ANOTHER day, another fast-paced, track-only special surfaces for the Geneva motor show. This time it’s the Mercedes-AMG GT3.
Based on the 375kW Mercedes-AMG GT S coupe that will land in Australia in July and priced from about $270,000 – that’s right in the heart of the soon-to-be-discontinued V8-engined Audi R8 territory – the GT3 is all low centre of gravity, weight balance and wide track.
Made from aluminium like the road version, the GT3 will be the only Mercedes available with AMG’s brilliant high-revving naturally aspirated 6.2-litre V8 engine, which the company promises won’t break the bank to keep in peak trim.
The track car will also share a transaxle gearbox – in the case of the race car, though, it’s a six-speed sequential and not a more commuter-friendly seven-speed dual-clutcher – and a double-wishbone suspension also crafted almost entirely out of aluminium.
Inside, the GT3 features a high-tensile steel roll cage to protect the driver, while to cut weight the engine cover, doors, front wing, front and rear aprons, sidewalls, side skirts, diffuser, boot lid and big rear wing are moulded out of expensive carbonfibre.
Mercedes-Benz is already talking up the GT3 as a potential podium contender.
“This layout guarantees precise cornering properties, high lateral acceleration, first-class agility, a high level of traction and low inertia when having to change direction fast,” it said.
“On the different race circuits, all of these attributes give the driver the advantages necessary to achieve top placements.”
It will have a bit of fun doing so. McLaren has revealed its track-honed P1 GTR, also destined for a Geneva debut, while Audi has pulled the wraps off a GT version of its all-new R8 that could make a local appearance in a factory-backed bid for the Bathurst 12 Hour title.
Aston Martin, meanwhile, has revealed its Vulcan, featuring serious track cred starting with a 600kW-plus 7.0-litre V12 providing the poke.
The Geneva motor show officially kicks off next week. Rumour has it there will be a few affordable road cars unveiled as well.