Surprising my father for his 50th anniversary with a Mercedes AMG GT R

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No matter how many times I tried to explain my father why I think Porsche is the best, he always remained faithful to his favorite manufacterer; Mercedes-AMG. For his 50th anniversary, my brother and I picked him up in the fastest and most feared AMG of this moment, the AMG GT R. As much as I wanted to enjoy surprising my father, I totally forgot to capture the moment. But I can tell, the look on his face was priceless when the AMG GT R was parked in front of his house. We spent a whole day in the AMG GT R and got to know the car a bit better.

Where it all started

My father used to be as passionate by fighter jets as much as I am with cars today. I remember knocking on his door after having a bad dream and seeing his room covered with posters. There isn’t an event in Belgium he didn’t attend to. In fact, he reminds me a bit of how I am today, car-wise.

Back in the good old days, when social media wasn’t really a thing yet, people used the internet to watch pictures, on google. So did we. We were all sitting around the only computer we had, watching stuff we all liked. When suddenly, we bumped into a photo of a Maserati MC12, that led us to website called “autogespot”. It was like a game to us where we had to find a special car somewhere out on the streets and be the first who posts it online. Once again, smartphones and mobile internet were really rare at that time, so it needed to be done at home. Once a day, the website did an update where new “spots” were published online. The most exciting part was finding out if we were the first ones to upload it. I remember we found a Mercedes SL65 AMG Black Series in Düsseldorf. The first we ever saw! we stuck around the car for hours! My dad still talks about that moment today.

Now, so many years later, my brother and I took the AMG GT R for a day to surprise my father for his 50th anniversary and gave him the experience he always dreamed of. At the end of the the day, he even got to drive it himself! I’d like to thank Bavaria Motors for the opportunity and trusting us with yet another car!

Driving the AMG GT R myself

Don’t get me wrong if I say Mercedes latest AMG creations leave me a bit cold. They created a certain poser-reputation over the past few years where it’s all about who’s the loudest and unacceptable behavior on the public roads. But the AMG GT R was built for other purposes. You probably wouldn’t tell by its looks, but it was built to set lap times. And it did! For a certain period it was the fastest production car around the infamous Nürburgring and it was even nicknamed “The beast of the green hell”.

Unlike most mid-engined supercars, the 4 liter V8 is placed between the front wheels and the cockpit. That’s why it has this typical long nosed lay-out. The side profile is exceptionally wonderful, but it’s such a pain in the ass to park.

From the very first second I took place behind the steering wheel, I really felt comfortable with the car. The interior is just so well sorted out. Well, actually the whole car is! The AMG GT R can be driven in different modes (Comfort, Sport, Sport+ and race) which all makes a world of difference. It is perfectly drivable in the city when it is in “comfort” mode, and when you turn the button all the way untill it says “race”, well, you are ready to race. Lets not forget about the “Individual” mode for who likes it really personal. The only thing that doesn’t change, no matter the driving mode, is the suspension. It’s rough and back-braking, but I love it!

Another thing I really want to talk about is the shiny yellow button in the center of the interior that makes everyone wonder; “Hey, what does this do and can I mess around with it?”. You better don’t when on the public roads. It’s a 9-stage-traction-control system, where you can decide how off you want the traction to be. Like Jeremy Clarkson said “I never knew off was a variable thing?”. I didn’t got to use it, but I am pretty sure that this is where “Bruce Banner turns into the Hulk”, according to Matt Leblanc.

While driving, I came across this long and empty bridge. While checking my rear mirrors to make sure no one was around, I made my “Should I?”-face and pushed the throttle. I’ve never been so impressed of how fast a car can be. I mean, it’s really, really, REALLY fast and so well balanced. It’s like this car knows what you expect it to do, but don’t underestimate the power that comes down on the rear wheels! It might go sideways faster than you want it to be.

It’s been a wonderful experience for me and especially for my dad. I’d like to thank Bavaria Motors once again for this!

Your questions

Q: Which car do you compare handling of this AMG GT R with? A: The only car similar to the AMG GT R I drove was a Porsche 991.1 GT3 RS. That leads me directly to the next question

Q: The AMG GT R over a Porsche? Like a GT3 or GT3 RS for example? A: the answer is simply no! The AMG GT R might be way faster than the 991.1 GT3 RS, but I felt a lot more emotions driving the GT3 RS for some reason. It might be a personal thing, but everything was just spot on. It’s hard to beat that.

Q: What do you think are the major downsides and upsides of the GT R? A: Easy, the AMG GT R is so good adjustable to your driving needs, but the suspension combined with the Belgian roads are like a bad marriage.

Q: How do you like the sound? A: Not my cup of tea.

Q: What feeling do you have driving this car? A: It depends on who you cross paths with. It always makes me happy putting a smile on a kids face. People are making photos and putting thumbs op all around you. Sometimes strangers come up to you to have a chat about the car. That’s all nice, but there are downsides too. You are always seen while driving such car. Besides that there are always people who want to show how fast their car is and start pushing your back. There really is no point in proving your car is faster, ignoring is the only answer here.

Q: What about the average consumption? A: It really depends on your driving style, but the average consumption is surprisingly low!

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