It can be hard to keep up with the AMG product portfolio. No sooner has one mega Mercedes been launched, seemingly, than it gains another derivative or model update. That's before even thinking about the rest of the line-up - AMG isn't short of cars to work on. Not that this is a complaint; a glut of fast cars is great news, especially when they're built to the standard that AMG manages to churn out. The problem is keeping track of them.
Take the AMG GT R. It was launched in 2017, seemingly as the pinnacle of the GT range. But that was just the start. Since then there's been the GT R Pro, the GT R Roadster and the GT Black Series, as well as the developments with the four-door GT range. That's a lot of cars to sit above the £150k, 198mph one.
Crucially, the GT R did represent a much more serious approach to making fast cars than AMG had indulged in before. Not only did it introduce technology like the nine-stage traction control, it transformed the regular GT from merely impressive into something much more special: it had wider tracks, active aerodynamics (with 155kg more downforce, but lower drag than standard), increased torsional rigidity, forged aluminium suspension components and titanium in the exhaust system. The GT R was a heck of a lot more than cranking the turbos up and painting it green, even if that was indeed part of the job.
The results were spectacular. Even with 'just' 585hp, the GT R lapped the Nordschleife in 7:10, putting it in amongst the world's most serious supercars. There was some debate about just how sticky the tyres fitted to the test car were, but they will only get you so far - a bad car isn't suddenly made good by a set of super soft Michelins. Look, too, at where the GT has evolved to from the R, with the Pro getting even closer to the seven-minute mark and the Black Series setting an outright record. A proper Nurburgring lap record, no less, meaning it's been officially validated.
Now, obviously, a GT R is not going to lap as fast as a 730hp Black Series. On the other hand, a GT R is not a £335,000 car like the BS is. In fact, an R like this one - in the AMG Green Hell paint, with optional ceramic brakes - is for sale at £94,900 after just 9,000 miles of driving. Or around two-thirds of its new price. If it wasn't tempting enough as a new car, surely now - at the price of a new 911 Carrera, or a seven-year-old GT3 with more miles - the GT R is a much more enticing prospect. It will continue to lose money of course, though the rarity of the R against other models in the GT range should prevent it from plummeting too hard.
And people lose money on far less interesting and exciting cars than this. The GT R proved beyond any doubt that AMG could really mix it with the very best when it came to creating track focused supercars, a commitment that's now led to it making one of the world's very fastest ones. Which makes the R pretty significant in the GT's history. And if green is a bit much, which it would be easy to understand, a black one is available for the same money...
SPECIFICATION | MERCEDES-AMG GT R
Engine: 3,982cc V8, turbocharged
Transmission: 7-speed dual-clutch automatic, rear-wheel drive
Power (hp): 585@6,250rpm
Torque (lb ft): 516@1,900-5,500rpm
MPG: 24.8 (claimed)
Year registered: 2017
Recorded mileage: 8,840
Price new: £143,245 (before options)
Yours for: £94,900
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