Mercedes-AMG GT R goes to Hell to find a slice of Heaven
First Mercedes created the AMG GT. And in traditional Mercedes AMG fashion—the SLS reboot had a similar evolution over its cycle—they sent the base car to the gym where it beefed itself up with more power from its twin turbo 4-litre V8 before getting to work on its flexibility that comes from active aero’, re-worked front and rear suspension, wider front and rear wings, a new front fascia with active elements, new rear fascia with double diffuser to enhance aerodynamic efficiency, and a larger rear aerofoil.
Oh, and its rear-wheels steer as well.
All thrown in, the GT added an R and that took it from GT to supercar. And it’s yours for about $200,000. Or, failing that, the price of admission into the world of Project CARS 2.
The aero’ and mechanical bits on this car are really extraordinary. The active aero’ works at anything over 80kmh in RACE mode when a carbon fiber spoiler, located under the body, slides down 40 millimetres to reduce lift and alter the air rushing under the body. As Mercedes explain it, “This process results in what is known as the Venturi effect, which ‘sucks’ the car onto the road and reduces front-axle lift by around 40 kilograms at 250kmh.”
Colin Chapman, of course, pretty much invented this in the Lotus 79 (also available in Project CARS 2), but to see it used in a road-going supercar is pretty special. More special, though, is that bit about the rear-wheel steering. At anything under 100kmh, the rear-wheels turn in the opposite direction to the front wheels (by around 2 degrees), and this makes a big impact on the GT R’s handling. Over 100kmh—all the way to a top-speed of around 320kmh—the rear-wheels ape the front wheels’ turn, giving you added stability along with the ability to shift the car about in a way that is exceptionally sharp and agile.
The color you want? AMG’s exclusive ‘Green Hell Magno’. That’s because the GT R was developed at the Nürburgring—and you can drive this thing on a laser-scanned version of the ’Ring in Project CARS 2. Heaven has never been closer.
The AMG GT R will get you to 100kmh in 3.6 seconds. Nothing too eye-popping about that or the 600bhp. But what is eye-popping—quite literally!—is the grip on this thing. If you’re looking for a ’Ring weapon, the AMG GT R will be high on your list. You can select your personal setup and adjust the pre-load manually, and it features automatic damping which you can adjust depending on your needs. Stick it on ‘Sports Plus’, turn the ESP to OFF, and get the full response from the limited-slip diff’. Borrowed from Mercedes’ racing program, the traction control system offers no less than nine variations, none of which will interfere with your stability software—unless, of course, you turn everything off and go full hero-mode. That’s the moment you’ll come to fully appreciate the grip, handling, and agility of the GT R.
ACURA NSX—the Original Everyman Supercar gets a Reboot
The original Acura NSX is a legend. The world’s first all-aluminium supercar (even the 3-litre V6 was all-aluminium), it came with a five speed manual ’box, gorgeous looks, mid-mounted engine, and setup input from a man named Ayrton Senna.
The story goes like this: in February of 1989, Ayrton Senna was invited to test the NSX, now in its final iteration and six months from being unleashed onto the world’s motoring press. Senna, in Japan testing the new McLaren F1 car, duly slipped behind the wheel of the NSX at Suzuka and, a few tail-happy laps later, issued his verdict. The car, he said, was too fragile. Acura’s engineers were stunned into action, and, as Road & Track reports it, they managed to stiffen the suspension by over 50 percent by the time Senna tested it again in the summer of 1989 at the ’Ring.
The rest is history—the NSX went on to become an absolute classic. Handling, power, and everyday functionality made this the go-to supercar—even for cognoscenti who weren’t on a budget.
So when Acura announced a new generation of NSX, the collective motoring world sat up and took note. In Project CARS 2, you’ll get to drive this new Ohio-built Acura NSX in all its finery. Is it controversial? Of course—it’s like remaking ‘Casablanca’ in 4K.
So what’s new? Well, pretty much everything. The NSX is very much a supercar of its time: gone is the rear-wheel drive configuration and in comes four-wheel drive; out goes the normally-aspirated V6 and in comes a twin-turbo along with three electric motors; out goes the five speed manual, and in comes a nine-speed auto’. Gone, too, is the feel by right foot, and in comes computers. Loads of them—everything from blip-throttle downshifting to electric-motor-driven front wheels under cornering. The wizadry here is superb—energy, during cornering, is transferred from the inside wheel to the battery, while the outside wheel is driven by the electric motor to smooth out any torque-induced chaos generated by your, in comparison, not very clever right foot.
NSX stands for ‘New Sportscar eXperimental’ and that’s pretty much what Acura has achieved with the new NSX. It’s fatter than its predecessor—1750kgs compared to 1370kg—but it’s also a lot faster. Zero-to-100 comes in an electrifying—literally—3.1 seconds, and it’ll keep going all the way to 307kmh, this on the back of its 500bhp twin-turbo V6 (and another 80bhp coming from the electric motors).
In ‘Sport-Plus’ mode, the rev-counter will show you a redline of 9,000RPM, but you don’t want to get higher than 7,500, where the V6 hits peak torque. The electric motors, meanwhile, mean that any inherent lag from the turbos go unnoticed—you’ll be fooled into thinking this is a normally-aspirated motor, though the whine behind your head may give it away.
The new NSX comes with its own legendary tale, too, also reported on Road & Track—not quite Ayrton Senna cool, but cool all the same. While developing the NSX, Acura brought in a Porsche 911 GT3 for comparison. The car was tested and then sent in for service. While there, Porsche technicians realized what the car was being used for, and returned it to Acura with a note that read, “Good luck, Honda, from Porsche”. The Porsche wasn’t the only car Acura used for comparison—a McLaren 12C was also part of that program, and NSX’s dynamics project leader, Nick Robinson, recalls what happened when they brought the McLaren in for service. “They wanted to know, ‘Where did you go 205mph? What track?’ “
When the original NSX arrived in 1990, it really was a game-changer—an affordable supercar that you could drive to work every day. The new NSX retains much of that aura—a supercar that can even be driven only on battery power and in quiet mode before, unleashed on a track, humbling cars that come in at twice the price.
But is it a true successor to the legendary NSX? You’ll soon find out in Project CARS 2. This one’s worth the wait. Twenty-five years’ worth of it …
Project CARS 2 will be released in late 2017 for the PlayStation®4 system, Xbox One, and PC