High up in the Sierra Nevada mountains outside of Granada, Spain, in the 2024 Mercedes-Benz AMG GT 63, I’m in the outside lane of this twisty road with a drop of what feels like a million feet to my right. While I’m toasty with my heated and massaging seats on full blast, ambient temperatures are dropping and I’m quickly approaching the clouds. Damn it, I came all the way over here to experience the glory of a mountain road in a fancy-pants GT car. Instead mother nature has given me fog, rain, and near-freezing temperatures.

The second generation of the two-door GT is related to the current SL Roadster and takes its cues from the stunning gullwing SLS of 2010-2015. It’s 7.1 inches longer this time around, with nearly three inches of extra wheelbase, to add a small second row. With completely new, lighter weight body panels, a hand-built AMG twin-turbo V-8 under the hood, and plenty of cutting-edge technology, the latest GT seeks to improve on the stunning handling and good looks of its predecessor while changing from a two-seater to a 2+2. However, I leave my first drive of the sleek German fare a bit confused about what the GT is supposed to be.

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Mercedes-Benz AMG GT 63: Hips don’t lie

I am absolutely certain, however, that the GT is a stunner. With curvy hips, a long dash-to-axle ratio, and a rear end to die for, it cuts a fine jib through the streets of Granada. Pedestrians stop to take pictures and locals in the mountain towns jokingly try to hitch a ride. Drivers can opt for a Chrome or Night Package to add a bit of character to any of the 11 paint colors or go for performance upgrades with the Carbon Fiber or Aerodynamic packages. A wide selection of 20- or 21-inch wheels round out the design choices.

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From behind the wheel, I love how it feels like I’m wearing the car, not just sitting in it. The door panels blend seamlessly into the dash, highlighted by contrast stitching. A large 11.9-inch portrait-oriented touchscreen is running the latest MBUX infotainment software. The home button opens the large navigation screen with smaller tiles for other common functions, yet it’s still easy to get to the menus for climate controls, music, and the like.

The traditional aviation cockpit-inspired styling is here as well, with turbine-style air vents flanking the 12.3-inch configurable gauge cluster. I’ve always loved the retro-chic of Mercedes interiors, and the GT doesn’t disappoint.

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Mercedes-Benz AMG GT 63: Now with all-wheel drive

When it comes to dealerships in the first half of 2024, the coupe will be available in GT 55 or GT 63 guise, both equipped with 4Matic+ all-wheel drive, a 9-speed automatic transmission, and a twin-turbo 4.0-liter V-8. The GT 55, which I don’t get to sample, puts out a respectable 469 hp and 516 lb-ft of torque. However, my tester goes big with 577 ponies and 590 lb-ft. That’s enough to scoot from a stop to 60 mph in a Mercedes-estimated 3.1 seconds, on its way to a top speed of 196 mph. Yowza!

Although I hit a bit of foul weather in the GT, I still get a taste of what it can deliver over my two-day test drive. I draw the short end of the stick on day one and my time in the twisties is hampered by the fact that the route is only a lane and a half wide. I’m not about to go hammering around blind corners in a car that likely costs four times as much as my graduate level education.

My drive partner, however, gets a section of road that is absolutely bitchin’. He’s quick and confident, pushing the car in Sport+ mode. While Race is the top driving mode, Sport+ still quickens the throttle, holds gears longer, and firms up the suspension while loosening the nannies. This is where the variable all-wheel drive shines, throwing all the torque to the rear or splitting it evenly between the front and the rear for best results.

Even from the passenger seat, it’s great fun, but I can tell he has to make a lot of mid-corner steering corrections. The car has variable-ratio power steering that is its quickest at 14.4:1 on dead center. It also has variable assistance. The steering ratio changes as the wheel is turned, which can be mid-corner, and it’s unnerving for him behind the wheel to have to adjust on the fly.

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Mercedes-Benz AMG GT 63: Comfort-ish

My time on day one is rather staid, though it allows me to evaluate the car for its ability as a grand tourer. After all, a GT car should be easy to drive for long distances, right? Here the Mercedes delivers, but not in every way. Comfort mode comes in with light steering, casual shifts, and a slightly muted throttle, but the suspension, while composed, is far from comfortable. I get that the AMG GT 63 is a performance car and I don’t expect it to ever ride like Grandma’s Cadillac, but a bit more cushion in Comfort mode would be nice.

Further, the optional Performance seats are hella uncomfortable. I own a car with racing seats, and I understand that adding lightness means sacrificing comfort, but I wouldn’t want to drive up the California coast for a day with my hindquarters squeezed into these bad boys. If you value your back and backside, don’t spring for these seats. Mercedes also sacrificed a quiet cabin to save a bit of weight. There is plenty of road and wind noise in the AMG GT.

