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The new AMG GT R is Mercedes-Benz’s most hardcore sports car

The new AMG GT R is Mercedes-Benz’s most hardcore sports car

STUTTGART: Did you think the AMG GT S was the best Mercedes could do against the Porsche 911? Not quite: meet the AMG GT R, an even badder-ass version of the sports coupe that has more power, less weight, and — needless to say — a higher price.

Introduced at Mercedes’ facility at Brooklands in the UK today, the AMG GT R will produce 577 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque, up from 503hp / 479 lb-ft. and 456hp / 443 lb-ft. in the 2017 AMG GT S and the base AMG GT, respectively. Those 577 horses are good enough to propel the R from 0-60 mph in 3.5 seconds on its way to a top speed of 198. (You’d think Mercedes would’ve pushed hard to clear that magical 200 mph mark, but it probably won’t take long for aftermarket tuners to make it happen.)

It’s not just about power, though: the AMG GT R also comes with standard rear-wheel steering that can slightly adjust the back wheels during cornering for better handling. There’s a traction control system with nine levels of adjustment — a feature borrowed from motorsports, whereas most cars can only turn traction control on or off — and a huge pile of carbon fiber to reduce weight by around 200 pounds against the S.

And that in-your-face paint job? That’d be “AMG green hell magno,” an homage to the Nürburgring Nordschleife — nicknamed Green Hell — where the car (like so many other performance cars) was tuned and refined. Green wouldn’t necessarily be my first choice for a car like this, but if nothing else, it’s striking.

If you want this neat little package of German engineering, though, you’re in for a wait: the R debuts in summer of 2017 as a 2018 model. In the meantime, the 2017 versions of the base AMG GT and the GT S will be available later this summer for $111,200 and $131,200, respectively. Pricing on the R has not been announced.