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Merc-AMG GT3 coming to the road. Image by Mercedes-AMG.

Merc-AMG GT3 coming to the road
This AMG GT3 is race-ready but it will become a rocket-ship road car too.
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Wibble. Wibble. Drool. Humana-humana-humana.

Are you OK?

Sorry, it's just that I'm actually technically lost for real words. This thing is beyond gorgeous!

It is a bit, isn't it? This is the Mercedes-AMG GT3, a race-prepped version of Merc's AMG GT road car, and it's all set to take on the competition in the likes of the Blancpain Endurance series and the Nurburgring 24hrs. There may well be a GTE version to suit Le Mans 24hrs rules at some point too.

Squeeeel! That grille makes it look like the original 300SLR!

Yes, this is probably the first racing car ever to actually include some retro detailing. Will that make it quicker? Well, it's unlikely to be slow - it uses the same 600-odd-horsepower naturally-aspirated 6.3-litre V8 as the outgoing SLS GT3 race car and that was quick enough to dominate the likes of the Nurburgring and Spa 24hrs and the Bathurst 12hrs.

As in the road-going version, the vehicle structure of the GT3 consists of a very lightweight yet extremely rigid aluminium spaceframe, offering outstanding protection for the driver. The driver is further protected by the resilient carbon-fibre seat pan and an integral roll-over cage made from high-tensile steel. In order to reduce the vehicle weight further still, the engine cover, doors, front wings, front and rear aprons, sidewalls, side skirts, diffuser, boot lid and rear aerofoil are all made from particularly lightweight yet high-strength carbon fibre.

As for the engine, Mercedes-AMG says: "user-friendly technology, excellent reliability, long maintenance intervals and the high-revving naturally aspirated engine with low running costs made it the engine of choice for the new AMG customer sports model. The six-speed sequential racing gearbox for the GT3 is - as is the case in the standard GT - mounted in a transaxle configuration on the rear axle, thereby facilitating optimum weight distribution. They also have double-wishbone suspension - made almost entirely from aluminium - in common. These solutions once again demonstrate how closely linked regular production technology and racing technology are at AMG."

Now, what of the road version?

Mercedes is saying that it won't be called GT3 (it reckons Porsche has dibs on that name) and it won't be called Black Series either. It also won't have the 6.3-litre V8, but a tweaked and tuned version of the 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 found in the existing road-going AMG GT. Currently, the most powerful GT has 550hp, a tune that Mercedes says can easily be increased, and figures of as much as 650hp have been spoken of.

"We are entering a hard-fought and hotly contested competitive environment with the new Mercedes-AMG GT3. The high technological standard and fair race rules are spurring us on to push to take pole position with our new customer racing car. You can only give credible proof of your ambition to lead if you're beating the very best in the game," commented Tobias Moers, Chairman of the Board of Management of Mercedes-AMG GmbH.

If they don't keep the fifties-style grille for the road car then we have officially lost all our faith in humanity...

Neil Briscoe - 28 Feb 2015

Earlier articles featuring 2015 Mercedes-AMG GT

2015-02-15: Mercedes-AMG GT takes to the track
2014-11-26: First drive: Mercedes-AMG GT S
2014-11-14: Incoming: Mercedes-AMG GTS

2015 Mercedes-AMG GT GT3 racer. Image by Mercedes-AMG.2015 Mercedes-AMG GT GT3 racer. Image by Mercedes-AMG.   

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