Mercedes-AMG have released their sixth model, the GT Black Series. It’s the first to be offered since 2013 and packs a pretty powerful punch. The coveted 4.0-litre biturbo V8 engine that underpins other models of the Mercedes-Benz GT family has been significantly redesigned to extract a staggering 720hp/537 kW (at 6700 to 6900 rpm) and 590lb-ft/800 Nm (at 2000 to 6000 rpm) output, capable of sprinting to 62mph/100 kph in just 3.2 seconds and to 124mph/200 kph in just 9.0 seconds.

Think of it as a road legal race car as it brings a number of the aerodynamic aids as seen on the Mercedes-AMG GT3 race car. As with the AMG GT R and AMG GT R PRO, aerodynamics experts and designers have worked in close collaboration in the case of the GT Black Series, with sophisticated aerodynamics making a significant contribution to high driving dynamics and stability on fast circuits. The similarity to the AMG GT3 and AMG GT4 racing cars is visually and technically stronger than any preceding GT model.

Mercedes-AMG GT Black Series engine bay

The design of a new, significantly larger cooling air inlet grille stems directly from the AMG GT3. Because the wheel arch coolers are now also supplied with air directly via the central intake, there is no longer a need for the two additional outer air inlets in the front apron. Sickle-shaped flics optimise the flow of air, not only increasing downforce at the front axle, but also improving brake cooling. The ‘air curtains’ control and direct the flow towards the wheels. Together with the flics in front of the wheels, this serves to reduce the drag coefficient and increase downforce.

The carbon-fibre front splitter has two manually adjustable settings (Street and Race – the latter exclusively for use on racetracks), and can be adapted to meet various track requirements. As a result, the GT Black Series can be steered more precisely when cornering at high speed, and exhibits even better directional stability. Especially during fast cornering and under high lateral acceleration, the vehicle delivers an agile response with clear feedback, while remaining easily controllable at all times.

A new carbon-fibre bonnet features two large exhaust air outlets made from black-finished carbon surfaces. The outlets guide warm air fed from the diagonally positioned cooling pack out of the engine compartment. This is directly derived from motorsport and increases overall downforce. Air flowing around the vehicle is also optimised by new, significantly larger and wider side sill panels.

Perhaps the most notable visual differentiation from other non-racing GT models is the two-stage rear aerofoil, purposefully framed by a new rear apron with a large diffuser, plus two rounded twin tailpipe trims. Both aerofoil blades are made from carbon-fibre, and can be mechanically adjusted to adapt to various track conditions.

The movable flap in the upper blade is an active aerodynamic element that can be electronically adjusted by 20 degrees, to suit the driving situation and selected AMG DYNAMICS mode. In a flat position, it reduces the air resistance, to help reach the top speed more quickly. In the inclined position, the flap improves braking performance and cornering stability thanks to increased downforce at the rear axle.

The well-known and much-loved Mercedes-AMG biturbo 4.0-litre V8 gets a significant makeover and performance boost courtesy of a new ‘flat’ crankshaft. Unlike in previous applications of the engine that employed a ‘cross plane’ crankshaft, all of the crankpins are on the same plane with a 180-degree offset. This optimises the gas cycle and creates a different cylinder firing order, which works in conjunction with new camshafts and adapted exhaust manifolds.

Both the twin-scroll turbochargers have been given a larger compressor wheel to deliver a total of 1100 kg of air per hour (by comparison, the Mercedes-AMG GT R produces 900 kg/h), while larger intercoolers keep the charge-air temperature within the best possible range.

The result of these significant modifications is improved performance and even more agile throttle response, but also unique power delivery and a very particular sound pattern.

The biturbo V8 transmits power to the rear wheels via a seven-speed AMG SPEEDSHIFT DCT 7G dual-clutch transmission, which is located on the rear axle in a transaxle arrangement for optimal weight distribution. It has been adapted to the increased torque produced by the engine, and previous limits governing shift performance and response time have been extended to suit racetrack use.

The driver’s viewpoint

The result is an absolutely unique model, even within the high-performance context of the Mercedes-AMG range. Not only is the accelerator and engine response more agile, but so too are the drive programs, start-up characteristics and gear changes. Thanks to increased starting revs, more sensitive wheel slip control and racetrack-ready sports tyres (Pilot Sport Cup 2 R MO, specially customised for the Black Series in collaboration with Michelin), the Race Start function is also now even more impressive. Transmission cooling has also been adapted to the tougher requirements, and transmission ratios have been slightly modified.

In addition, the ‘torque tube’ that creates the connection between the engine and the transmission is made of carbon-fibre and, at just 13.9 kilograms, is around 40 per cent lighter than its already weight-optimised aluminium counterpart in other AMG GT models. The drive shaft which rotates inside is also made from carbon-fibre.

Innovative, coloured display buttons in the V-shaped central console integrate the display and control of transmission logic, suspension, ESP, exhaust system, rear aerofoil flap and start/stop function. The TFT display buttons have a mechanical pressure point so they can be operated whilst wearing racing gloves.

The AMG Performance steering wheel is adopted from the AMG GT family and is characterised by its sporty design, a flattened bottom section with a heavily contoured rim, and intuitive operation. The steering wheel rim is fully trimmed in DINAMICA microfibre, while the steering wheel badge exclusively features Black Series lettering, along with the AMG logo.

The GT Black Series features the fully digital instrument displays from the AMG GT family with a 12.3-inch instrument cluster in front of the driver, and a 10.25-inch multimedia monitor on the centre console. The instrument cluster offers three AMG-specific display styles: ‘Classic’, ‘Sporty’ or ‘Supersport’. The ‘Supersport’ view with a central rev counter features extensive additional information, such as a prompt to shift up in manual transmission mode, the ‘shift light’.

Mercedes-AMG GT Black Series dash

The interior design emphasises the pole position of the GT Black Series: Exclusive nappa leather is combined with sporty DINAMICA microfibre in black, with orange contrasting topstitching. The instrument panel and the newly designed lightweight door panels, which are now equipped with loop pull handles instead of conventional handles, are trimmed in black DINAMICA microfibre. Further orange contrasting topstitching (grey topstitching available as a no-cost option), matt black carbon-fibre trim and the Interior Night Package add further striking highlights. The AMG carbon-fibre bucket seats combine low weight with optimum lateral support.

Other included enhancements include an AMG Indoor Car Cover, standard metallic paintwork with nano ceramic paint technology or designo magno paintwork (AMG Green Hell magno and AMG Magma Beam additional), 19/20-inch AMG 10-spoke forged wheels, a 75-litre fuel tank, AMG Track Pace data logger, a Burmester® 1000-watt, 11-speaker sound system.

The manufacturer’s USD list price is $389,000.

Mercedes-AMG GT Black Series rear quarter view