has been modified for use in the AMG GT Black Series and adapted to the increased torque of 800 Nm. The previous limits governing shift performance and response time have been extended, making them more suitable for racetracks.

The similarity to the AMG GT3 and AMG GT4 racing cars is visually and technically stronger than before. It starts with the new, significantly larger radiator air inlet, which stems directly from the AMG GT3 racing car.

The radiator trim has vertical struts in dark chrome, because now that the wheel arch coolers are also fed with air directly via the central inlet, there is no need for the two additional outer air inlets in the front apron.

The carbon-fibre front splitter has two manually adjustable settings (Street and Race – Race exclusively for use on race tracks) and can therefore be adapted to meet various track requirements. When extended forward (Race position), a front diffuser in the shape of a reversed wing profile is then created under the front section. Depending on the driving speed, this element is lowered even further by the rising negative pressure, which significantly accelerates the air flow on the underbody, creating a ‘Venturi effect’, which also draws the car closer to the road and increases downforce on the front axle.

Another direct derivative from motor sport is the new carbon-fibre bonnet, with two large exhaust air outlets made from black finished carbon surfaces. The large outlets guide the warm air, which is fed from the diagonally positioned cooling pack, out of the engine compartment. This technology is also directly derived from motorsport and increases the overall downforce. At the same time, the air resistance is reduced, and the air mass flow for cooling the engine is optimised.

The rear view is characterised by the new rear apron with a large diffuser, two rounded twin tailpipe trims on the outside left and right, side wheel arch ventilation, and the rear aerofoil concept. Both aerofoil blades are made from carbon fibre, can be mechanically adjusted and therefore adapted to various track conditions.

The movable flap in the upper blade is electronically adjusted by 20 degrees, to suit the driving situation and selected AMG DYNAMICS mode, and improves longitudinal and transverse dynamics. In a flat position, it reduces the air resistance, to help reach the top speed more quickly. In the inclined position, the flap improves braking performance and cornering stability thanks to increased downforce at the rear axle.

Four different activation strategies can be run, depending on whether AMG DYNAMICS Basic, Advanced, Pro or Master has been selected. Some of these strategies also involve driving dynamics recognition, for example, Master: The flap is permanently inclined and extended up to 250 km/h. When the speed exceeds 250 km/h, it retracts in order to reduce the air resistance and thus reach the top speed more quickly.

However, if the driver brakes suddenly or steers into a corner, the flap immediately returns to its extended position in order to optimise braking and cornering thanks to increased downforce and air resistance. The flap can also be retracted or extended by the driver using a separate button in the centre console.

The standard ceramic high-performance compound brake system has special brake pads and discs together with modified brake cooling guarantee.

The double wishbone suspension locates the wheel with high camber and toe-in stability. This enables high cornering speeds and gives the driver optimum road feel when cornering at the extreme limits. Wishbones, steering knuckles and hub carriers on the front and rear axle are made entirely from forged aluminium in order to reduce the unsprung masses.

The driver can also adjust the adaptive damping characteristics at the touch of a button in the AMG DRIVE UNIT or by using the AMG DYNAMIC SELECT drive modes. Three modes are available: ‘Comfort’, ‘Sport’ and ‘Sport Plus’.

‘Comfort’ and ‘Sport’ are the right choice for public roads. In ‘Sport’, the damping is firmer, with a sportier body connection and less comfort – and can also be chosen for racetracks if more slippery track conditions prevail as a result of wet conditions.

‘Sport Plus’ is ideal for use on racetracks, as it has a special feature: The system automatically recognises the quality of the track surface, ie whether the car is being driven on a flat Grand Prix course like Hockenheim or a bumpy track like the Nürburgring North Loop. It then automatically adapts the level of electronic damping in ‘Sport Plus’.

The AMG TRACTION CONTROL has been extensively tailored to meet the requirements of the new Black Series and allows preselection of one of nine slip settings on the live rear axle. Control is exclusively via corresponding maps in the engine electronics and without any intervention in the ESP system, as is also the case with the GT3 racing car.

It is operated via a separate adjuster in the central console. It can also be operated while wearing racing gloves in its central position in the dashboard. Depending on the setting, the system permits more or less slip on the rear wheels – very helpful in varying road conditions. Level 1 is programmed for driving in the wet with high safety reserves. Level 9 allows maximum slip on the rear axle. Each setting is displayed on the adjuster itself and in the instrument cluster’s central display.

The AMG GT Black Series features the fully digital instrument displays from the AMG GT family with an instrument cluster measuring 12,3 inches in front of the driver, and a 10,25-inch multimedia monitor on the centre console.

Technical data at a glance

Mercedes-AMG GT Black Series
Engine4,0 litre V8 biturbo
Displacement3 982 cc
Output537 kW (730 hp) at 6700-6900 rpm
Peak torque800 Nm at 2000-6000 rpm
DriveRear-wheel drive
Combined fuel consumption12,8 l/100 km
Combined CO2 emissions292 g/km
Efficiency classG
Acceleration 0-100 km/h3,2 s
Top speed325 km/h

Drive and driving performances

  • 4,0 litre V8 biturbo motor with dry sump lubrication, identification code M178 LS2
  • 537 kW/730 hp max. output at 6700-6900 rpm
  • 800 Nm max. torque at 2000-6000 rpm
  • Vmax 325 km/h
  • 0-100 km/h 3,2 s
  • 0-200 km/h in under 9,0 s
  • Engine has a new ‘flat’ and lighter crankshaft with crankpins on one plane – characteristics of an uncompromising sports engine
  • New firing order with 180-degree crankshaft angle offset: 1-8-2-7-4-5-3-6
  • Advantage: more evenly distributed combustion in all cylinders, more agile throttle response
  • New camshafts and exhaust manifolds
  • Reinforced AMG SPEEDSHIFT DCT 7G dual clutch transmission for higher torque
  • New twin-pipe exhaust system made of thin-walled stainless steel

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