Having driven the ‘Beast of the Green Hell’ last year at the track, I had a fair idea of what the AMG GTs are capable of. Still, you cannot really discern how the GT Roadster behaves on the track unless you experience it. So there I was, sweating profusely, not just from Chennai's heat but also from the nervousness of driving a 469bhp mammoth around a race track. Without fiddling much on the wide console of the cockpit-like cabin, I let the settings remain in sport+ mode. Straight out of the pit lane and going around the first few bends at sane speeds was easy. Then, on to the straights I slammed the accelerator and was instantly pushed back in the seat while the car hurled itself forward. This is when I could feel the thrust from the 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 mill producing 630Nm of torque. Meanwhile, the seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission complemented this well with quick gear shifts. A wide smile was pasted onto my face instantly!
However, my happiness was short-lived. As soon as I hit the straight, I realised I was carrying too much speed and failed to brake on time. Thankfully, the brakes and tyre grip worked like a charm to keep me right on track. It was what you call a hair-raising experience! Further, it was around the bends that I realised how agile the car was, given its weight. The suspension also certainly aids handling. And, despite of so much power being directed to the rear wheels, this AMG shows great road holding capacity. The electronics too play an important role by cutting in and not letting the car's rear overtake its front.
Moreover, the Sport mode had already firmed up the dampers and the sharp steering with plenty feedback was smooth, eventually letting the car tackle corners with great balance and control. Thankfully, the track wasn't wet and slippery like in our first year. So, it helped me in getting a better perspective on the behaviour and dynamics of this track-bred AMG car. All in all, the Mercedes-AMG GT Roadster indeed provides the thrills of a high-performance sports car with the benefits of top-down driving.
Pictures by Kapil Angane and Kaustubh Gandhi