Premium The new Mercedes-AMG GT Black Series should be the closest you can get to a pure racing car, at least according to the manufacturer who points to the engine’s massive throttle response and the car’s new aerodynamics. Could it be true? We compare with the real thing, the downforce monster GT3!
For example, I expected the GT3 racer to throw me off in the first best curve just to show who decides. A thought that creeps in time and time again, even now when the car with its 550 hp strong 6.2-liter V8 literally flies through Parabolikan on Hockenheim’s GP track and the rev counter’s needle once again approaches the 7,000 mark with a deafening roar. Geez, what an engine!
A quick jerk in the right paddle behind what is left of the steering wheel and the racing box stomps in sixth gear incredibly fast and above all hard. Just over 250 km / h, it’s time to drop anchor, deceleration before the hairpin curve with as much finesse as possible to avoid the ABS system’s intervention.
The next right nod is fast and should probably not be taken with a full damper without expert help.
“Yes, I usually take that turn fully. But you can lift a little and then fully on again. If you miss the ideal line only marginally, you end up too far out”, explains Thomas Jäger, my passenger and at the same time race and development driver of today’s GT car .
Focused and up-and-coming, even if the multifunction lever (below) that has been moved to GT3 looks a bit out of place.
I do as he says. After all, you do not want the car’s seemingly endless patience to end now that you finally feel a little comfortable behind the wheel. Getting off is not an option either, as the test car costs just under five million kronor.
It is clear that Mercedes likes its optional lists, the GT Black Series also has one and it is admittedly short but not very affordable. The car’s base price of SEK 3.8 million does not include the Track package with titanium cage and four-point belts, or even the Comand system.
The configurator on the manufacturer’s website praises the Black Series as the strongest, most fuel-efficient and most popular GT version. A street version of the GT3, if you will. Or not really, but you feel the unwavering consequence of the development team in imitating the hardcore racer – and as they have succeeded!
Just take the characteristics of the V8 as example. Due to its large, dual turbochargers, 1,100 now flow instead of 900 liters of air per hour, but despite their size, turbochargers are not a concern here. The engine responds immediately, without frills, and cuts the speed belt at a furious speed accompanied by a not-so-AMG-like soundstage.
The usual, deep roar has given way in favor of a new soundtrack: Or how about high-frequency touring car sound with its very own bass line? Unusual, but oh so fitting! The reason? Not much more than replacing the old 90-degree crossplane crankshaft with a 180-degree flatplane.
That a Mercedes-AMG with the addition Black Series is hardly on year-round tires is probably no surprise. Here, of course, the best of the best is required to reduce the force in the asphalt and the best is spelled in our case Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2R. The monster tire is also available with two different rubber compounds to be able to handle a wide temperature range.
There are plenty of motorsport attributes, but the Black Series is much more cozy and comfortable. However, tall drivers have problems with head height when wearing a helmet.
Today the thermometer shows unfortunately only four plus degrees, which makes the track treacherous and it also forces a thoroughbred professional like Thomas Jäger to work a little to keep the car in control.
Overall, the surprises are dense in the Alcantara-clad cockpit. Already in the first curve after the depot actually – my God, what brakes! Despite the fact that you have barely had time to react to a braking point, the yoke bites so hard in the 406 mm large discs that you almost bark.
The difference from GT3 is suddenly extremely noticeable. In the racer, you stand on the brake with the same finesse as the famous elephant in the porcelain shop, in our street legal Black Series, the brake power amplifier requires a little getting used to after the ride in the GT3.
The controls also offer great contrasts. The steering wheel of the street car feels light, almost too light in comparison with the race car, also in the Race mode. Of course practical in everyday life, but on the track they had wished for a little more resistance.
We hardly need to explain the choice of driving program, do we? It’s Race that counts, nothing else.
I have to admit that I like GT3 better. Not because the Black Series is too slow or too undynamic. To be a street legal car, the communication between the driving dynamic trinity (steering, grip, ground pressure) and the driver is of the absolute highest class. You are linked to the machine, gain confidence, dare more and more and the car responds.
The problem with the GT Black Series is really banal. The undersigned is 192 cm tall and simply does not fit in the car with a helmet on. The only solution is to remove the seat cushion and fasten the four-point belt to the breaking point so as not to involuntarily slide around on the bare chair.
Now we should not complain, after all it is not every day you get to steer a beast of this caliber. As good to use the Black Series as it is intended: As a racer and toy!
And you can definitely play here, the sensitive electronics have a heart for speed fools and drifting mischief, just like the anti-spin system that has been praised around the world. With good reason as well. The system is brilliant – the car is brilliant!
During braking and in fast curves, the inner aeroelement of the rear wing rises twenty degrees to increase the ground pressure and stability.
To just write that Mercedes-AMG GT Black Series meets our expectations would be to sell the car below its value, even if the statement is not wrong. Sure, the Black Series does all that, but in a completely different speed dimension than we had thought was possible.
Enough with the praise. Take a deep breath, focus forward and make your way through the long right at the Mercedes grandstand and out onto the long straight.
The car easily overrides under the watchful eye of electronics, then into the Motodrome at 133 km / h along the curve. In the GT3, it all goes a little faster, here the speedometer shows 147 km / h thanks to the car’s senseless ground pressure and mechanical grip.
The Black Series has service costs and service intervals that are not to be trifled with, but it does not ruin you and future generations as much as the race car does.
The engine in the Black Series has been moved backwards for better weight distribution. The race version is of course the worst with the engine even more centrally located in the car.
Joking aside, the service for a GT3 is according to official sources not at all as dangerous as one would think (whatever that may mean). In addition, the car has been endowed with an extra crossbar in front of the engine to avoid damage from curbs and harassment that the GT3 often comes dangerously close to due to its monstrous ground pressure.
How the racer, on the other hand, had managed over various speed bumps in the city, I do not even want to think about or speculate about. It is Black Series territory and this is where most customer copies probably move in everyday life, even if the GT series’ top model does not disappoint anyone on trackdays either.
The difference from the race car is more than obvious in terms of precision, reaction and speed, but the Black Series is the closest you can get to a street car and you do not need more, right?
What an awesome duel!
But somehow this lowers yet confidence in the Black Series, which is just over four seconds slower than the GT3 on the lap. In ams 3/2021 I drove a Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 against the race car 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport MR, the differences were more than the similarities. I fell instantly in love with the race car.
The realization was that I would like to sacrifice all sports car driving on public roads in return for only being able to drive Clubsport MR on bandages and competitions.
The thing is, no matter how insanely competent the GT Black Series may be, you will never be able to exploit its full potential on anything other than track. Sure, it’s a massive price point up to the GT3, but the rewards are also greater.
Finally, you have to ask yourself if you want to be seen in the Black Series on a public road, because it is not beautiful – in my eyes.
Source: Senaste nytt från auto motor & sport by www.mestmotor.se.
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