The Mercedes-AMG GT is just getting started, with the the racing variants due to arrive in 2016, as promised. This move had been expected for quite some time now, as the Mercedes-AMG SLS is nearing the end of its lifespan, it only stands to reason that its twilight from racing will soon follow. Pursuant to such, a new era in Mercedes motorpsort, featuring the Mercedes-AMG GT, is on the horizon.
Appropriately named the Mercedes-AMG GT3, the new car will feature the same 4.0 liter twin-turbo V8 employed by the road going variant. Instead of the stock 503 horsepower of its road going cousin, the GT3 will likely get a boost to around 550 horsepower, as hinted by Mercedes. This corresponds to the power limit set forth by the FIA of between 500 and 600 horsepower for the GT3 class. The racecar will also have to shed around 800 pounds from its road going form in order to meet class requirements.
With the AMG GT3 due to hit the track for the first time in 2016, this means that the outgoing Mercedes-AMG SLS GT3 will get a few more laps around the grid next year, before driving off into the sunset. Actually, even though the next generation of AMG racacars is arriving, this probably won’t mean an immediate end for the SLS. Being very popular and employed by no less than 40 teams around the world, the SLS will likely soldier on for a few more seasons, with Mercedes-AMG already pledging to retain support and parts manufacture for the immediately foreseeable future.
In addition to bringing the AMG GT to the FIA GT3 class, which will include the Blancpain Endurance Series, Mercedes-AMG is also launching a one-make series to center around the car. Starting for next season, the series will be called the AMG Customer Sports Championship and will feature the SLS GT3 for the inaugural season, but will switch to the the AMG GT3 for all subsequent seasons. The series begins on December 1st of this year and will run until November 30, 2015.
With the entry of the Mercedes AMG GT into motorsports, some might have been fearing that the road going side of the Mercedes operation would be left out. However, this would be a mistake. In addition to a Black Series version of the car, an appropriately named GT3 version of the AMG GT will be brought to market. Featuring substantial weight reduction with the use of carbon fiber components, a better aerodynamic profile, and a power upgrade to the aforementioned 550 horsepower, the road-going GT3 variant of the car will be among the quickest available under the AMG label.