805-hp Mercedes-AMG GT Concept hybrid heralds production model

  • 06-Mar-2017 08:16 EST
Mercedes AMG Concept GT Geneva 2017.jpg

Distinctive rear of the Mercedes-AMG GT Concept includes a diffuser and very prominent exhaust tailpipe.

The 600-kW (805-hp) hybrid 4-door Mercedes-AMG GT unveiled at the 2017 Geneva motor show may be a concept now, but its production line is being readied.

The GT Concept, as it is currently designated, incorporates an operating strategy cascaded down from the Mercedes Petronas AMG Formula 1 car’s powerpack. It links to road cars via AMG HPP (High Performance Production).

A 5-door fastback sports sedan, the GT Concept is powered by a 4.0-L bi-turbo gasoline V8 and what AMG Chairman Tobias Moers describes as “a high performance” electric motor. The GT Concept and Hypercar will have modular, compact, upwardly scalable, energy-dense lightweight batteries, the whole system "intelligently networked," he noted. This provides a total system output of up to 600 kW, delivering a claimed sub-3-s 0-100 km/h (0-62-mph) dash time.

“The energy storage unit is more powerful than conventional hybrid batteries,” Moers said. When necessary, the battery charge is topped up by the V8 and via brake-energy recuperation.

The car signals the future at AMG, said Moers. “We are giving a preview of our third completely autonomously developed sports car. Like the AMG Hypercar, which we are presenting at the [2017] international motor show in Frankfurt, it illustrates how we are defining performance of the future at AMG.” The limited production run Hypercar promises to be the first street-legal car with a F1 engine.

Mercedes-AMG plans what it calls “segment specific” hybrids. All its hybrids will be designated EQ Power+.

The GT Concept gets fully variable 4MATIC+ all-wheel drive, the electric motor driving the rear wheels. Torque vectoring is applied to all wheels.

By no means for the first time on a concept, the GT Concept abandons door mounted rear-view mirrors in favor of (as AMG refers to them) “aerodynamically favorable” miniature cameras, which it dubs “mirror cams.” Mounted low down on the front fender, they look potentially vulnerable to both accidental damage and road dirt, but doubtless AMG engineers have solutions for both possibilities.

The concept is clearly a close relation of the 2-seat Mercedes-AMG GT but has its own identity. Its radiator grille with prominent bars is similar to that of the 1950s Panamericana 300 SL. Active grill shutters and side vents improve aerodynamic and thermal efficiencies.

Daytime running lights use nano-active-fiber technology with the turn signal integrated in the upper edge. Mercedes states that a ribbed cooling module is integrated into the tail light lens to “guide the waste heat to the exterior.”

The car has a carbon fiber rear diffuser (the material is used for other body elements, including the roof), and a centrally positioned exhaust tailpipe reminiscent of the Mercedes-AMG GT R. Carbon ceramic brakes are fitted.

The car's greenhouse is said to be “crouched and dynamic”; side windows are frameless. The vehicle is being alternately descrbed as a "4-door sports car" (previously used by Nissan for its Maxima) and as a "sports coupe," but more details of the Concept GT are expected to emerge on the run-up to production.

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