The screen-heavy interior of the new Mercedes-AMG GT four-door has us drooling at its configurability…
Once you’ve got past the enormous hammer-blows of the all-new Mercedes-AMG GT four-door’s striking exterior looks and its simply tremendous V8 drivetrain (available in either crazy 585hp format, or bloody bonkers mental 639hp guise), then the next thing to floor you is its sumptuous cabin. Mercedes, as a whole, is getting its car interiors pretty much spot on from top to bottom of the product portfolio – witness a fully MBUX-ed-up A-Class, if you want proof of this – but the AMG GT’s passenger compartment is something else.
It’s the screens, you see. Or, rather, the digital displays. And there are a lot of them. We’re not just talking about the Widescreen Cockpit, either, Mercedes’ stunning set-up which equips two vertical 12.3-inch TFT screens behind a seamless piece of glass across the dashboard.
These, of course, can be configured any which way but loose via the twin haptic square pads on the steering wheel’s horizontal spokes, with their displays showing anything from satnav, media and phone connections to graphs displaying lateral and longitudinal g-forces, the engine oil and gearbox oil temperatures, how much horsepower and torque (in Nm) you’re using, and even whether you’re in the AMG GT 63 S models’ fearsome Race mode or not (which is presaged by a strident disclaimer that this setting is only to be used on the track, dammit!).
These are all very lovely. But then your eye is drawn to the ‘buttons’ running in two serried ranks down either side of the transmission tunnel. On the left-hand side, these (from the front to the back of the car) control the in-car entertainment’s volume, the Auto Stop-Start system, the adjustable rear spoiler and naughty, noisy AMG Performance exhaust.
On the other side, the corresponding switches do the drive control modes, the shift functionality of the AMG Speedshift nine-speed transmission, the stiffness (or otherwise) of the dampers and the traction control system (fiddle with this one if you dare, in a 900Nm, 2.1-tonne leviathan…).
Switching between modes
However, press one of these to adjust, say, the suspension from Comfort to Sport, and rather than a little yellow LED gleaming into life, instead you discover every one of these eight buttons is a miniature screen, which then animates differently to show you that you’ve altered something – also colouring the background red if you’re in one of the AMG’s more focused settings. These little switches are beautifully resolved and it’s amazing to see another eight digital displays housed on the centre tunnel.
Changing on the move
But what if you’re grappling with the AMG GT’s magnificent power on an engaging road, and you want to change something? It’s gonna be nigh-on impossible to reach down blindly with your left had and jab the correct button, right? Well, yes, it is, but luckily Mercedes-AMG has thought of this too. Look to the lower-left of the steering wheel’s boss and there’s a little black extrusion there, featuring two silver toggle switches. Adjacent to these is yet another screen, this one displaying two of the adjustable functions – such as the spoiler and the suspension, for instance.
Click the silver switch next to these graphics and the relevant feature will cycle through its settings without you having to take your hands off the wheel; so you could raise or lower the spoiler at your whim, and – yes – the graphics here change as the settings alter.
And if you’re worried that you might want to change something other than the spoiler or the suspension, if you actually touch the digital bit of the little display, you realise it’s a haptic button and it cycles through other settings on the car (exhaust, drive mode, traction control etc). In essence, all the car’s configurables are accessible through this one little digital doozy here, which is quite remarkable.
Naturally, the other side of the steering boss houses a rotary dial for the main, overarching drive modes (in the GT 63 S, these run Slippery, Individual, Comfort, Sport, Sport+ and then Race; the GT 63 makes do without Race) and when you rotate through these, not only does the main centre screen of the Widescreen Cockpit inform you what you’ve selected, but the middle of the rotary dial reveals itself to be yet another digital display, which changes its graphics accordingly.
Yes, it’s fair to say that a 2,120kg, all-wheel drive, hyper-luxury saloon that can scorch from 0-100km/h in just 3.2 seconds has plenty enough to be recommending it in the first place, but our hearts were utterly stolen by the Mercedes-AMG GT four-door’s gorgeous, 12-screen (technically…) interior. Digital love, indeed.