Mercedes-Benz is the oldest and most prestigious automotive in the world. The invention of a benzene-powered tricycle in 1886, in Stuttgart, gave way to a brand that would become legendary. Since then, it has excelled in almost all market segments, offering street cars, trucks, buses, motorcycles, and even Formula 1 race cars. But its hallmark is the outstanding quality and elegance of its high-end automobiles, which are synonyms of power and distinction.
However, when thinking about European two-seater sports cars, Mercedes is not a brand that immediately comes to mind. We may think first of some of its German rivals, such as Porsche and Audi, Italian brands like Lamborghini and Ferrari, or English automakers like McLaren and Jaguar, to name a few.
However, the company has introduced high-quality sports models throughout its history in association with the firm AMG. One of these is the latest version of its AMG GTS for the two-seater segment.
This new Mercedes-Benz is the automaker’s showpiece. Its powerful V8 4,000 cc, twin-turbo that churns up 503 horsepower, accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h (0 to 60 mph) in 3.7 seconds, with a final speed of 310 km/h (193 mph).
With a distinctly sporty performance, the power is routed to the rear wheels by way of a seven-speed dual clutch transmission. This provides an excellent weight balance (53% front axle/47% rear axle), with a low center of gravity, which helps the rear-wheel drive.
It would be impossible not to compare its exterior design with the latest SLS, as the massive front hood recalls the iconic model with the gull wing doors, while the hatchback design of the tail provides smooth, circular lines, less aggressive and somewhat similar to those used by Porsche. This new line, complete with a fixed glass roof that runs seamlessly from the front windshield to the rear, sets a modern aesthetic that honors the traditions of the German brand.
The interior of this two-seater meets the quality standards and technology characteristic of Mercedes-Benz. Almost the entire passenger compartment is upholstered with supple Nappa leather in different colors and patterns—complemented by an array of sleek, modern trim options for the console and other elements.
The AMG sports seats and the intelligent steering wheel enhance the unique driving feeling.
The key elements in the cockpit are the center console that offers a generous multifunctional touch screen and the control panel. The latter includes climate control commands and the transmission selector. It also features the selection of preferences for road or drive modes, which adjust the suspension, the exhaust sound, power, reaction, and consumption levels.
With respect to the applied technology, the GTS offers an aluminum chassis that weights of only 500 pounds (227 kilos); independent electronic suspension on all four wheels; stability and traction control systems, and the brand`s award-winning anti-collision system that—using small cameras and motion sensors—controls the vehicle environment, anticipating and preventing accidents.
The Mercedes-Benz AMG GTS has achieved a remarkable feat: a cutting-edge car that gives the driver the feeling of being on board a rear-wheel drive sports car, without forgetting any of the electronic safety features of a modern vehicle.
With a price starting at US$130,000, this model definitively puts the brand in the competition for the two-seater sports thoroughbreds. ■