May 21, 2024

Round tailpipes suggest AMG prototype has the same 2.0-liter powertrain already fitted to the GT’s roadster sister, the SL 43

AMG recently shrugged off criticism of its latest C 63 and reports that the sports sedan’s new four-cylinder hybrid powertrain was turning off buyers. The C 63 won’t revert to a V8, the firm’s boss told reporters, and these pics seem to prove that AMG is doubling down on its downsizing program with the introduction of a four-banger version of the new GT coupe, the GT 43.

The prospect of GT with an inline four isn’t a total surprise because the coupe’s roadster sister, the SL, gained a four-cylinder ‘43’ model earlier this year, around 12 months after the new-generation SL was launched in V8-powered 55 and 63 guises. Taking that SL 43 as a guide, we can expect the GT 43 to come equipped with AMG’s M139 2.0-liter engine and F1-derived electric turbocharger tech, and muster 375 hp (381 PS) and 480 Nm (354 lb-ft), compared with 469 hp (476 PS) and 577 hp (585 PS) for the SL 55 and 63.

 Four-Cylinder Mercedes-AMG GT 43 Spied Testing, But Will Anyone Want It?

Those are some pretty impressive numbers for an inline four, but they’re not world-beating. Even AMG itself makes a four-pot car with more poke, in the form of the 415 hp (310 kW / 421 PS) A45 S compact, so we wonder whether the GT might get a minor upgrade over the current SL 43 (one that the SL might get too, for 2025), to help it compete with the upcoming facelifted Porsche 911 without treading on the SL 55’s toes.

The current base 911 Carrera makes 379 hp (385 PS), but you can bet its successor will serve up more when it gets here next year, so AMG won’t want to look off the pace, particularly when – as far as some buyers are concerned – it’s already fighting with one hand behind its back because it’s only packing an inline four.

It’s the presence of the four round, rather than square, tailpipes that give away the downsized powertrain under this GT prototype’s hood. There’s also a slightly different front bumper and less aggressive grille opening, and the front fender swaps the V8 cars’ large vent behind the wheel for a more boring rectangular one located higher up. This car is also running 21-inch rims, but we’re expecting something smaller to be standard given that the SL 43’s base footwear measures only 19 inches across.

The other big difference between the 43 and its V8 siblings is that power will only be delivered to the rear wheels, rather than all four. So even if it doesn’t sound as good as the 55 and 63, or hit as hard in a straight line, the 43 ought to be even more nimble through the curves. Plus, it will be considerably less expensive – the $109,900 SL 43 is almost $28k cheaper than the SL 55. So it’s likely that the GT 43 will appeal to a different demographic, and while we don’t doubt that the 4-cylinder unit is an effective engine, would you really pick it over a rival with six- or eight-piston power?

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