Ask anyone in my close circles and they will tell you that I am not a coupé kind of guy. Truth be told, coupe life can be fun at times, but rarely practical. Take this here scenario; if you love the Mercedes-AMG GT Coupe (we had the pleasure of sampling a few years ago), but need more space to transport friends, family, or luggage for a week long getaway, the 2020 Mercedes-AMG GT 4-Door Coupe may well be the one for you.
With both the GT 53 and GT 63 S staring at us, we debunk why Mercedes-AMG has managed to make some of the most outrageous, yet practical, sports sedans that all your money can buy.
With both the GT’s staring at you, it will be hard to hide the fact that your attention is naturally drawn to the ludicrous version, the GT 63 S. Under the bonnet is a handcrafted AMG V8 engine which whips out 370 kW of power and 900 Nm of torque while the GT 63 S boasts with 320 kW of power and a whopping 520 Nm of torque. The latter will set you back a starting R2 118 000 while the former starts at R3 155 000. Quite frankly, if you can afford the Porsche Panamera Turbo S, why aren’t you cross-shopping already?
Looking at both models, the power is certainly there, as you would hope, but there is a surprising degree of control, too. 0-100 km/h arrives in a mere 3.4 seconds, and there is plenty of noise, yes, an no shortage of speed, but all delivered with astounding grace.
That is partly attributed to how AMG constructs the V8 engines, putting the twin-scroll turbochargers in-between the cylinder banks as opposed to outside of them. This means they are closer, making them much more responsive.
The other part is aerodynamics. Most noticeable is the active rear spoiler, on the GT 53 model we had, integrated into the boot lid. In addition to extending when required and retract when not, it has five different automatically controlled stages of deployment, depending on vehicle speed. Get to 80 km/h, the spoiler rises to improve on downforce and aerodynamic efficiency as the car accumulates speed. Stage 2 comes upon reaching 140 km/h, to boost downforce, while Stage 3 delivers maximum downforce and stability one you arrive above 200 km/h.
Meanwhile, stage 4 comes in at 180 km/h, when you want perfect airflow and stability for cruising. Not that you should ever see it, legally on our roads at least. Stage 5 on the other hand delivers the maximum extension to act as an airbrake.
The daily driver: The GT 53
In our books, it is easier to make an expensive performance car with no compromises than it is to craft a more affordable version that still does not overshadow on track talent. With that in mind, we turned our attention to Mercedes-AMG’s other GT 4 Door option, the new GT 53. It gets a 3.0-liter turbocharged inline-six, producing 320 kW of power. Far less than the GT 63 S, certainly, but then you pay far less, too. Don’t get us wrong, its price is not cheap by any means.
We could argue that competition is the likes of the Porsche Panamera Turbo or even the BMW M6 Gran Coupe. The fastback silhouette of the Mercedes looks strikingly like the enhanced styling of the 2019 Porsche Panamera. The Mercedes has a more aggressive fascia of them all. Meanwhile, the Audi RS7 was found shaking.
One could assume that the GT 4 Door is based on the CLS platform. It, in fact, uses the MRA architecture of the current E Class sedan.
The GT 53 does not have a “V” to put its turbocharger in, but it does get a mild hybrid system. Mercedes’ EQ Boost uses an electric motor that doubles as both the car’s alternator and starter. It’s mounted between the engine and transmission and feeds the AMG’s 48-volt electric system.
It works in cycle with the two-stage turbocharging, with the mild hybrid system kicking in as the turbo winds up. The outcome is this overwhelming rush of torque with no perceivable turbo lag, its immediate, but also a turn of raw speed that suits the AMG badge. The GT 53 delivers a 0-100 km/h time of 4.5-seconds. That is an appropriately fast time for a large family sedan. Top speed arrives at 285 km/h.
Pleasant as it might be to keep going fast the entire day, eventually the GT 4-Door has to venture onto everyday driving. It is down to the AMG Dynamic Select Function to tame the beast, adjusting the engine, transmission, suspension, and how the exhaust behaves, accordingly. Switch it to Comfort and the suspension gets noticeably more supple and the flaps in the exhaust system are closed, taming the sweet soundtrack we oh-so love unless you press hard on the accelerator.
For a little more excitement, there’s Sport mode. Shift times are reduced, and the engine fine-tuning and throttle response are more assertive. The result is that performance on the road is as good – or indeed better – than you’d imagine for a sports car with four doors. That’s the big enough differentiator between the AMG GT 63 S and the C63 S.
Step inside and you will notice how the dashboard flows around the driver, into the door trim, with those signature turbine-look air vents and twin 12.3-inch dashboard displays as standard. It goes beyond what the S-Class version offers, though, and AMG regards it as a sort of three-in-one deal, with three cluster styles to suit the driver’s tastes or mood.
There are touch-control buttons for navigation, and a round-controller with its own integral display to switch drive modes on the new AMG Performance Steering Wheel. On the other side, there’s an odd-looking two-button control that offers shortcuts to key AMG features. Each button has a small LCD on above them that do more than display the associated setting. Touch them and you can select which setting will be changed when you press the appropriate button.
For our last words we leave you with this; If you’re in the fortunate position of shopping for a potent four-door sedan, as much at home moving people around in style as it is being let wild for a track day, it’s worth your while looking at Mercedes-AMG’s latest offerings. Anybody with the Porsche Panamera GT or the BMW M6 GC on their shortlist would be negligent to ignore this new AMG super 4 door. Alongside minimal road and wind noise, combined with a smooth ride, all of these leave a sense of luxury whether you are behind the wheel or being driven. After all, it drives just as aggressively good as it looks.
Tshegofatso Harmonix Phiri contributed his legendary photography skills to this review.