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Mercedes-Benz’s launch of the AMG GT R in 2017 presented the marque’s first genuine rival to Porsche’s infallible GT3. Elevating the experience from the 2015 launched GT, the track-focussed GT R was a force to be reckoned with. A 577bhp version of AMG’s 4.0-litre biturbo ‘hot vee’ V8, rear wheel drive and a wealth of driver-focussed additions; dynamic engine mounts and a trick, nine-setting traction control system.
The introduction of the AMG GT R Pro in 2019 brought with it extensive aerodynamic and suspension revisions, as well as nominal 25kg weight saving. An extensive ‘sharpening’ of the brutish ‘Beast of the Green Hell’, as the GT R had been nicknamed, saw the Pro shave around 7 seconds from the R’s Nurburgring lap time. Whilst the underpinning drivetrain remained the same, the aero revisions saw an additional 99kg of downforce at 155mph with no acceleration or top speed penalty. The car received a built-in roll cage, as is the norm of a GT3 RS, as well as manually adjustable suspension.
For Mercedes-Benz, the Black Series has always been the ultimate iteration. From the very beginning and the not-so-humble origins of a 400bhp SLK; the Black Series badging has found itself on everything from the CLK63, SL65 to the most recent SLS.
For the sixth edition, Mercedes has considerably reworked the AMG GT R. Gone is the call to compare this to a GT3 or GT3 RS. Instead, Mercedes are keen for this car to be compared to Porsche’s king-of-the-hill GT2 RS. To do this, the team at AMG have furnished the Black Series with 160bhp more.
Now equipped with 730bhp and 590lbft, the 4.0 biturbo recipe remains. Learning from Italy’s finest engineers, gone is the traditional cross-plane crank in favour of the more efficient and potent flat-plane crank – a Ferrari favourite. This new crankshaft offers more uniform pressure on both intake and exhaust; the Black Series borrows its turbochargers from the AMG GT 4dr which have an 18% higher maximum flow rate.
Significant aero revisions see the addition of a much larger rear wing with an integrated electronic airbrake, as well as a manually adjustable front splitter. The Black Series receives shorter gearbox ratios, an all-new carbon fibre bonnet, carbon fibre roof and boot lid, thinner glass and so on. Maximum downforce now comes in at 400kg at 155mph or 800kg at its top speed of 202mph. These changes meant the Black Series knocked the Porsche 991 GT2 RS off the Nürburgring lap time podium, coming in 4.3 seconds faster.