2020 Mercedes-AMG GT R Pro: Tightened, Lightened, and Limited
The Mercedes-AMG GT R Pro is more than six seconds faster around the ‘Ring than the ‘standard’ GT R.
Year, Make, Model: 2020 Mercedes-AMG GT R Pro
Topline: Mercedes-AMG has revealed a faster version of its GT R supercar called the GT R Pro, slated for a one-year production run.
What's New: Experience from Mercedes' GT4 and GT3 racing programs was used to upgrade the GT R to Pro spec, with an emphasis primarily on aerodynamics, suspension, and weight reduction.
Highly adjustable AMG coilover suspension allows compression and rebound alteration on all four corners, with separate settings for fast and slow compression to tune out the effects of bumps without making weight transfer for corners tricky. Tools aren't even necessary for this, as dials on each shock tower can change settings with a click. Both sway bars are adjustable, and the front is made from carbon fiber to keep weight distribution even.
Low-wear, play-free spherical bearings link both the upper and lower wishbones on the rear axle, preventing toe-in or camber from changing with compression. A carbon fiber reinforcement panel further stiffens the rear end, while the active engine and transmission mounts have been retuned to keep the front end in line.
Ceramic brakes are standard on the GT R Pro, their black calipers hiding away beneath 10-spoke forged wheels.
Front downforce increases with the expansion and reinforcement of the front splitter, aided by the addition of canards and vented fenders. A rear lip spoiler slightly raises rear downforce to account for the greater high-speed traction up front. Top speed doesn't suffer compared to the GT R, both of which can hit 198 miles per hour. It'll get there using the same 4.0-liter, twin-turbo V8 as the GT R, making 577 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque. Combined with the above refinements, it helped Mercedes-AMG GT3 driver Maro Engel lay down a Nürburgring time of 7:04.6 in the GT R Pro, almost 6.3 seconds faster than the GT R.
GT R Pro trying to replicate Engel's time will stand out while doing so due to the light green wrap with a racing stripe that runs the length of the roof, and much of the car's sides. This stripe is only available in this color on selenite gray magno paint, and is instead gray matte on other color options, though it can be deleted if desired.
Quotable: "The AMG GT embodies the core of our brand, 'Driving Performance,' in a unique way," stated AMG board chairman Tobias Moers. "At its debut four years ago, it not only turned the heads of customers and sports car enthusiasts but also created new dimensions in the competitive environment."
"In order to continue this success story, we have now equipped it with numerous innovations from the AMG GT 4-Door Coupe and added a new limited-edition model: No other current production Mercedes-AMG is as close to motor racing as the new AMG GT R PRO. A lot of experience from our current GT3 and GT4 motorsport activities entered into its development."
What You Need to Know: Few supercars maintain the front-engined, rear-drive layout that once was common, making the Mercedes-AMG GT a dying breed. BMW has yet to release the M8, and it isn't certain whether there will be an M8 CSL to compare to the GT R Pro. The Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 can slay both on track, and do so at a lower price, though we can't imagine many people cross-shopping all three.
The 2020 Mercedes-AMG GT R starts at $159,350, so expect the Pro to come in at a few bucks more. A Mercedes-AMG spokesperson promised The Drive that specifics will come closer to the vehicle's release.