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Delightful (and devilish) dozen: what to drive when styling and performance are paramount

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2015 Mercedes-Benz AMG GT S

Base price: $150,000 (estimated)

The new Mercedes-Benz AMG GT S follows on from the now-discontinued SLS, but this is a completely new car in its own right and not a direct replacement. Even though it will be the German automaker’s new flagship sports car and it shares some of the SLS’s structure, it ditches the gullwing doors that were such a trademark of the SLS, but it does feature a stunning, aviation-themed interior and it will also cost considerably less than the car it replaces.

The GT S comes with a 4.0-liter V-8 engine that delivers 503 horsepower and 479 pound-feet of torque. It gets the car from 0-60 mph in 3.7 seconds and has a limited top speed of 193 mph. (Following the GT S to market in 2015 is a 456-horse GT version that’ll cost an estimated $115,000.) This is the second car that AMG has built from scratch without it being based on an existing Mercedes production car, and it is designed to go head-to-head with the legendary Porsche 911. Both the GT S and the slightly less-powerful GT model share the same seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox, and performance is helped by the use of lightweight aluminum, with the space frame itself weighing just 509 lbs. As well as the AMG Dynamic Select system that offers C, S, and S+ modes for progressively sportier responses, the GT S also has RACE mode, which adjusts the shift characteristics, throttle response, and dynamic adaptive dampers to better suit track-day situations. It may not be quite as mental as the SLS, but it certainly seems like a worthy successor.

About Chuck Giametta

This nationally recognized, award-winning writer brings to Carpreview.com two decades of automotive testing and reporting for newspapers, books, magazines, and the Internet. The former Executive Auto Editor of Consumer Guide, Chuck has covered cars for HowStuffWorks.com, Collectible Automobile magazine, and the Publications International Ltd. automotive book series. This ex-newspaper reporter has also appeared as an automotive expert on network television and radio. He’s a charter member of the Midwest Automotive Media Association, the president of the Rocky Mountain Automotive Media association, and a juror for the annual Active Lifestyle Vehicle of the Year awards. Chuck writes from Colorado Springs, Colo. If you have a question for Chuck, write to him at [email protected]