A Rare Beauty

Why the 2020 Mercedes AMG GT-R doesn't quite rate an OMG

ART ON WHEELS: Driving dynamics and racetrack worthiness definitely reign, but this powerhouse leaves little to practicality

The 2020 Mercedes AMG GT-R roadster and coupe are among the rarest mainstream cars on the road. The former is limited to 750 units, the latter 2,000. Combine scarcity, savvy exterior design and the matted paint choice of Selenite Gray Magno and the supercar attracts constant attention.

The AMG GT-R exemplifies a sports car. Though craftsmanship channels Porsche, Ferrari and the Dodge Viper, there’s nothing quite like the performance-oriented Mercedes relative. It’s a glistening work of art on wheels.

Like many competitors, the AMG GT-R has a hearty engine growl; the neighbors will always know you’re in the vicinity. But it’s more like a lion with a sore throat, not the same as hearing the guy down the street with a Maserati or the confident rumble of the new mid-engine Corvette C8.

Vehicles with standard acceleration test efforts in less than four seconds are all impressive, and the AMG’s secondary acceleration while passing another vehicle on the freeway is authoritative. But initial momentum is annoyingly stymied by the pronounced turbo lag.

While driving in quiet, spacious comfort isn’t the strong point of any sports car, consideration for either attribute was dispatched early in the AMG GT R design process. Entering and exiting the vehicle is difficult. Seating is cramped. Side and rear views are limited. Wind rush is prominent.

Mercedes and its high-performance AMG subsidiary are never value-priced. Loyalists are well aware of the German manufacturer’s heady reputation and long-standing appeal, but the AMG GT-R extends pricing well past the already stretched norms. Carbon fiber is everywhere, including the rear spoiler and roof. It adds to the car’s beauty and lightweight appeal. Cornering, braking and all of the driving dynamics that make supercars work so well on racetracks are evident.

For 2020, all AMG GT-R models get a new 10.3-inch touchscreen, a redesigned center console with capacitive display buttons, standard Android Auto and Apple CarPlay integration. A steering wheel with controls for the engine, drivetrain and chassis settings is also new.

One of the car’s marketing mottos says, “The Mercedes-AMG GT-R combines driving dynamics and first-class racetrack performance with superb everyday practicality.” Driving dynamics and racetrack worthiness reign, no doubt. But there’s little practical about the powerful machine. It’s as handsome as any vehicle. But the price is off-putting, a deal-breaker despite the AMG GT-R’s alluring beauty.

Courtesy Mercedes-Benz