Model Perspective: Mercedes-AMG GT Black Series Project One Edition

Mercedes ended AMG GT production with a special “One”

The new Mercedes-Benz AMG GT coupe arriving this year outwardly resembles the 2015-2022 AMG GT but is in fact essentially a coupe version of the new Mercedes-AMG SL. It will be a more all-around grand tourer than the track-oriented AMG GT Black Series that helped close out the original model’s run.

For the few who bought an AMG Project One hybrid hypercar, Mercedes offered the first opportunity to also buy a special AMG GT that matched the Project One’s unique paint scheme. The Project One was not legally available in the U.S., but 25 of the special AMG GT Black Series Project One Edition models are believed to have been sold here, presumably to AMG Project One owners who acquired those cars for European homes.

The AMG GT Black Series Project One Edition cost about $57,000 over the $326,000  Black Series. RM Sotheby’s is offering one of those at its Miami 2024 auction in Coral Gables, Florida March 1-2. The car has just 157 miles and a pre-sale estimate of $550K-$700K.

Rm Mercedes Silver Mercedes-AMG GT Black Series One Edition front view
Angry insect or massively fast track car? It’s the-AMG GT Black Series Project One Edition. (source: Lucas Scarfone ©2024 Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s)

The Price Was Right

Mercedes might not be the very first name that rolls off the tongue when talk turns to ultra-performance sports and GT cars, but the automaker has produced some stellar recent examples. The gullwing-door $500,000 Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren arrived in 2003, and the $200,000 AMG SLS came along in 2011.

Give yourself a gold star if you guessed that the SLS sold better: about 12,000 globally versus 2,200 SLR McLarens, which was well below the 3,500 planned for production. Not surprisingly, the SLS success pointed Mercedes in the right direction for its higher-volume replacement, the AMG GT. The new sports car that debuted for 2015 ditched the gimmicky gullwing doors for regular doors but kept the engine up front like its immediate predecessors.

Lessons from Porsche

Mercedes borrowed a page from the Porsche 911 playbook by offering AMG GT coupe and convertible body styles, as well as several model variants differentiated by power and performance levels. The GT S arrived first, with 503 horsepower and a $130,000 starting price. The standard GT came later, with a lower price and 456 hp. The GT C and GT R variants were more powerful and more expensive, and the whole line was competitively priced for the segment.

Each model offered a slightly different version of an AMG-built 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8. With an aluminum body and structure, the AMG GT’s 3,600-pound weight was about the same as a 911 Turbo but below most Aston Martin models.

By 2021, the standard AMG GT was up to 523 hp and started at $120,000 – considerably less than cars of equivalent performance. The other GT variants also added more power. The production and pricing strategy made the AMG GT far more successful than the even the AMG SLS, with 20,800 AMG GT models sold in the U.S. over nine model years, including about 1,700 Black Series.

Silver Mercedes-AMG GT Black Series One Edition left side view
A full array of aero body parts enhanced track-speed stability for the AMG GT Black Series. (source: Lucas Scarfone ©2024 Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s)

Black is the New Fast

The ultimate Mercedes-AMG GT arrived in 2021. Called the Black Series, this was no mere trim upgrade. AMG developed a new version of the 4.0-liter V8 engine for this car, using a flat-plane crankshaft (180-degree crank throws, as in Ferrari and McLaren V8s, and the new Corvette ZR1 V8). This type of crankshaft gives a V8 an “angry buzz” exhaust note rather than the “burble” of the far more common cross-plane crankshaft type V8s. It also evens out the airflow into the cylinders and exhaust flow out.

The twin turbos produced up to 25 PSI of boost, versus 20 for the GT R model. The result was 720 horsepower, a huge increase over the GT R’s 577 horses, and nearly 200 more than the standard GT. The Black Series V8 maintained 590 lb-ft. of peak torque from 2,000-6,000 RPM. Like the other AMG GT models, the Black Series used a 7-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission.

Wings and Things

One look at the AMG GT Black Series told you this car meant business on a racetrack. The array of scoops, vents, side skirts, diffusers, and the humongous rear wing combined to improve aerodynamic downforce and stability at track speeds. That airplane-size rear wing could add nearly 900 pounds of downforce … when driving at 155 mph. Using carbon fiber for the fenders, hood, and rear hatch was said to chop 77 pounds from the car.

Like most serous track cars, the AMG GT Black Series had owner-adjustable anti-roll bars to tune the suspension for specific tracks. Michelin Pilot Sport Cup-R tires used an AMG-specific rubber compound. Standard carbon-ceramic brakes were a track-must for such a car.

Where the super-wide rubber meets the road, the Mercedes-AMG GT Black Series proved its mettle in July 2021, setting a lap record for unmodified production cars at the Nürburgring North Loop at 6.52:54 minutes. That was about 12 seconds faster than an AMG GT R Pro model set three years prior, a considerable improvement on that twisting 13-mile course.

Silver Mercedes-AMG GT Black Series One Edition
The huge rear wing added tremendous downforce at track speeds. (source: Lucas Scarfone ©2024 Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s)
Silver Mercedes-AMG GT Black Series One Edition
The Michelin Cup 2R tires were track-ready bit still street-legal. (Source: Lucas Scarfone ©2024 Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s)

F1 Colors

The Mercedes-AMG GT Black Series Project One Edition wore a distinctive livery inspired by the AMG Project One hypercar and the and Mercedes-AMG F1 W11 EQ Performance Formula One racecar. The unique paint scheme incorporated the Mercedes three-pointed star logo in an arresting pattern that started at the doors and blended into the rear of the car. Teal accents inside and out gave a nod to Petronas, Mercedes-Benz’s longtime F1 partner, whose color is also featured on the AMG F1 W11.

If you didn’t buy an AMG Project One hypercar or otherwise have a chance to acquire a Mercedes-AMG GT Black Series Project One Edition, the RM Sotheby’s Miami auction is the place to be March 1-2.

Silver Mercedes-AMG GT Black Series One Edition Interior view
Have you ever seen a more comfortable looking track-bred supercar interior? It is a Mercedes, after all. (source: Lucas Scarfone ©2024 Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s)
Jim Koscs
Written by Jim Koscs, Audamotive Communications