MERCEDES AMG GT 53 4-DOOR is brilliant. But it may not be everyone’s ‘cuppa tea.
Some people say that certain cars look like they’re driving 100 miles an hour while standing still. Well, this Mercedes-AMG GT 53 Coupe 4-door is one of those.
It’s intrigued me since the first time I saw it — the day they tugged the covers off that ruby red prototype at the Geneva show a few years back. So it’s also taken a bit too long to drive the beast, but I finally had my day last week.
IT’S A GT. BUT WAIT! LOOK AGAIN…
It stops the traffic. People recognise the face. But then they’re taken aback. When it dawns on them it’s actually a limo and not the regular GT.
The nose is pretty much where the similarity ends. Unlike that rear-wheel drive road racer, this one’s all-wheel driven, for starters. Sure it shares one or two drivetrain components, but this one borrows its platform from the E and CLS. That said, it drives completely differently. Which actually makes it a bit of an acquired taste. That kinship to E and CLS is what really makes GT 4-door work though, but more on that anon.
This 53 version also means it does not share that biturbo V8 heart with the regular 2-door GT — although there is a 4-door with the big engine option too. So this is a pretty unique car. And it’s a way into the GT range at a snip — even if that’s a two-point-three bar snip. The next step up that GT ladder is a million buck one to this one’s sixty-three big brother.
Best of all is that GT 53 4-door definitely still looks the part. I really like the fact that it uses far smaller wheels and fatter rubber. It’s so refreshing to finally have a car that does not look like a cartoon with rubber bands on massive wheels. That usually comes with the compromise of a rough ride. So I was rather surprised by the fact that this car is still so hard.
LOW & SLEEK
And therein likes one of the compromises — my wife complained about the G’s harshness on several occasions. So take heed of that. Yours likely will too. The other drawback is access and egress. Low and sleek means you have to hunker down lower to get in and out. So better you understand that up front too.
The beauty of AMG however, is that you are still so spoiled for choice. You can get a CLS 53, which is just as sleek and splendid as this, if a bit sharper too, for significantly less money too. And there are the E 53 convertible and coupe too, both of which have a considerably more comfy ride. And they’re easier to get in and out of.
None of those are as pointed and immaculate to drive as this GT 4-door cousin though. And while it may be a compromise to some, to those of us who car more for that precise turn in, solid feedback through hr wheel, pedals, chassis and arse, taking this car is a no brainer. Even if the boss will bleat about ride. If those are a problem to you, there are other 53 caliber bullets in that AMG gun that may better suit you.
Another bit I like about this 53, is its brave new hybrid approach. It delivers some real advances under the bonnet, which I see as a proper step toward a better, greener future. Now I’m the first person to shoot this whole electrification thing down in flames, but there’s certainly more than enough scope to adopt all that in a positive way. And that’s precisely what this 53 tech achieves.
GREAT PERFORMANCE, STILL SAVES THE PLANET
GT 53 4-door is armed with Merc’s all-new 320kW 520Nm 3-litre straight-six with double forced induction. It’s employed in such a manner to both deliver sharp performance and save the planet at the same time. Thanks to the combination of a traditional exhaust-driven turbocharger and an electrically driven auxiliary compressor, it all works in tandem with a 48-volt EQ Boost collar hybrid starter generator.
That turns a quick (and slick) shifting AMG Speedshift TCT 9-speed automatic and 4Matic AWD to rush GT 53 to 100 km/h in a claimed 4.5 seconds and on to a heady 285km/h.
Our test kit proved GT 53 to be significantly quicker than that claim. It challenged but just did not manage to break the 4-second barrier to 100km/h. It’s splendidly quick. While we may giggle that Merc has fled back to an inline-six after so selling us the virtues of a vee, that collar hybrid is its party trick as. It adds a bonus 16kW 250Nm bonus from idle until the other bits are all wound up. It’s a truly lag free solution.
Among our people were a little miffed by the sound — or indeed lack of it for an AMG. But they’re the more extreme among us! Personally I quite like the noise — especially on start up in the morning. Never mind you can enhance it at the touch of a button. But I’m also not one for faux car sound — the sooner that crap dies a deserved death, the better.
It’s splendid inside the GT 53. We have waxed lyrical enough about Merc’s market-leading ‘Comand Online’ infotainment complete with this even better latest market-leading multifunction steering wheel.
BUT DOES AMG GT 53 TICKLE YOUR FANCY?
Best of all, as noted already, is that if this one doesn’t quite tickle your fancy, there are many other AMG 53s, from alternative sedans to SUVs to choose from, that will. I tell you this because this Mercedes-AMG 53 GT 4-door is an acquired taste. Like artichoke hearts or grappa in your morning espresso, not everyone appreciates it. But if you do, I recommend it with buttons on.
The GT 53 4-door is unique, different and if you like it that way, hard and fast too. You just need to lust after that sort of thing. — Michele Lupini
ROAD TESTED: Mercedes-AMG GT GT53 4-Door Engine: 320kW 520 3-litre turbo petrol V6 Drive: 9-speed automatic AWD TESTED: 0-60 km/h: 1.92 sec 0-100 km/h: 4.16sec 0-160 km/h: 9.83 sec 0-200 km/h: 15.81 sec 400m: 12.4 sec @ 179 km/h 80-120km/h: 2.81 sec 120-160km/h: 4.05 sec CLAIMED: VMax: 285 km/h Fuel: 9.4 l/100km CO2: 215 g/km Warranty/Service: 5y unl./5y 100Kkm LIST PRICE: R2.28M RATED: 9