The 2017 Mercedes AMG GT Roadster is more delicate to drive to the limit than the Audi R8 Spyderand the Porsche 911 Turbo S and, perhaps for this reason, it is much more stimulating. Its handling requires greater concentration and much temperance with the accelerator to control the oversteer at the exit of the curves. With the Audi and the Porsche the curves are approached from a different perspective, thinking more about how to cause the oversteer than how to master it; its all- wheel drive systems are so effective that they allow gas to be delivered in the middle of a turn with practically no other consequence than to advance in the direction indicated by the steering wheel.
The 2017 Mercedes AMG GT Roadster does not have a cornering step as fast as that of its all-wheel drive alternatives. In return, it offers a freedom of play with the sliding of the rear axle of wheels that neither the Audi nor the Porsche give. The probability of spinning if the accelerator is pressed hard with the steering wheel rotated (and with the aids disconnected or in Sport mode) is very high, but if you manage to master the oversteer, the satisfaction is great. In the domain of this action it helps, without any doubt, the progressivity of the reactions of the GT C Roadster.
The front axle is unlikely to understeer and holds up very well the driver’s trajectory when cornering is attacked at high speed. The steering has hydraulic assistance – it is not electric, like that of the Audi and the Porsche – and gives a good feedback on how they are gripping the wheels. The GT C Roadster responds with great agility and speed to the movements of steering wheel; probably this sensation contributes greatly to the directional rear axle.
With the electronic aids connected, driving the 2017 Mercedes AMG GT Roadster fast on a winding road does not entail any safety problems. It reacts with progressiveness and without strange movements to the abrupt changes of support, it has a very high traction capacity, although not as much as that of a 911 with rear traction , and the excess acceleration remain in conatus of oversteer by the subtle and pertinent intervention of stability control .
There is a series of mechanical aspects that differentiate the 2017 Mercedes AMG GT Roadster protagonist of this test of the Mercedes-AMG GT S Coupé that we tested at the end of 2015 (test of the Mercedes-AMG GT S Coupé ). In addition to the body type, the GT C Roadster is 35 horsepower more powerful, has a recalibrated direction, a directional rear axle (the GT S can have it as an option) and a gearbox with different developments (the first is a little more long and the rest of marches are shorter).. At the time I could not test the GT S Coupé, but after reading what was written by my colleague Enrique Calle, the changes that Mercedes-AMG has made in the GT C Roadster have had a very positive effect.
The shock absorbers are of variable hardness and are constantly adjusting their firmness depending on aspects such as the selected mode (there are three: COMFORT, SPORT and SPORT , they are selected by pressing the button with the drawing of the spring ), the driving style and the state of road. In any of them it is noted that the wheels have little vertical travel, but the suspension manages to absorb the potholes without hitting the cabin dry blows. It does not provide the comfort of a saloon, for example, of a Mercedes-Benz C-Class, but driving in the city or taking a long trip on the highway is perfectly bearable. My memory in this regard of the 911 Turbo and the R8 Spyder is not alive enough to determine if these are more or less comfortable than the Mercedes-AMG. Yes I am sure that in all of them I had the sensation of wearing firm suspension sports, but that they did not react with dryness to the potholes.
The movements of the body, both longitudinally and transversally, are minimal, and are further reduced in the SPORT and SPORT suspension modes. If the road is bumpy and you want to drive fast, it is best to avoid the SPORT mode and select SPORT or even COMFORT. In these circumstances, with SPORT , the front axle is very nervous, as if the wheels did not finish well on the asphalt and the sensation of precision and control is lost. I do not remember having that feeling in a Porsche 911 Turbo S.
The V8 twin turbo engine of 557 horses is very strong at any speed, but especially between 2700 and 7000 rpm, when the injection cut occurs. Its speed of response to the accelerator is very fast for a turbocharged engine , but not as much as the motor of the 911 Turbo S, which is practically instantaneous, seems atmospheric . The sound that it emits, along with that of the escape, is one of those that enjoy and transmit power. The sound of the engine of the Audi R8 seems to me more interesting because its tonality is changing as it increases of revolutions; in the Mercedes-AMG there is less variation in tone, but it is still infinitely more exciting than the 911 Turbo S.
If the driving mode S or RACE is active, the exhaust of the 2017 Mercedes AMG GT Roadster is designed to backfire at the moment when it stops accelerating after having stepped on the bottom (or almost to the bottom) and when a march is reduced. In the C (Comfort) and S (Sport) mode, what you hear is more a gurgle than a backfiring.
The automatic double-clutch transmission makes changes with great speed and works with an “intelligence” that, in my opinion, manual handling can hardly improve. However, on some occasion I doubted whether, after stepping on the accelerator, the change could have reduced to a lower gear. It is a doubt that with the change PDK of Porsche does not arise because in that sense it is a bit more aggressive than the Mercedes-AMG. In any case, the engine pushes with such force that this thought vanishes quickly and is already in the next gear (ie, two above what I had originally thought the best).
