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AMG, now officially known as Mercedes-AMG, is turning 50 in 2017 and, to celebrate, it is making a new variant of the GT sports car. It's called the GT C Coupe and it sits alongside the existing GT C Roadster. At the same time, AMG is taking the opportunity to administer some minor refreshments to the GT and GT S models elsewhere in the range.
Starting with the new GT C, it will launch as an Edition 50 model first. That means the bodywork comes in either designo Graphite Grey Magno or designo Cashmere White Magno, with black chrome highlights on the side sills, the front splitter, the air inlet trim strips in the front grille, the front wing air outlets' fins, the rear diffuser's moulding and the exhaust finishers. It also has cross-spoke AMG forged alloys that are coloured to match the chrome elements of the exterior.
The GT C, whether you buy one of the first Edition 50 cars or wait a while for the normal version, is - like the GT C Roadster and the ultimate Mercedes-AMG GT R - wider at the rear by 57mm compared to the GT and GT S models elsewhere in the line-up. That allows it to have a wider rear track and bigger alloys, making it a distinctive addition to the GT family. Like its stablemates, the GT C has an electrically deployable rear spoiler integrated into the lip of the boot lid.
For the GT and GT S models (and the new GT C, of course), there's the Panamericana grille, which features 15 chrome-plated vertical bars to echo the look of the AMG GT3 customer sport racing car. That grille brings with it larger outer air inlets in the bumper and also the 'Airpanel' active air management system (louvres in the lower front apron that automatically open and close according to whether the GT needs more cooling air or better aerodynamic properties) that was first used on the GT R. This means the engine oil cooler has moved from the front of the car to the wheel arches as a result.
New options for the GT and GT S include the AMG Exterior Chrome package with high-gloss trim for all cars and the AMG Dynamic Plus package, for the GT pair. There's also an AMG Exterior Carbon Fibre package that cloaks the front splitter, side air outlets' fins, mirror housings and rear diffuser in carbon, as well as the side skirts on the GT C. New light-alloy wheel designs are also available across the range.
Not a huge amount of changes inside, so let's once again talk about the GT C Edition 50. It has a black-and-silver contrast interior, both on the Style Exclusive Nappa leather seats with grey diamond-pattern contrast topstitching and on the AMG Performance steering wheel in Dinamica microfibre. That wheel wears Edition lettering on the bezel and has a 12 o'clock mark finished in silver pearl. The Edition 50 comes as standard with the AMG Interior Night package (now an option on the GT and GT S models), which clothes the steering wheel spokes, shift paddles and door sill panels in black, while there's black chrome trim. The Edition 50 also has silver seatbelts and head restraints embossed with 'GT Edition 50' logos.
As for the GT and GT S variants, they now have the option of being specified with Style Exclusive Nappa leather trim in diamond-patterned Macchiato Beige, while the AMG Performance seats can also be fitted with climate control functions.
There are now six Mercedes-AMG GT models, four Coupes and two Roadsters. You can have the entry point GT or the powerful GT C in either body style, while the GT S and range-topping GT R versions are both Coupes only. All six use the AMG 4.0-litre V8 biturbo engine, which has been tweaked for the GT and GT S cars. It now makes 14hp more in the GT than before, bringing the peak output to 476hp, while torque climbs 30Nm to a maximum of 630Nm. The GT S has also had a modest shot in the arm, climbing 12hp and 20Nm to peaks of 522hp and 670Nm.
That leaves the new GT C Coupe and its Roadster twin as the next step up, with impressive numbers of 557hp and 680Nm, while the brutal track-focused GT R has 585hp and 700Nm. That means even the regular GTs can do 0-100km/h in four seconds flat, with a top speed of 301km/h for the Roadster and 302km/h for the Coupe, while the GT S improves to 3.8 seconds and 309km/h. Either version of GT C will do 0-100km/h in 3.7 seconds and a 314km/h maximum speed, while the GT R is capable of a 3.6-second sprint and 317km/h flat out. In terms of eco-data, the GT Coupe is the cleanest with best figures of 9.3 litres/100km (30.4mpg) and 216g/km of CO2 emissions, while the GT R and both GT Cs have official returns of 11.4 litres/100km (24.8mpg) and 259g/km.
AMG sports suspension is standard on the GT twins, but from the GT S up, AMG Ride Control sports suspension with adaptive adjustable damping is fitted and the GT C Coupe is no exception. It also gets the rear-axle steering system of its GT C Roadster sibling and the GT R, while four-wheel steering is an optional extra on the GT S in combination with the AMG Dynamic Plus package. Finally, like the GT S and the GT R, the GT C has an electronically controlled limited-slip differential fitted to its rear axle.
All AMG GT models can benefit from a new option called AMG Track Pace, which turns an owner's smartphone into a 'personal racing engineer', apparently. Customers can use the app to analyse and improve their on-track driving style, while sharing the data with other AMG owners on Facebook, YouTube or the AMG Private Lounge. If you've got an Apple iPhone, it connects by WiFi to the GT and the vehicle can send data in real-time - such as speed, gear, steering angle, time, position and acceleration - to the device.
"With the AMG GT C, we are now expanding our portfolio of sports cars to six models plus the AMG GT3 customer sport racing car," said Tobias Moers, chairman of the board of management of Mercedes-AMG. "In under three years, the second vehicle to be developed by us entirely in-house has grown into a family offering a highly dynamic driving experience in a variety of forms. We are kicking off our anniversary year with the exclusive Edition 50 model of the new AMG GT C Coupe. We are also taking this opportunity to refine the AMG GT and AMG GT S both visually and technically."