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With the launch of the Mercedes-AMG brand, a performance group based on the prior AMG division, comes a completely new car, the GT S.
The low and sleek coupe body features many traditional Mercedes-Benz styling cues, such as the single crossbar over the grille and embedded badge on the leading edge of the body.
A new 4-liter V-8 uses two turbochargers set between the banks of cylinders, making for a compact package and minimal plumbing for the exhaust gasses.
The car's exceptionally stiff body can be felt from the driver's seat, and leads to excellent handling.
Michelin Pilot Super Sport tires wrap around these 19-inch wheels in front, while the rear gets 20-inch wheels.
At just over 3,600 pounds, the GT S is a reasonably light car, considering its power.
An adaptive suspension lets the driver select between comfort and sport modes.
A wide-opening hatch offers easy access to the cargo area.
A couple of small suitcases could lay flat in the back of the GT S.
Red trim on the sport seats looks a bit gaudy.
With its vents and numerous buttons, the cockpit of the GT S looks a big cluttered.
The electric power steering, even in the car's most aggressive sport setting, never really firms enough for really precise turn-in.
Sticking to tradition, Mercedes-AMG gives the GT S analog gauges, rather than going with an LCD panel.
The shifter and COMAND switchgear, controlling the infotainment options, sit crowded together on the console.
Mercedes-AMG keeps the climate controls to a tasteful line of metal switches.
Drivers can individually set performance levels of various car components, including the exhaust.
The Mercedes-AMG navigation system shows off detailed maps, while the COMAND interface relies on an upper bar of function menus and a lower bar with more individualized controls.
Destination input includes online search, but the data connection takes a long time to boot up.
Internet audio sources are also integrated with the radio options.
This rotating menu looks good, but it's not a paradigm used consistently through the interface.
Media screens can show album art, when available.
The Burmester audio system delivers excellent sound quality, and looks good in the cabin with elegant speaker grilles.
Burmester puts a classic graphic treatment on its equalizer.
At well over $100,000, the Mercedes-AMG GT S is certainly expensive, but it is a stand-out performance coupe with many high-tech features.