2018 Mercedes-AMG GT R roars into Goodwood Festival of Speed Page 2

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Attached at each corner are light alloys (19-inch front and 20-in rear) shod with Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires. These work together with the new rear-wheel-steering system to aid handling. Up to 62 mph, the rear wheels are turned in the opposite direction to the front wheels, corresponding to a virtual shortening of the wheelbase and boosting agility when cornering. Above this speed, the system turns the rear wheels in the same direction as the front wheels, corresponding to a virtual lengthening of the wheelbase and improving handling stability.

Further aiding the handling is speed-sensitive steering plus an electronic limited-slip differential at the rear axle. Many of the electronic systems can be adjusted, including  the traction control which now has up to nine settings. Massive steel brakes are standard but buyers will have the option of carbon-ceramics discs.

Beyond the new grille, the GT R can easily by spotted by its enhanced body. Below the grille is a new, wider intake and moving rearward takes you to the new side sills and eventually a massive diffuser that integrates center-mounted exhaust pipes. There’s also a large fixed rear wing.

But there are some active elements too, like a front panel beneath the car that moves depending on the speed to create a Venturi effect and help boost downforce. This feature alone creates as much as 88 lb of downforce at speeds of 155 mph. There are also active panels in the front bumper to guide air as required.

2018 Mercedes-AMG GT R

2018 Mercedes-AMG GT R

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In the cabin, the designers have added sports seats lined in Nappa leather and microfiber. The available yellow seat belts, dials with yellow highlights, piano black trim and special controls, including those for the new nine-setting traction control system, underline the unique standing of the GT R.

AMG will start sales of the GT R in the summer of 2017. It arrives as a 2018 model. Before it arrives, AMG will finally start selling the base GT alongside the GT S already on offer, bringing the price of entry for the GT to just over $112k. Pricing for the GT R will be announced closer to next year’s market launch.

"With the new AMG GT R, we have reached the next level of driving performance,” AMG boss Tobias Moers said in a statement. “This road-going sports car with motor-racing genes and innovative technical solutions offers an ultimate driving experience that allows people to feel our motorsport origins in every fiber.”

Following the debut of the GT R at the Brooklands racetrack in England’s south earlier today, AMG has taken the car to wow audiences at the 2016 Goodwood Festival of Speed currently underway. For more from the event, head to our dedicated hub.

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