It packs a flat-plane-crank V8 with a dreamy powerband.
2014. That’s when we last saw the dark side of Mercedes-Benz, which in this case obviously means the notorious Black Series. We knew this car was coming for quite a while, first through spy photos then leaked photos and finally an official announcement from the automaker. We knew how it would look, and we knew it would pack 720 horsepower (537 kilowatts). Now, here’s the rest of the story for the 2021 Mercedes-AMG GT Black Series.
Let’s jump right to the heart of the matter. The engine under the Merc’s hood is a twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V8, and yes, it pumps out a full 720 ponies to the rear wheels. It’s not the familiar 4.0-liter mill, however. The rumors of a flat-plane-crank V8 were true, and as such, the internal changes are enough for Mercedes-AMG to call this a new engine, complete with a new internal designation of M178 LS2.
Gallery: 2021 Mercedes-AMG GT Black Series
The high-revving mill delivers peak power between 6,700 and 6,900 RPM, with a redline of 7,200. Unlike other monster Mercs, the rev-happy nature of the engine means there isn’t a tremendous mountain of torque but still, it creates 590 pound-feet (800 Newton-meters) of twist that starts at 2,000 RPM and stays consistent through 6,000 RPM. The twin-scroll turbochargers pump out a maximum of 24.6 psi, and bigger intercoolers help keep intake temperatures down.
The result of all this power, as you’d expect, is serious speed. With a reinforced seven-speed DCT gearbox swapping cogs in milliseconds, Mercedes-Benz says the GT Black Series will reach 60 mph in 3.1 seconds and 124 mph in less than nine seconds. If there’s any figure that might be disappointing here, it’s the AMG’s top speed of only 202 mph but other factors are obviously in play that limit the supercar’s flat-out performance.
Of course, we’re talking about the aero package that comes with the new Black Series. In a word, it’s extensive and borrows heavily from the AMG GT3 and AMG GT4 race cars. The grille is larger, as is the front bumper which incorporates a manually adjustable splitter. The hood and fenders gain big vents to aid both cooling and aerodynamic efficiency. Larger side sill panels merge into blades front and rear, and speaking of the back, a new rear bumper gets a double diffuser with a massive two-piece spoiler up top. The upper portion of the wing can be adjusted electronically by up to 20 degrees, with both wings offering manual adjustments as well.
The wings are carbon fiber, and as you’d expect, you’ll finds lots of carbon fiber in the new Black Series. It’s used in everything from body panels like the roof and rear hatch, to functional components like the transmission mount and even the front sway bar. The cross tunnel in the Black Series is carbon fiber, and along with other carbon fiber reinforcement throughout the body and chassis, the car is extremely stiff. Whether or not that exacts a penalty in ride comfort will be determined when we get behind the wheel, but with the nature of the Black Series being track domination, we suspect most buyers won’t be concerned with such things.
Speaking of ride, the AMG GT Black Series features the adjustable coil-over setup from the AMG GT R. AMG Ride Control is part of the package, which electronically controls and automatically adapts damping at each wheel as needed. The system is upgraded for the Black Series, and with a plethora of drive modes and adjustable settings for camber and sway bars, Mercedes is keen to give Black Series drivers a memorable experience on a race track.
Naturally, the Black Series also has special trim and badging to help set it apart from other GT models. A nifty AMG Performance steering wheel is included, along with orange or silver contrasting trim for the interior. Standard-issue staggered 10-spoke wheels measure 19 inches in front, and 20 inches at the rear, wrapped in Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 R MO tires that were specially customized for the Black Series.
And now for the million-dollar question – how much will it cost to own the most powerful road-going Mercedes ever built? We don’t think that’s a million-dollar answer, but Mercedes doesn’t have pricing available for the new car just yet. As for being the most powerful, technically that title would go to the Mercedes-AMG One hypercar, but continual delays have pushed deliveries back to 2021. We’re told the new AMG GT Black Series will be available in early 2021, so it’s possible this car could arrive first.