2018 Mercedes AMG GT C Roadster
AMG’s GT C adds the opportunity to tour as well as tear
Posted on November 1, 2018
In 1967, former Mercedes engineers Hans Aufrecht and Erhard Melcher launched AMG to build racing engines and expanded into modified road cars. Then in 1993, Mercedes partnered with the firm to produce the C36 AMG and six years later acquired controlling interest. Today, AMG is a wholly owned subsidiary of Mercedes’ parent company, Daimler, and those three letters, along with performance tuning, can be found on nearly every sedan, SUV, and SL model in the luxury automaker’s lineup.
Perhaps because the AMG badge had found its way onto so many Mercedes models, in 2010 the tuner company was allowed to produce its own car and the SLS AMG was launched, complete with dramatic gull-wing doors and a $200,000 MSRP. That set the stage for the current AMG GT series: a lighter, more contemporary grand touring supercar that delivers performance and surprising value.
Slipping into the low-slung GT C’s comfortable interior takes a bit of limber bending, especially with the top up. But once nestled in the soft Nappa leather seats with appropriately deep bolsters, you face big, round analog gauges while a center stack with its shifter and interface controller are surrounded by round controls. A high-resolution display is perched above the round center vents. I suspect there’s a theme here. A press of a button lowers the padded canvas top and the Burmester surround sound system makes lovely music along with a low, subtle rumble from the turbocharged V8 exhaust. In this cruise mode, the AMG is as civilized as its Mercedes SL cousins.
Pin Its Ears Back
Most supercar buyers don’t live by boulevard cruising alone, so when there’s a bit of room for a quick romp, you reach for the round knob at the upper left of the switchgear, twist clockwise for Sport mode, and the dual-clutch, seven-speed gearbox extends shift points while the engine responds to more aggressive throttle mappings. Twist again to Sport+ and valves open in the AMG Performance Exhaust System to provide less backpressure along with sonic amusement for fellow motorists. Twist once more to RACE and you may have notified local authorities of your audible presence, so caution is a keen idea in this mode.
The AMG GT is not a narrow car and our GT C roadster edition added aluminum fenders from the GT R that are 2.25 inches wider than the standard GT. That’s a bit interesting when carefully parallel parking, but it also puts lots of tire in the right place for twisty road work. I didn’t test the 196 MPH top speed, but a few 0 to 60 sprints confirmed AMG’s 3.7-second elapsed time.
The admission ticket for our loaded test vehicle at $172,175 was less than family and friends assumed it might be. And that’s always good news when you’re writing the big check. Brian Douglas
2018 Mercedes AMG GT C Roadster
Type Front-engine, rear-wheel-drive
Engine 4.0-liter Twin Turbo V8
Horsepower 550 @ 5,750-6,750 RPM
Torque 502 lb.ft. @ 1,900-5,750 RPM
Base Price $157,000
Price as Tested $172,175
Fuel Consumption 15 city, 20 highway, 17 combined
Photography by Brian Douglas