With a button in the center console the manual mode is activated (it has a drawing of two cogs and it puts an M) and the only way to act on the change is with the levers that are located behind the steering wheel ( cam of descent and rise cam ). A positive aspect of this manual mode is that, when the injection cut is reached, the driver is the one who must order the step to the next gear since the change does not automatically. The change only acts automatically when the revolutions fall below the idle speed and it is necessary to reduce.
This 2017 Mercedes AMG GT Roadster is the second fastest car we’ve tested, it only surpasses the Porsche 911 Turbo S Coupé of 581 CV. We have timed 1.5 seconds to accelerate from 40 to 80 km / h and 1.9 to do it from 80 to 120 km / h. With the 911 Turbo S Coupé 1.2 and 1.7 seconds were required respectively, while with the R8 V10 Spyder of 540 hp we required 1.8 and 2.5 seconds. In either case, they are excessive levels of acceleration for the public road. The limits of speed are exceeded with great ease and to overtake in a little space it is not necessary to step on the bottom.
To the function that many manufacturers call «Launch Control», Mercedes-AMG calls it «Race Start», but its objective is exactly the same: to leave from standstill as quickly as possible. Its activation is very simple. As in a 911 Turbo S, just select one of the sport driving modes (S, S or RACE), step on the brake and step on the accelerator fully. Then the engine goes up to about 5000 rpm. It only remains to release the brake to let the car come out. Using this function we have measured 3.9 seconds from 0 to 100 km / h, which is a very good data for a rear-wheel drive car. Mercedes-AMG says that the GT C Roadster can get it in 3.7 seconds and I think it’s feasible with tires in better condition than those that had the test unit.
The brakes also give a very good performance, both for power and resistance to heating, at least on public roads. The touch of the pedal offers a homogeneous consistency along the route that makes it easy to control the braking force. The unit we tested had the serial system, composed of cast iron discs of 390 millimeters in the front axle of wheels and 360 mm in the rear. To stop from 120 km / h has traveled 48.0 meters, which is a very good value and that places it between the one we got with the 911 Turbo S Coupe (45.6 m, an extraordinary fact) and the Audi R8 V10 Spyder (50.1 m), both with ceramic brake discs . The tires of the Mercedes-AMG were Dunlop Sport Maxx Raceand his measures were 265/35 ZR19 in front and 305/30 ZR20 in the rear. .
This 2017 Mercedes AMG GT Roadster has characteristics that make difficult the maneuvers at low speed and the circulation on narrow roads and the interior of some cities. For example, the visibility of the exterior from the driver’s position is bad, worse than in an Audi R8 Spyder and, above all, in a Porsche 911 Convertible. Going forward, you see an almost infinite front that you do not know well where it ends. Back, there is a window of reasonable size , but the plastic part which closes the passenger compartment behind the seats gets in the field of view (the rear view camera is very useful when parking;. In addition, with the hood on the body you can see nothing of what is in the three subsequent quarters.
The body of 2017 Mercedes AMG GT Roadster is very wide – it measures 2.01 meters; more than that of the Audi (1.94 m) and the Porsche (1.88 m) – and it is very close to the ground, so it is easy to graze the underside of the access ramps to the garages. There is no option to order a front lift system like in the Porsche. The diameter of rotation between walls is 11.5 meters, that is, it needs more space to change direction than the Audi (11.2 meters) and the Porsche (10.6 meters).
The consumption of fuel of 2017 Mercedes AMG GT Roadster is very high, in any circumstance. Even driving smoothly, it is difficult to get it to drop 12.0 l / 100 km. If a cheerful driving is practiced, it is easy to reach figures of 20.0 l / 100 km and if it is done constantly taking advantage of all the acceleration of the engine, the consumption exceeds 30.0 l / 100 km (the travel computer meter does not mark higher figures). In the reference route -consist in traveling at an average speed of 120 km / h a section of highway of 144 km that runs through a mountain pass- spent 12.4 l / 100 km. On that same tour a Porsche 911 Turbo S Coupé spent 9.5 l / 100 km and an Audi V10 R8 Spyder, 10.7 l / 100 km.
The hood isolates the interior of the exterior very well, both from noise and from temperature. Sometimes you hear a slight whistling coming from the windows, but it is not annoying at all and at no time have I missed a hardtop. The operation of putting and removing the hood is done by an electric motor that takes 11 seconds to complete the action. It can be done up to 60 km / h. Interestingly, in the press release, Mercedes-Benz says that up to 50 km / h, but I have found that it is not so, that it can be done at a higher speed. Moreover, when you try to activate the hood above the limit, a message appears on the instrumentation that indicates 60 km / h as the maximum speed.