A Grand Touring cabriolet and a racetrack-trained thoroughbred, the 2020 Mercedes-AMG GT C Roadster is the best of both worlds. Think of the GT C as Summer and Winter, Day and Night and even Surf and Turf.
The Mercedes-AMG GT C Roadster is also a tweener. Meaning it slots into the Mercedes-AMG family between the AMG GT S and the race-bred AMG GT R.
BUT JUST WHAT IS THIS MERCEDES-AMG GT C ROADSTER?
The newest member of the AMG GT family, the GT C Roadster is a grand touring (GT) machine that incorporates the latest in performance and luxury in a single package. A two-passenger vehicle, it features current day high-performance technology direct from the technical wizards in Afalterbach. These craftspeople prescribe to the one man-one engine ethos that sees them finishing their underhood artwork by affixing their signature atop the 4.0-liter AMG engine.
And what a piece of art it is.
The Mercedes-AMG GT C is powered by a handcrafted twin-turbocharged (Biturbo in Mercedes-speak) 4.0-liter V8 engine. It produces 550 horsepower at 5,750-6,750 rpm and 502 lb-ft of torque available from 1,900 rpm. Power arrives at the steerable rear-wheel-drive system via a carbon-fiber driveshaft through AMG’s SPEEDSHIFT DCT 7-Speed dual-clutch transmission. Wait a second! A carbon-fiber driveshaft? To handle enough torque that will get the GT C Roadster from 0-60 in 3.7 seconds and up to 196 mph? That’s crazy!
But it doesn’t end there. There’s an electronically controlled rear Limited Slip Differential (LSD) that helps to move traction to the side of the vehicle that needs it, in the case of wheel slippage. The AMG GT C’s suspension is equally trick. Using AMG’s RIDE CONTROL sport suspension with adaptive damping, the kit uses sensors to adapt on the fly, firming or softening as road conditions dictate.
In addition to the variable suspension, the transmission offers five modes ranging from Comfort, Sport, Sport+, Individual and Race modes. So equipped, drivers can choose shift parameters that adapt according to a driver’s mood and need.
GOOD LOOKS AND MORE
The Mercedes-AMG GT C Roadster moves forward but not before taking a quick look back. Specifically, it reflects on its motorsport heritage by looking back to the 1952 Mercedes Benz 300 SL Panamericana racecar that its grille so faithfully replicates. Also a throwback, the long nose and the short and stubby, but extreme, rear end. Here at Napleton.news, it’s one of our favorite classic vehicles.
High-performance LED headlamps have been revised to offer more lighting ability and technological efficiency, providing more light using less energy. Below the lighting are Mercedes AIRPANELS, which remain closed to reduce drag but open in one second to provide a ram air effect to cool specific components in the engine room.
At the rear, the “hips” of the AMG GT C have been widened by 2.2 inches to accommodate the larger rear tires that aid with more rear grip.
There’s lightweight material located all around the AMG GT C. Of particular note is the extensive use of aluminum and the load-bearing trunk comprised of Sheet Molding Compound (SMC). Bonded together with carbon-fiber, it makes its debut in these new AMG Roadsters.
FIT FOR A FORMULA 1 CHAMPION
Open the lightweight aluminum doors, and you’ll find a cockpit fit for a king – or a world champion. In this case, six-time Formula 1 Champion Lewis Hamilton. With a cockpit nearly as well-sorted as his W10 Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula 1 race car, any driver will be able to feel at home in no time. A new three-layer fabric convertible roof opens fully with just the push of a button and retracts in 11 seconds at speeds up to 31 mph. An acoustic mat sewn inside the roof helps keep the interior noise to a minimum.
The AMG Performance seats fit like a glove, and the now-standard Airscarf allows you to extend your topless excursions further into Winter. Blowing warm air on your neck is the ultimate revenge when in cold weather and may also be an aphrodisiac. We don’t know. We are just repeating what we have heard.
The Burmester Surround Sound System is standard on the AMG GT C Roadster, but our tester included the uprated Burmester High-End Surround Sound package, which takes it to another level. And if that is not music to your ears, perhaps you can make some of your own with the throaty growl from the tuned AMG exhaust system.
BEHIND THE WHEEL OF THE GT C
Firing up the Mercedes-AMG GT C Roadster is as easy as pushing the pulsing red button on the left side of the console. A rush of mechanical noise blasts forth, followed by a mellowing of the engine note. A quick check of the mirrors before backing out. Everything fits in this flightdeck-like cabin except for the rearward placement of the gear selector switch, which is more rearward than most elbows can comfortably accommodate.
Once underway, we find a case of somewhat typical turbo lag as we spool up the team of hamsters under the hood. Finally, we are moving along at a steady clip, and the dartiness that is standard at low speeds begins to disappear as we approach a normal running speed. But who’s to say what’s normal, anyway? The really trick aspect to this AMG hot rod is they have equipped the GT C with rear wheel steering that is seen on the full blown GT R race car. Below a certain speed, the wheels turn in the opposite direction of the front tires. Above 62 miles per hour, the rear wheels can turn up to 1.5 degrees for additional steering input and corner-cutting ability.
Acceleration comes on blindingly fast, and will genuinely kick you back into your seat at launch. The engine note is gloriously aggressive, and the seven-speed gearbox rapidly gets you to the optimal cog at the right time. Is it possibly too much car for some drivers? Possibly.
But if you are one of the chosen few who can handle the Mercedes-AMG GT C Roadster properly, the experts at Napleton’s Mercedes-Benz of Rochester, MN, will be happy to help you become aquainted with your new steed today.