For those of you that don’t like the idea of four-door “coupes,” you’re either pedantic, or the design bothers you or whatever, but you better get used to seeing them. All signs point to them staying around, at least for the foreseeable future. Take, for example, the latest Mercedes-Benz. Creatively called the AMG GT 4-Door Coupe, it shows the German automotive titan will not be slowing down with this form factor anytime soon.
And if Mercedes does it, and makes it work, you can bet that other manufacturers will follow.
For those having a hard time following the concept here, a four-door coupe looks to have the best of both worlds, or, at least, splits the difference between two separate and distinct automotive desigs: the four-door sedan and the two-door coupe. The four-door coupe looks to have the swoopy, sporty proportions of a coupe, merged with the convenience and practicality of a four door. And Mercedes (and others) have gotten the first part of that right. These four-door coupe things do look very nice and much less stuffy than a straight up, three-box sedan.
I just don’t think you should call it a coupe. It’s not. It’s got four doors, so that instantly takes it out of the running for being called a “coupe.”
Benchmarks & Goosebumps
Anyhoo, what does the AMG GT 4-Door Coupe bring to the party? Well, it’s a Mercedes, so it will obviously bring all that traditional Merc stuff to the game. Fantastic build quality, attention to detail, unparalleled safety, engineering, and reliability that are the world’s benchmark. Specifically, the AMG GT 4-Door Coupe is a sort-of-stretched, massaged, “practical” version of the German company’s very impressive AMG GT two-seat sports car. It aims to be that literally, mythical “four-door sports car” people often talk about, and sports car owners such as myself snicker at.
More space, more power, more goosebumps Mercedes-Benz claims, and I am not going to argue with them. The automaker says it’s the first four-door sports car from Affalterbach, but I am going to have to disagree and say the AMG GT 4-Door Coupe is a very nicely styled sports sedan. Think of it like that, forget the coupe moniker, and just move on to what it can do.
Power & Performance
And what it can do is very impressive, being motivated down the Straße by a twin-turbocharged V8 of low displacement but delightfully high power. It’s a little 4.0-liter V8 biturbo plant that cranks out a lovely sounding 630 horsepower and 627 lb-ft. of torque. 60 mph comes up in 3.1 seconds and it will top out at 195 mph. See, both quick and fast!
It’s the same basic mill found in the Mercedes-AMG GT 63, but it puts out more power and grunt. It also has that now fashionable packaging layout of having both turbos arranged not on the exterior, but between the cylinder banks in the “hot inner V.” It’s more compact and the turbo response is more immediate. It also sounds like a thermal loading nightmare, but hey, did I get a degree in engineering? No. No I did not.
This magnificent lump of power is joined to a nine-speed transmission specially tuned for the four-door AMG GT. It uses a wet clutch, which reduces weight and inertia but optimizes engine response. Mercedes has modified the software for shorter shift times, fast multiple downshifts, and added a slick double-declutching function that sounds rad. There’s even a RACE START function, ensuring this will not be a boring sedan in non-boring clothing.
The new AMG GT 4-Door Coupe is also available as the Mercedes-AMG GT 53 with the company’s 429 horsepower, 3.0-liter Inline-6 turbo engine.
Yes, it is pretty to look at, even if there are more compromises there than found in a coupe, let alone a true sports car. Merc says it “opens up the sports car segment to those looking for a vehicle for day-to-day use.” I say that’s deeply heretical marketing codswallop. I also say a vehicle for “day-to-day use” like that already exists. It’s called a sports car. Live with it and love it.
Mercedes has worked long and hard to make the longitudinal and lateral dynamics of the GT 4-Door Coupe be as sports car-like as possible. It’s not just the styling, the low hood, muscular body language and all that. Oh no, it can turn and stop on a pfennig, thanks to the heavily tuned chassis, enormous brake discs, and six-pot calipers.
And the interior is far from race car Spartan. The controls can be intuitively operated and configured as the driver sees fit. Mercedes blends individualization with sports car tech, focusing on the requirements of discerning customers that love a good, spirited drive. Mercedes describes the interior as “elegant coolness,” complete with all the ultra-modern features they could throw at it.
Pricing & Availability
No price info yet but given how reasonably priced the GT sports car is (for the amount of performance it gives you) I bet the Mercedes-AMG GT 4-Door Coupe will be okay cost-wise. Expect to seem them on the market early to mid 2019.
Tony Borroz has spent his entire life racing antique and sports cars. He is the author of Bricks & Bones: The Endearing Legacy and Nitty-Gritty Phenomenon of The Indy 500, available in paperback or Kindle format. Follow his work on Twitter: @TonyBorroz.