Mercedes-Benz AMG GT 4-Door
0-62mph 4.5 seconds
Top speed 177mph
People behaving rather inappropriately in cars is nothing new. But this is the first time in which the vehicle itself has behaved questionably, and come over all handsy. “Dad,” laughs my 17-year-old daughter, “your Mercedes is creepy. It has issues with consent…” She’s referring to its “dynamic self-bolstering” seats. When you corner, an air bladder on the outside edge automatically inflates to hold you in position. It feels like a large hand curling unexpectedly around your side. Once you know what’s going on, it’s quite relaxing, particularly on long, twisting journeys. Slaloming up and over the Alps, for instance. The smart seats are actually minor miracles and this entire review could easily focus just on them. They can be heated or cooled; they have 19 different air chambers each of which can be minutely adjusted; there are multiple massage functions to choose from, too. They’re incredibly comfortable – though my wife claims the ones at her nail bar are even better.
These seats are just one aspect of the super-smart technical smörgåsbord served up by the Mercedes-Benz AMG GT 4-Door. From the welcome graphic that pops up on its double-width digital dash when you first get in, to the final burbling note of the four-pipe exhaust, there is not one single aspect that has not been buffed and puffed to maximise its potential.
AMG is the high-performance wing used by Mercedes-Benz to weaponise its “standard” models. Essentially, AMG exists to put the OMG into already excellent cars. And that is exactly what AMG has now done to the GT.
The model already existed as a searingly quick, headturningly attractive coupé. But it had one serious drawback: it only had two doors. What was needed, clearly, was a four-door, four-seat, hatchback version. And lo, we now have the AMG GT 4-Door – quite a catchy name, isn’t it? There was also the small matter of what would power this übermensch family hatch. In the case of GT’s range-topper it’s a fire-breathing 4-litre bi-turbo V8 capable of delivering 631bhp – or 0-62mph in 3.2 seconds. For comparison, the market-leading Ford Focus family hatch starts at just 99bhp.
The car is large and very imposing. At the front there is an architectural 20-fin air panel; at the back a spoiler that eases out of the bodywork but only when it’s on duty. The car is unusually long (over 5m) and heavy (over 2 tonnes), but like a well-cut suit on a fat man, its shape is flattered by graceful curves and an elongated silhouette. Performance is, as you might have guessed, scorchio. Despite all the showmanship it can be remarkably biddable and easy to live with. On family days you select Comfort from the drive mode menu and tootle along – as you would in any family hatch. On “self-focused days”, you might go for Sport, Sport+ or even Race – at which point the driving should really be left to the professionals. It’s a phenomenal machine, but for most it’ll remain too hot to handle.
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