Full reveal: Mercedes-AMG GT Black Series

Powered by the most potent V8 engine that Mercedes-AMG has ever installed in a road car and laced with motorsport-derived components, the 537-kW GT Black Series is the ultimate version of the Affalterbach-based performance division’s 1st standalone model.

The appearance of the newcomer comes as no surprise; we knew what the ballistic Benz would look like courtesy of the teaser images and video that were leaked last week.

Now that Mercedes-AMG has revealed full details of the GT Black Series have been officially revealed, however, the bespoke track-oriented packaging of the newcomer is no less awe-inspiring; it shares zero body panels with the GT R (that preceded it), features a host of aerodynamic addenda, a revised suspension, is laced with carbon fibre (and other lightweight materials) and its 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 engine has been extensively reworked, so much so that it has a new designation: M178 LS2.

A Black Series derivative is usually produced near the end of a Mercedes-AMG model's product lifecycle.

Let’s start with the powertrain. Mercedes-Benz has endowed the motor with a flat-plane crankshaft, new camshafts and exhaust manifolds, a dry-sump configuration and revised firing order in addition to beefing up the twin-scroll turbochargers and intercoolers. As a result, the engine revs to 7 200 rpm, and produces 537 kW from 6 700 to 6 900 rpm and 800 Nm of torque from 2 000 to 6 000 rpm – which represent improvements of 107 kW and 100 Nm respectively on the Mercedes-AMG GT R (430 kW/700 Nm).

The M178 LS2 powerplant is mated with a 7-speed dual-clutch AMG Speedshift transmission, which Benz has recalibrated to deliver more intense shifts (as suited to a track environment), and the copious torque is directed to the rear 20-inch lightweight forged-alloy wheels via a 40% lighter carbon-fibre torque tube.

Mercedes-AMG has fitted the GT Black Series with a plethora of carbon-fibre panels, including the adjustable rear spoiler.

Mercedes-AMG says the GT Black Series can dispatch the 0-100 kph sprint in 3.2 seconds, hit 200 kph in less than 9 seconds and go on to reach a top speed 325 kph. Its wheels are shod in Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tyres and, for improved stopping power, the newcomer features enlarged drilled and vented carbon-ceramic discs with 6-piston black-painted calipers up front and 4-piston units at the rear.

Apart from sporting a wider track than the GT R, the GT Black Series comes equipped with a forged-aluminium double-wishbone suspension, -steering knuckles and -hub carriers, coil-over adaptive dampers, a dual adjustable carbon-fibre front torsion bar, manually-adjustable front/rear wheel camber and anti-roll bars. As a matter of fact, the Benz has been configured to run with more negative camber on the front axle to improve its ultimate cornering ability.

The Mercedes-AMG Black Series is said to generate more than 400 kg of downforce at 250 kph…

As well as a number of drive modes (Comfort, Sport and Sport Plus), drivers can fine-tune the GT Black Series’ traction control settings via a yellow dial mounted in the centre of the dash that offers 9 settings.

The dramatic exterior appearance of the GT Black Series is evidently motorsport-inspired; the newcomer closely resembles one of the Three-pointed Star’s GT3- or GT4 racing machines! But, as ever, form follows function: all addenda serve to improve aerodynamic efficiency and cooling, plus save weight.

Mercedes-AMG has fitted a flat-plane crankshaft, along with a host of other upgrades, to the 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8.

Carbon fibre features on the newcomer’s manually-adjustable front splitter (with 2 positions: Street and Race), elaborately-vented bonnet (with downforce-boosting exhaust air openings and cooling slats), double-bubble roof, winglet-adorned side skirts, as well as the rear diffuser, which sits between the quartet of exhaust tips. The manually adjustable rear wing, which stands proud of the GT Black Series’ roof (as if you haven’t noticed!) offers 20 degrees of adjustment for either increased downforce or reduced drag. 

Further upgrades include new vents for the front and rear wheel arches, thinner glass front and rear and an almost fully-panelled underbody, featuring specially designed longitudinal fins for both aerodynamic and heat dissipation purposes. This AMG creation is said to generate no less than 400 kg of downforce at 250 kph…

The AMG Track Package option adds, inter alia, a roll-cage to the GT Black Series' cabin.

Inside, the Mercedes-AMG GT Black Series is kitted out in a combination of Nappa leather and black Dinamica fabric, with contrasting orange stitching (optionally available in grey). Carbon-fibre bucket seats, while conventional interior door-handles have been replaced with weight-saving loop pull handles.

Other standard features include Benz’s latest 12.3-inch instrument cluster and 10.25-inch MBUX touchscreen infotainment system, as well as a flat-bottomed AMG ‘wheel with aluminium shift paddles. In some markets, an AMG Track Package can be additionally specified, which adds track-specific features such as a roll cage, a 2-kg fire extinguisher and 4-point harness for both driver and passenger.

As is traditional with Mercedes’s Black Series models, the AMG GT version will likely mark the end of the coupe’s lifespan. It should remain in production until 2022 before being replaced by an all-new model; we anticipate that the newcomer will be made available in the South African market early in 2021.

Further reading:

Mercedes-AMG GT R Track Drive & Road Review [Video]

Mercedes-AMG GT R (2016) First Drive

Mercedes-AMG GT R Pro Unleashed

Spy Shots: Mercedes-AMG GT R Black Series