2021 Mercedes-AMG GT Black Series first drive review: Wolf in wolf’s clothing

It’s a disgustingly hot day in Florida, but the Mercedes-AMG GT Black Series isn’t sweating. This thing looks like it came straight out of hell, all snarling and bulging, ready to beat me up and take the lunch money. So you’ll forgive my brief moment of intimidation as I approach the orange Magmabeam coupe, the phrases “most powerful AMG V8 ever” and “there are only two of these in the country right now” echo in my head. Black Series or not, the AMG GT is a total brute. And with 720 horsepower and absolutely insane aerodynamics, this is … well, that’s a dozen.

AMG redesigned the GT’s 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 for the Black Series, adopting a flat crankshaft that results in smoother and more powerful power delivery, not to mention a superbly soundtrack. The Black Series barks and mutters like any other GT, but the increase in hearing quality comes down to refinement. You can play one of my crappy high school rock band demo tapes at the same volume as a professionally designed record by Steve Albini, but only one of them will make it to the radio.

In addition to 720 hp, the 4.0-liter V8 delivers 590 Nm of torque. All that power makes its way to the rear wheels via AMG’s Speedshift seven-speed dual-clutch transmission, which allows the GT Black Series to hit 60 mph in 3.1 seconds, 0.4 seconds faster than non-a -slouch AMG GT R. Most impressively, the Black Series can hit 124 mph in under 9 seconds, and if you have a long enough freeway or airstrip, it’ll max out at 202 mph.

The Black Series’ extensive use of carbon fiber results in a weight reduction of around 70 pounds over the GT R, and that’s despite the addition of plenty of aero bits. There’s a vented hood, two-stage front splitter, new wheels, and one of the most ridiculous rear spoilers I’ve ever seen. Check it out: there’s a small duck-tail spoiler plus a two-tier wing that looks like a brutalist bookcase, and if that’s not enough, there’s a small electric retractable flap on top. All in all, Mercedes-Benz claims that this extreme aerodynamic package results in 882 pounds of maximum downforce, keeping the Black Series flat as a pancake in the corners.

These aerodynamic improvements are one of the reasons why, despite looking like a banshee, the GT Black Series is incredibly easy to tame on the track. Also thanks to the Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 R tires, which offer heroic levels of grip. However, delightfully devilish as this coupe may seem while parked in the paddock, it’s hardly a handful on the track. The progressive turn and easy-to-modulate throttle make it easy to attack corners quickly and accurately, and there’s only the slightest playful shake from the rear as you relax on the throttle and let them go straight down.

Michael Shaffer / Mercedes-Benz

The Black Series has an absurd level of adjustment to the limit, but I suppose that means you can also customize the driving experience to match your exact skill level. There are four preset AMG programs – Basic, Advanced, Pro and Master – which alter many of the GT’s parameters based on how good you are (or how good you are. to think six). Additionally, the Black Series-specific coilover suspension has three-stage adaptive shock absorbers, with Comfort, Sport and Sport Plus settings. If that’s not enough, rotate the yellow-edged dial just below the center vents to explore nine different levels. traction control. Or, you know, go crazy and turn it off.

However you choose to host the Black Series, it’s a fantastic partner for an afternoon of hot rides (and it’s Florida in June, so I mean hot lapping). AMG’s tough is tactile and precise as you whiz from corner to corner. In many ways it is very similar to a Porsche 911 GT2 RS – immensely capable but reassuringly approachable. I’m certainly not saying this is a great car for first-time racers on the track, but the Black Series has a level of authority in its action that inspires confidence and makes you want to try harder and push faster.

Considering its inherent madness, the Black Series interior is quite refined.

Mercedes-Benz

Just as impressive as the power and stability are the Black Series brakes. The huge carbon-ceramic caps slow things down quickly and smoothly, and you can dive deeper into the braking zones and really give the pedal a boost knowing that the sudden action won’t upset the GT’s balance. Many carbon-ceramic brakes are difficult to modulate and have a gentle feel on the pedal, but this is not the case. Of course, my time with the AMG GT Black Series is limited to just a few laps around the Concours Club in Opa-Locka, Florida, so I can’t talk about their prowess should I decide to use the Black Series for a quick trip to Walgreens. I can’t even talk about the off-track stiffness of the suspension, but I’m assuming this thing isn’t exactly flexible.

On that note, in terms of livability, the Black Series is theoretically no better or worse than a standard AMG GT. The interior is just as cramped and hard to see outside, but still finished in exquisite materials with supportive sports seats. It’s easy to get in and out while wearing a helmet, although I wish my arms were about 3 inches longer when it comes time to grab a strap and close the door. Dinamica suede lines the dashboard and steering wheel, and the center console still requires an odd twist of the right hand to put the gear selector in Drive or reach for the buttons on the passenger side. Mercedes’ MBUX technology is rock solid, displayed on a 10.3-inch center touchscreen with standard (wired) Apple CarPlay is Android Auto connectivity. There’s also a 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster, meaning that even though the Black Series is a super-focused track car, it doesn’t skimp on cabin tech.

Seriously, that wing.

Michael Shaffer / Mercedes-Benz

Then again, the AMG GT Black Series shouldn’t skimp nothing, considering its price tag of $ 326,050 (including $ 1,050 for the destination). And while I might be wasting digital ink trying to contextualize that price, it doesn’t matter, since fewer than 400 of these Black Series coupes will be imported to the US and each is talked about. I just hope someone has an orange Magmabeam GT for match their new Cigarette boat.

Considering that the time of the current AMG GT coupe on this earth is short, this riot on 720hp wheels serves as a hell swan song, one that follows in the footsteps of rock stars such as the CLK63 AMG Black Series, SLS AMG Black Series e C63 AMG Black Series. It’s a tremendously special sports car that packs the best of what AMG has to offer, and while it looks like a fool, it’s a rewarding beast to tame.


Editor’s Note: Travel expenses related to this story were covered by the manufacturer, which is common in the automotive industry. The opinions and opinions of the Roadshow staff are ours and we do not accept paid editorial content.

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