The Mercedes-AMG GT was designed in collaboration with the highly qualified engineers at Mercedes’ in house tuning arm AMG, with the goal to compete head on with the well-established 911 and newcomer McLaren 650S. Based on a shortened SLS platform, the GT’s design is a clear departure from the SLS as it embodies Mercedes’ Sensual Purity design philosophy, says Mercedes-Benz Vice-President of Design Gorden Wagener. He defines the design ethos as having three core attributes: modernity, authenticity, and simplicity. “We don’t want to make a direct comparison to the SLS,” Wagener notes, “This is a different price point.”

Instead the Mercedes-AMG GT expresses the philosophy through “simplified surfacing and minimal lines” says Wagener, coupled with “technology and craftsmanship”. Sourcing design inspiration from a shark, the AMG-specific face – with the ‘A-wing’ signature – is divided into three parts. Expressive, forward-canted lamps are set over two gaping air intakes on either side of the bumper, flanking a large central mouth above a protruding splitter. At the rear, the rounded glasshouse tapers into the extremely wide shoulder and accentuates the car’s stance, one of Wagener’s favourite features. Horizontal lamps demarcate the GT as being in Mercedes’ coupe family, while the four exhaust outlets typical of AMG find pride of place in the rear bumper, which includes a recess to house the licence plate.

The interior, meanwhile, envelops the two occupants like a glove. Divided by a very high and wide central tunnel, the IP features aviation and jet themes, with a wind shaped, sculptural upper volume and round vents at each end. Designers also played with contrasts in the interior: black and white colourways, glossy and black PVD black diamond and black carbon fibre elements play off one another to create a technical yet sophisticated ambiance.

The 8.4-inch display is the centrepiece of the design, proudly placed at the centre of the IP. Though the screen originally matched the instrument cowl height, it was moved down a few millimetres at AMG boss Tobias Moers’ request following testing on the Nurburgring. The two-seat GT is squarely aimed at would-be Porsche 911 buyers. But with a powerful AMG-tuned powerplant, lightweight aluminium chassis and distinct Mercedes design flavour, Wagener is confident in its ability to sway customers into Mercedes showrooms.

Full article in Auto&Design no. 209