One sighting lap in the AMG GT R, and I was in love. It was a slow lap but the car felt so tight and so centered around me, it pushed my happiness co-efficient sky high. Plus, I knew for a fact that I am in the coolest-looking car on the track, and was everyone’s envy. Guess it’s good to pull rank sometimes.
And then when I came to the start-finish straight and floored the throttle, that brutal acceleration I had imagined earlier turned real. The GT R might run rear tyres as wide as Formula One cars, but the car’s torque still manages to overwhelm them.
I could feel the AMG’s traction control fighting the tyres urge to wheelspin as my right foot was still trying hard to kill the throttle pedal with all the force I could manage. And then, suddenly, the tyres found purchase. And it was only then that I feel the sheer force of the car’s acceleration.
And almost instantaneously, I braked more than required in an effort to regain psychic strength. Now, with less pace than intended carried into the bend, I ended up understeering through C4 and C5! Yes, you heard it right. But I devilishly smiled at myself. “So it’s geared to understeer when taken easy and oversteer when pushed to the limit”, I told myself. Knowing what to do next, I immediately weaved my right foot to attack the long C6 and C7 so that I can swiftly apply what I just absorbed. “Be more aggressive”, I told myself all throughout the long curve as I accelerated briskly thanks to the confidence I gathered.
And before I could fathom what was happening, I was already at C1, and approaching it very fast.
Thankfully, I had left all the electronic nannies on. So I braked, and turned, and prayed, as the car twitched around, but it held. And even as I was still unwinding the steering for the short straight between C1 and C2,I began panicking all over again because this was two out of two corners wherein the GT R’s pace was too much for me to handle.
The rest of the lap was less taxing. I was still flooring it and getting the braking all wrong going deep into bends. But, by now I knew the car could handle my tomfoolery. Did I say the AMG GT R might be boring around the MMRT? Well, don’t ever let me take up soothsaying because I was so wrong. The GT R is manic and fun and fast and completely intoxicating.
And it oversteers!
At the next lap I decided to be brave. I switched to Race mode with limited help from the electronics. I didn’t put the ESP off completely, of course; being brave is good, but I didn’t want to be stupid. Now, the GT R was a completely different beast.
Going into faster corners – C5, the bowl and C9 – the GT R’s tail would come out beautifully. It wasn’t a snap on and off movement. The turn-in would get the rear to step out slightly and then as I got on the power, it came out even more. And on the two occasions I stamped on the throttle instead of feeding it like I would a Rottweiler, the ESP got me back from my near 90-degree slip angles without a whiff of drama.
Did I mention I loved the GT R? And, not just its colour or its old-school racecar stance, but driving it as well? Well, I did. A lot!