Anybody available in the market for a $150,000 sports activities automotive ought to rely their blessings, as there are many glorious selections. There’s the go-to Porsche 911, the unique Audi R8, and this current pair of beautiful front-engined coupes. Given the rising use of hybrid and electrical know-how, this technology of sports activities automobiles may additionally be the final to indulge within the glory of stuffing a robust gasoline engine in a automotive with solely two seats.
It so occurs that the Mercedes-AMG GT and the Aston Martin Vantage share the identical mill, AMG’s 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8. Aston Martin’s partnership with Daimler AG signifies that you now get a German engine beneath the hood of your boutique British sports activities automotive, and Mercedes additionally provides the infotainment know-how.
Though they’ve the identical powerplant, the GT and Vantage couldn’t have extra completely different personalities. Each automobiles provide spectacular efficiency and head-turning design, however one tries to attraction its approach into your coronary heart, whereas the opposite hits you within the chest like a rock live performance.
Mercedes-AMG GT C: A brute of a Bavarian muscle automotive
For 2020, the GT coupe is available in Three completely different flavors: GT, GT C, and GT R. The bottom GT begins at a reasonably cheap $115,900 and will get you a 469 horsepower model of the 4.0L V8, whereas the bonkers GT R prices $163,900 and ups the facility to 577 horsepower. Our GT C check automotive sits within the candy center spot, stickering at $150,900 and providing 550 horses.
(Apparently, Mercedes-AMG simply introduced that for 2021, the bottom GT would provide 523 horsepower, a considerable enhance of 54. No phrase on whether or not different fashions will obtain bumps in energy.)
Take only one have a look at the GT’s lengthy hood and menacing entrance grill, and you understand it’s going to be quick. What’s stunning is how visceral the driving expertise is. The engine is gloriously loud, and even in consolation mode, the automotive feels prefer it’s straining on the leash. The seven-speed dual-clutch transmission is most comfortable firing off fast shifts, and the non-compulsory carbon ceramic brakes on our check automotive additionally don’t love going gradual.
The excellent news is that while you need to put the hammer down, the GT C is depraved good. I took it for an early morning run up Freeway 9 within the Santa Cruz Mountains, a splendidly twisty street I’m very acquainted with, and the automotive merely tore it up. Grip from the huge Michelin Tremendous Sport tires is plentiful, and the chassis by no means misplaced its composure, even throughout a number of sharp hairpin turns and different tough sequences.
The GT C can also be fairly nimble and responsive for a comparatively heavy coupe with such an extended hood. The trick here’s a rear-axle steering system borrowed from the GT R, which permits the automotive to scoot by way of tighter bends with ease. And when it comes time to decelerate, the carbon ceramic stoppers are greater than as much as the duty. If something, I needed to remind myself to not push too exhausting on the brake pedal; in any other case, it could simply scrub off an excessive amount of velocity.
It’s while you’re not flying down your favourite street that the GT C isn’t fairly so charming. As talked about earlier, the brakes and transmission aren’t the smoothest simply cruising round, and there’s all the time loads of noise, whether or not from the engine, the wind, or the street. It’s been some time since I’ve pushed a automotive that has such a tough time attempting to loosen up.
The inside is properly appointed and fairly snug, nevertheless it doesn’t fairly reside as much as the $150ok value level. For that amount of cash, I’m anticipating one thing a bit extra opulent. Plus, the GT C doesn’t even have the brand new MBUX infotainment system, making do with the older Comand system. People searching for the most recent tech will really feel short-changed, particularly since just about each different Mercedes-AMG product has the brand new system.
Aston Martin Vantage: Now not purely British, however nonetheless suave, subtle, and quirky as ever
Take one have a look at the brand new Vantage, and also you may swoon a bit. This beautiful car is one you’ll by no means get uninterested in . Our check automotive confirmed up in stealthy Magnetic Silver paint, a colour James Bond would readily approve.