The good news on the touring front is the spacious cargo hold. It has almost 24 cubic feet of space in the rear hatch, more than what’s behind the rear seats in the company’s GLE SUV. You could fit four people’s gear back there with room to spare. However, the rear-seat riders likely won’t be comfortable, as the new rear seat isn’t suitable for people over 5 feet tall.

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Mercedes-Benz AMG GT 63: My turn in the twisties

One day two I snag a car and head out to the mountains on my own. This time I have the standard seats, which are much more comfortable and come with a massaging function as luxury GT seats should. I throw the car into Sport mode and let her rip.

Power delivery here is remarkable. Turbo lag? Never heard of her. Sloppy shifts? Nope, I’ve not had the displeasure. Instead, I get a transmission that downshifts on braking with some “pop bang” from the exhaust to add excitement. Mercedes provides paddle shifters, but this transmission does really well on its own, converting the steady flow of power from the engine into propulsion at the wheels. It’s glorious.

A limited-slip rear differential puts the power down efficiently and rear wheels that steer up to 2.5 degrees improve agility at low speeds and stability at higher speeds, but I don’t expect the massive amount of grip. Sure the car is wearing wide 295/30R21 front and 305/40R21 rear Michelin Pilot Sport S5 tires, but the grip level still blows my mind. It’s all thanks to an underbody aerodynamics system that keeps the car planted and stable by kind of sucking it to the ground. A sophisticated hydraulic anti-roll system also keeps the car remarkably flat in corners. This marvel replaces a mechanical anti-roll bar, pushing the precise amount of oil necessary to the outside corner. It reduces body roll, sure, but also maximizes grip to the nth degree.

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All this hardware lets me brake later and with less force before turns without scaring myself shitless, although I admit I never fully trust the GT during my short drive. Every corner is met with the thought, “You’ve done it now, Hall. You’re going way too fast and you’re going to drive off the mountain.” It never happens. I’m entering corners faster than I ever have on the street and living to tell the tale.

I don’t experience the same mid-corner steering issues my partner had the previous day. I’m not quite as quick and I spend most of my time in Sport mode, not Sport+, which might have something to do with how jittery the steering might be. If you’re a driver who likes to manhandle a car around a turn at nine-tenths, it might be something to look out for. If your style keeps it around seven- or eight-tenths you likely won’t have to worry.

Except I do scare myself once. Applying the brakes at 75 mph or so before entering a 90-degree right-hand turn, the car gets nervous and squirrelly. I’m not sure why as I’m on dry, smooth pavement, I’m not adding any steering input, and I haven’t applied the brakes any differently than I did in the myriad of other corners I’ve tackled over the past 48 hours. Regardless, it’s not repeatable. Maybe the stability control detected an issue. I’ll chalk it up to the GT reminding me who’s the boss.

As for my time in the fog and mist at the highest elevations in the Sierra Nevadas, it’s the first time I get to sample Slippery mode in any Mercedes product. Even with the summer tires it keeps the car in check with a muted throttle, a reduced torque curve, and the electronic nannies at maximum. I likely wouldn’t be so cautious in my own car, but again, if you had the keys to a ridiculously expensive luxury car, you’d be cautious too.

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Mercedes-Benz AMG GT 63: So, what is it?

I come away from my drive just not quite sure what the 2024 Mercedes-Benz AMG GT 63 is supposed to be. It is undoubtedly a performance car—it is an AMG after all—but it doesn’t have the same cushy-at-the-press-of-a-button quality as other touring cars on the market. If you’re fine with that, then by all means, spend your money. You won’t be disappointed.

With the addition of all-wheel drive, the new GT inspires much more confidence than the previous rear-wheel-drive car. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still a car you need to respect behind the wheel, but with power available to the front wheels drivers can get on the throttle a touch earlier when exiting corners. And hey, if you find yourself on a cold and rainy mountain top, all-wheel drive helps ensure you’ll get back down.

However, if you want to be insulated from the outside world in a plush ride after you’ve had your high-speed, corner-carving fun, the AMG GT 63 probably isn’t your jam. Want to be cocooned in quiet luxury? Try looking at the Bentley Continental GT. If you’re looking for a Japanese take on long-distance motoring, you could do worse than the Lexus LC500. Want four doors and a real back seat? The Porsche Panamera GTS should be on your shortlist.

Mercedes has not yet divulged pricing for the 2024 AMG GT 63, but we expect it to start around $130,000 and it will likely reach close to $200,000 once options are added.

Mercedes-Benz paid for travel and lodging for Motor Authority to bring you this firsthand report.

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