Set to debut this October at the Paris Auto Show, the Mercedes-Benz AMG GT will succeed the raucous, low-slung SLS AMG as Mercedes’ bonafide supercar. Very few details have surfaced about the AMG GT. It’s known that the car will use a shorter wheelbase than the SLS and will have a lighter curb weight (~3400 lbs.) However, most significant is the brand-new 4.0-liter twin-turbocharged V8 slated to sit under the GT’s long bonnet, an engine that will likely pave the way for the rest of the AMG lineup.
The AMG M178 engine, as it’s known to Mercedes engineers, produces 503 horsepower and 479 lb-ft of torque, numbers that seem relatively modest for an all-out supercar. How the new 4.0-liter engine delivers this power is the truly impressive part. One hundred percent of torque is available between 1,750 and 4,750 RPM, while the full 503 horsepower is available at 6,250 RPM. The low-down torque will make for visceral acceleration while the high-RPM horsepower will coax the driver into high-revving upshifts, a beautiful characteristic in any sports car engine.
Due to its compact proportions, the M178 engine produces an astounding 126.3 horsepower per liter, a figure that edges out even the M division’s 4.4-liter twin-turbo V8. All of this performance comes with a great technological backstory. The M178 uses a dry-sump lubrication system, a patented non-friction layer on cylinder walls, and low-friction pistons to maximize efficiency. Using dry-sump lubrication rather than an oil pan allows the engine’s center of gravity to be closer to the road below, improving handling dynamics and making for a more exhilarating ride.
The M178 engine’s two turbochargers are also strategically placed, with both located inside the “V” of the V8 to keep the engine’s dimensions down. Extensive intercooling and powerful turbines will virtually eliminate lag and replicate the immediate power delivery of AMG’s older 6.2-liter naturally-aspirated V8. Though the switch from naturally-aspirated to heavily turbocharged sacrifices some engine character, the expected fuel economy numbers will be significantly improved on the M178.
Expect the Mercedes-Benz AMG GT to go on sale in early 2015 and the M178 engine to begin appearing in multiple AMG models, including the upcoming C63 AMG.
Please enjoy this TFLcar.com video preview of the 2014 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Black Series…
Frank caught automotive fever early in life. Hailing from a long line of car fanatics, he was able to recite the year and model of every car that passed him by age five. His passion and love for the automobile have only grown since then. When not thinking about cars, he is reading, writing, learning, or dreaming about them. His area of expertise is in the realm of German and Italian cars, of which Porsche is a favorite. Frank currently resides in the heart of NASCAR country in Charlotte, North Carolina, with his family. He enjoys driving exotic cars in the beautiful Carolina weather.