This newest Aston continues to be very British, despite the fact that the engine now comes from Germany. In contrast to the GT C, the Vantage is content material to be pushed in a slower, extra civilized trend. I took it out a number of occasions to run errands and even decide up some groceries. With out fancy carbon ceramic brakes (they’re out there however weren’t spec’d on our check automotive) and with a traditional eight-speed computerized, the Vantage makes for snug informal cruising.
This isn’t to say that it will possibly’t hustle. On paper, the Vantage is the much less highly effective automotive, with “solely” 503 horsepower, however out on the street, you hardly discover that it provides up 47 ponies to the GT C. The transmission doesn’t fairly rifle the upshifts with the identical stage of urgency, however acceleration continues to be blisteringly quick.
The Vantage can also be very assured and succesful when attacking a windy street. The boundaries are maybe a contact decrease, because the Pirelli PZ4 tires don’t provide fairly the heroic stage of grip because the Michelins on the GT C, however total the automotive could be very properly balanced and simple to drive quick. Rumor has it that on the monitor, the Vantage turns into fairly the drift machine when pushed exhausting. After nailing the throttle on a freeway onramp, the rear was surprisingly desirous to step out, confirming that this Aston has extra of an interior hoodlum than the luxurious exterior suggests.
The inside of our check automotive featured extra Alcantara than I’ve ever seen in a automotive. From the seats to the sprint to the doorways, it’s fake suede throughout. Sadly, the all-black colour scheme made for a sweltering expertise throughout what has been a scorching California Summer time. Just like the GT C, the Vantage doesn’t fairly really feel like a $150ok+ automotive while you’re sitting in it. Including to the frustration is a dashboard and heart console that make little organizational sense. I’m not that choosy on the subject of controls and ergonomics, however the Vantage wants some assist to make issues extra person pleasant.
Verdict: Two very completely different sports activities automobiles, the selection is yours
Vehicles are sometimes an extension of our persona and id, and I’ve little doubt that the AMG GT C and Aston Martin Vantage will entice very completely different consumers. It’s virtually stunning how two sports activities coupes which have the identical engine can really feel so completely different.
Twenty years in the past, I might have fallen head over heels for the GT C. Each drive in it felt like an invite to check the boundaries and see how briskly she will be able to go. However for my middle-aged self, the automotive is just too ferocious—and he or she isn’t fairly the visible knock out that an costly sports activities automotive actually must be.
Certain, the Vantage makes little sense as a price proposition. For much less cash, you should buy extra velocity and a extra full complete package deal. From a rational standpoint, my mind will proceed to suppose: Simply purchase a Porsche 911 GTS and name it a day. However one have a look at the Aston and rational ideas float away, changed with a smile and the satisfaction that this is likely one of the finest wanting automobiles on the street right now. And it’s additionally a automotive you possibly can drive comfortably each day, even while you’re not out to interrupt the velocity restrict.
|2020 Mercedes-AMG GT C||2020 Aston Martin Vantage|
|Value as examined||$173,695||$181,881|
|Engine||4.0L AMG V8 biturbo||4.0L twin-turbo V8|
|Energy (hp)||550 @ 5,750 rpm||503 @ 6,000 rpm|
|Torque (lb-ft)||502 @ 2,100 rpm||505 @ 2,000 rpm|
|Transmission||7-speed DCT||8-speed computerized|
|Drivetrain structure||rear-wheel-drive||rear-wheel drive|
|Curb weight (lbs.)||3,748||N/A|
|EPA-estimated gas financial system (mpg)||18 (mixed)||20 (mixed)|
|Wheelbase||103.5 inches||106.5 inches|
|Size x width x top||179.Zero x 79.Zero x 50.7 inches||175.Eight x 50.1 x 76.5 inches|
|High velocity||187 mph||195 mph (est.)|
|Acceleration 0 – 60 mph||3.7 seconds||3.5 seconds|