The Mercedes-AMG GT R already has a flair for the theatrical, so can this track-focused Pro version bring even more to the table?
EVEN WITH THE DESENSITISING effects of an open-face helmet, the GT R Pro’s familiar and rumbustious hot-V V8 has a throb that works its way right through my body, as if the silencer boxes are nestled right up against my chest. Dry-sumped and mounted well aftin the car’s front half, the motor is indeed not far away, and sitting as I am so close to the rear axle, much of the exhaust system is probably in close proximity too. With 577bhp, the Pro is no more powerful than the ‘regular’ GT R and has less power than the majority of the current supercar elite, but you’d never know it from the bellowing racket it makes – or care, for that matter, given the way it swallows Hockenheim’s expansive asphalt whole.
What is the Pro? Think of it as a small step towards the AMG GT4 race car, or the RS to the regular 911 GT3 if you like to think in Porsche parlance. Using the already formidable GT R as a base, it adds a range of dynamic and weight-saving measures that, we’re told, knock around six seconds from the GT R’s Nürburgring Nordschleife lap time. AMG is quick to point out that the Pro’s time of 7min 4sec was set in ‘autumnal’ conditions, but even so, that’s still ludicrously rapid.
The centrepiece of the Pro’s dazzling spec is a set of manually adjustable coilovers, offering separate settings for pre-load, rebound and compression, the last of those further split for low- and high-speed movements. So there’s no longer a little damper button on the centre console: you have to get down on your hands and knees to make any tweaks. There’s also a carbonfibre adjustable anti-roll bar on the front axle now, with a steel counterpart on the rear, so altogether there should be plenty of scope for fine-tuning the Pro’s handling to individual tastes and styles. Meanwhile the GT R’s uniball spherical joints on the lower rear wishbones are here joined by the same on the upper wishbones too. A carbon shear panel underneath the car towards the rear adds greater rigidity to the structure, while the GT R’s dynamic engine and transmission mounts have been retuned to suit this more aggressive package.
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