Car Industry

Electricity is for suckers: Mercedes goes racing with IMSA in 2017

Both works and customer efforts are slated to hit the track next year.

Mercedes-Benz USA, Wieck

Let's hope some wackier liveries show up. The one in the middle is pretty slick, though.

Mercedes-Benz

The Mercedes-AMG GT3 is one beautiful race car, and next year, we'll be able to watch it tear around tracks in the US as part of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.

Mercedes announced today that it would field several cars for IMSA's 2017 season. The works, or manufacturer, team is a partnership with Riley Motorsports. That pairing will field two GT3s, one as AMG-Team Riley Motorsports, and one running with WeatherTech Racing. A customer team, SunEnergy1 Racing, will also field a GT3 next season. More teams are likely to follow.

The AMG GT3 isn't just a regular car with some canards slapped on. It's a full-on race car, with carbon fiber body panels that are 4.4 inches wider than the GT available in dealerships. You get a dashboard and some semblance of an interior, but it's not like extra weight is welcome in motorsport, so it's pretty sparse in there, save for all the required safety equipment.

Instead of using the 4.0-liter, twin-turbocharged V8 that the road-going GT wields, the race cars will instead rely on the tried and true, naturally aspirated 6.2-liter V8. Mercedes-AMG phased this engine out years ago in favor of a 5.5-liter twin-turbo V8, which the automaker is slowly replacing with 4.0-liter.

Hopefully, Mercedes-AMG releases an hours-long audio file of its exhaust note. I could use something new to lull me to sleep.