It’s been a long wait, but Mercedes-AMG has finally brought the Black Series back for its sixth instalment with the debut of the new AMG GT Black Series – and boy oh boy, it is everything we’ve dreamt of.
The Black Series has become synonymous with outrageous amounts of power, and the new GT Black Series does not disappoint in that regard. Underneath the carbon fibre bonnet is the new M178 LS2 4.0-litre ‘hot-V’ turbocharged V8 engine, now pushing out 720 hp at 6,700-6,900 RPM, and 800 Nm from 2,000 RPM to 6,000 RPM. Goodness me.
A plethora of changes have been made to the engine to warrant a new engine code, but the biggest news here is that the engine is now configured as a flat-plane V8, resulting in a boost in power output, larger rev range (up to 7,200 rpm) and an enhanced throttle response.
The turbochargers have been given a larger compressor wheel, while the engine also receives new camshafts and exhaust manifolds, adapted to the new firing order of the flat-plane V8. For the nerds, it’s now 1-8-2-7-4-5-3-6.
Unsurprisingly, the GT Black Series is now the most powerful model coming out of the Affalterbach factory, far surpassing the 639 hp GT 63 S four door coupe and 585 hp GT R Pro (that’s 81 hp and 135 hp more respectively, for those counting).
With the power sent to the rear wheels via the rear-mounted seven-speed dual-clutch transmission (that’s also been beefed up to deal with the extra torque), the new Mercedes-AMG GT Black Series reaches 100 km/h from standstill in just 3.2 seconds, 200 km/h in under 9.0 seconds, onward to a VMax of 325 km/h.
Of course, the new engine is just the start. Everything else that’s been put on (or removed) from the new GT Black Series is also done in pursuit of ultimate performance, the most obvious being the improved aerodynamics of the car – What, you mean you didn’t see the borderline-comical rear wings?
Both of the “rear aerofoil” blades are mechanically adjustable – the upper blade can be adjusted by up to 20-degrees, either automatically (depending on drive programme) or manually via a button to improve downforce and brake balance.
That’s not all – The front splitters can be manually adjusted into Race setting when going on track, underbody almost completely sealed up to increase the efficiency of the rear diffusers, and even the two large vents on the carbon fibre bonnet are designed to channel exhaust air over the car to enhance the functionality of the spoilers – the latter apparently inherited from their race cars, just like the new front grille to increase cooling capacity.
All in, the Mercedes-AMG GT Black Series can generate “well over” 400 kg of downforce at 250 km/h.
The body shell of the new Black Series is almost entirely built from carbon fibre, along with the usage of thinner glass, aluminium integral carrier at the front axle, light alloy wheels, as well as carbon fibre “torque tube” and drive shaft, ensure that the ultimate AMG GT is rigid yet lightweight, improving agility especially on track.
The suspension set-up on the Black Series is built on the foundations of the GT R Pro, featuring the AMG coil-over suspensions with Ride Control adaptive dampers. Utilising a lot more technologies developed in motorsports, Mercedes says that the new Black Series can “react in an even more agile manner to fast suspension movements”.
The AMG Dynamic Select’s three driving modes – Comfort, Sport, and Sport Plus have been recalibrated to better fit their target use cases, differentiating between road and track. The Sport Plus mode can now even recognise the surface condition of the race track – whether it’s flat like Hockenheim, or bumpy like the Nordschleife, their words – and automatically adjust the electronic dampers to best suit the track.
Additionally, customers can also manually adjust the camber at both axles, anti-roll bars, and the rear torsion bar. Ceramic brakes are also standard, designed to minimise brake fade and maintain temperature stability, and the new GT Black Series even get two specially-formulated tyres from Michelin – the Pilot Sport Cup 2 R MO1A and a “hard compound” MO2 variant “for racetrack use at higher temperatures”.
The interior of the new GT Black Series is pretty much standard from the GT R Pro, upholstered in nappa leather and Dinamica microfibre, finished with black and orange contrast stitching and matte black carbon-fibre trims. The door panels though have been simplified, with the door handles replaced by fabric pull straps for additional weight savings.
AMG Carbon Fibre bucket seats are standard in most regions, and if you want your new Mercedes-AMG GT Black Series to be even more racecar-like, you can also opt for the AMG Track Pack, which includes a titanium roll cage, four-point harness, and a fire extinguisher.
And of course, is it even a Black Series if it doesn’t let you annihilate its tyres? The new Black Series comes as standard with the AMG Traction Control system with nine levels of adjustments for the amount of slip before the electronics step in – with nine being the maximum (read: preferred).