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2021 Mercedes-AMG GT Black Series aims squarely at 911 GT2 RS

John Law

Mercedes-AMG has debuted their most track-focused car ever. Based on the svelte GT Coupe, the GT Black Series is aimed squarely at Weissach’s most potent offering, the track-honed 911 GT2 RS.

Just like the Black Series cars gone before, it’s obvious the GT is fast, even when the car is standing still. The aero package is wild – a towering rear wing and a bonnet that looks like it’s had a run-in with an axe murderer mean you won’t miss the GT Black Series on the road.

Unbelievably, the bulging, sinuous exterior of the Black Series makes the recently-confirmed-for-Australia GT R Pro appear remarkably tame.

2021 Mercedes-AMG GT Black series Rear 3/4
The Black Series is basically a GT3 car for the road.

And there’s no need to worry, the added power is there to back up the car’s loony exterior. Although the twin-turbo four-litre V8 is based on the 430kW/700Nm GT R, Affalterbach has weaved some magic for the more potent Black Series.

In fact, the Black Series gets its own engine code as the changes are so severe. They include a flat-plane crank, new camshafts and redesigned exhaust manifold, larger turbine-wheels for the turbochargers, and GT3-car derived dry-sump lubrication. This all adds up to prodigious outputs of 537kW and 800Nm. Serious business.

Those power numbers might eclipse Porsche’s 991 GT2 RS’ 512kW and 750Nm, though historically we’ve seen the rear-engined monsters from Weissach perform better on the racetrack – though we’ll have to wait for the Nurburgring time, we imagine it will happen.

2021 Mercedes-AMG GT Black series Motor
The Black Series’ V8 produces 107kW more than the GT R.

Straight-line performance isn’t as blistering as you might expect, though, with the standard-sprint taking 3.2 seconds – the same as a chunkier AMG GT 4-door – though 200km/h arrives in under 9 seconds and the Black Series will soldier onto a top speed of 325km/h. Impressive, given the aero addenda.

There are nine traction control settings – a familiar quirk to those who’ve experienced contemporary AMG products like the AMG C63 S – though the Black Series naturally gets a bespoke tune for optimal lap times.

“Form follows function”, says Mercedes, and at the front end, the Black Series moves to one single radiator inlet, instead of the three vents of the GT Coupe to optimise aerodynamics and cooling.

2021 Mercedes-AMG GT Black series TC
Nine-stage traction control, more Racecar tech.

There’s also an adjustable carbon front splitter which can be trimmed to a ‘street’ or ‘race’ setting. The latter significantly increases front downforce as speed climbs to keep the front-end nailed to the blacktop.

And while those slats in the bonnet might look a little Fast and the Furious, engineers claim they optimise the flow of hot air escaping from the engine bay. Clearly, there are bright people at AMG – but, basically, they serve to increase the effectiveness of the rear wing by increasing downforce and reducing drag.

That huge rear-wing is mechanically adjustable between two settings to suit the front downforce trim, while the upper flap is active. It lays flat during heavy acceleration while acting as an airbrake to aid retardation, tech that was first seen on the futuristic Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren.

2021 Mercedes-AMG GT Black series Wing
The aero is functional, adding 400kg of downforce at 250km/h.

Dependent on driver mode, the flap will act differently, though it can be operated independently by a button in the cockpit. Including the new flat-floor and diffuser, AMG claims a total of 400kg of downforce at 250km/h for the GT Black Series.

Much of the aero addenda is carbon fibre – so are the bonnet, roof, boot, transmission mounts, and anti-roll bars to save weight. Additionally, the flat carbon-fibre floor-panel provides a more solid mounting for suspension components, providing crisper responses.

Race Car-derived spherical bearings are used instead of bushes, and the AMG adjustable coil-over suspension is adaptive and reacts to road conditions and driver input, and, for example, the system can off-set brake-dive by increasing damping pressure.

2021 Mercedes-AMG GT Black series Front
There’s a lot of special stuff underneath the Black Series’ skin.

There is also camber adjustment on the front axle – a must for track driving and something often overlooked by less serious track specials.

The suspension boasts three adaptive settings, comfort and sport modes are optimised for road-use, while sport plus for racetrack use. AMG says the system will optimise itself on the fly, so even bumpier tracks like the Nurburgring Nordschleife or Wakefield Park should be driven in sport plus.

Even the tyres are specially designed for the GT R Black Series, french manufacturer Michelin developed their stickiest Cup 2 MO tyres – 285/35 19 at the front, 335/35 20 at the rear – to suit the car perfectly. There will be two compounds available with the softer best for cold climes, and the harder optimised for heavy track-use in warmer weather.

2021 Mercedes-AMG GT Black series Cockpit
Topped off with an Alcantara-wrapped wheel with easy-to-reach controls.

As for the interior, well, it’s once again a place of business. AMG offers orange highlights for the cockpit, and the familiar multi-function steering wheel boasts straight-forward vehicle adjustments and is wrapped in Alcantara for maximum control on the track.

Additionally, a track package will be available that include a four-point roll cage, harnesses, bucket seats, and a fire extinguisher. Sparse numbers of the Mercedes-AMG GT Black Series should land in Australia by early 2021, with pricing to be confirmed closer to arrival.