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2018 AMG GT R: A GT3 racecar for the road

Not to be confused with the Nissan GT-R, although you can't really say a hyphen out loud.

2018 Mercedes-AMG GT R
The GT R will compete with more hardcore variants of the Porsche 911 and Audi R8.

The Mercedes-AMG GT is already a hell of a supercar. Smaller than its forebear, the SLS AMG, the GT packs a punch as it swings at the Porsche 911 and Audi R8. But if you thought the 503-horsepower GT S was all Mercedes could muster, you're in for a rude awakening with the 2018 GT R.

The GT R takes a great deal of inspiration from Mercedes' motorsport efforts, specifically GT3-class racing. Designed with the track in mind, the R features a new front fascia with a grille based off its GT3 brethren. Additional race-inpired tech bits include active aerodynamics under the car, adjustable traction control, a fixed rear spoiler, adjustable coilover suspension and a whole lot of carbon fiber.

For additional help in the corners, Mercedes has also fitted the GT R with rear-wheel steering, which can adjust rear-wheel toe up to 1.5 degrees in order to improve the car's cornering ability. Further aiding traction are an electronically controlled limited-slip differential and ultra-sticky Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires. The rear end is 2.2 inches wider than before, as well, yet the car is still lighter than both the GT and GT S.

Of course, it wouldn't be a more hard-core model without some tweaks to the powertrain. The car's 4.0-liter, turbocharged V-8 has been massaged to produce 577 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque, improving on the GT S' output by 74 and 37, respectively. It's still rocking AMG's seven-speed, dual-clutch gearbox, but 0-60 acceleration is down to just 3.5 seconds. Its top speed is also higher, at 198 mph.

The interior's also been updated with lots of optional yellow touches, standing out against the car's bright green exterior hue. Optional brightwork includes yellow seatbelts and gauge elements. Otherwise, it's more or less the same interior that you get in the GT or GT S.

The 2018 Mercedes-AMG GT R should arrive in the US by the middle of next year, and pricing is still TBA. For a bit of context, the base AMG GT retails for $111,200, while the hopped-up GT S will set you back $131,200. I wouldn't expect the R to leave the dealership for anything less than $150,000, but that's my own estimate.

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