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Mercedes-AMG GT4 shows its pop-up spoiler in a winter wonderland

CAR logo CAR 31/12/2017 CARMagazine

Mercedes-AMG GT4 shows its pop-up spoiler in a winter wonderland © Bauer Media 2017 Mercedes-AMG GT4 shows its pop-up spoiler in a winter wonderland When Mercedes revealed the spectacular four-door AMG GT concept at the Geneva motor show earlier in 2017, its official statement said ‘the show car gives a sneak preview of the exterior design of the coming series production model.'

So it’s hardly a surprise to see testing of said production model has been well underway for some months, with this long-of-wheelbase and sweeping-of-roofline prototype spotted winter testing in Sweden.

The car does not yet have a badge; AMG GT4 is a working project name, but AMG chief Tobias Moers told CAR at the 2017 LA motor show 'it won’t be called GT4. It’ll be called GT something… you'll have to wait until the Geneva motor show 2018 to find out!'

The new AMG four-door is due to be shown at the Swiss show in March 2018 - and it'll follow the look of the concept car, according to Moers. 'I have shown some people the finished car now and they are impressed by how close it is to the show car.'

How will the AMG GT differ from the new Mercedes CLS? 'We have a loyal CLS customer base already: it has the perfect combination of style, sportiness and comfort,' Moers continues. 'With our new GT4, the task is all about conquest from other brands.'

The GT4 will rival the Audi A7 Sportback, BMW 6-series Gran Coupe and the Porsche Panamera ranges.

Inside the new Mercedes-AMG GT4

Our man with the long lens has now poked around inside the GT4 prototypes, revealing a very Mercedes-spec reliance on digital dials.

This should come as no surprise, since this standalone AMG is in fact based on the E-class architecture.

Our latest spy photos capture the GT4 in late-series prototype form. It will be a hatchback, for added practicality, but there's a wider track, lower body and a unique roofline.

Strip away the matt-finish camouflage and bustle-back boot disguise, and it's increasingly apparent that much of the show car’s style will indeed be mapped onto the road car.

Although it borrows its clean surfaces and design cues from the two-door AMG GT coupe, it shares more in common with the engine room of the current E-class family. And, yes, that includes the E63's sledgehammer V8 bi-turbo. Hallelujah!

The AMG GT4 concept car was a hybrid – will the road car be?

TBC, but it’s likely, yes. The concept car was branded under Mercedes’ EQ Power+ badge, which is also applied to its hybrid F1 powertrain.

Whether it’ll be assisted by an electric motor or not, the same ‘hot-in-vee’ twin-turbo V8 we know and love from the two-door AMG GT (and C63, and E63) will be under the long bonnet, pushed as far back as possible against the firewall for optimum weight distribution.

Expect the same nine-speed automatic transmission, too, with or without hybrid ancillaries. While a two-tier range (as per the AMG GT) is likely, with a 500bhp-ish ‘regular’ model and a 600bhp S version with 4Matic four-wheel-drive, there may also be a further base model variant with a smaller six-cylinder powerplant.

If so, it’s this version that may be best placed to employ a hybrid powertrain.

Will the AMG GT4 have boot space as well as knee room?

There should be space for four suitcases under that hatchback tailgate, which may sport a motorised spoiler on its bootlip, unlike the show car.

Up front, expect a vertical-slatted ‘Panamericana’ grille, like the two-door AMG GT.

Who’s it aimed at?

Potential buyers equally keen on speed and legroom, and with their designer shades trained on the likes of the Porsche Panamera, BMW M6 Gran Coupe and the Audi RS7.

Although sales may not start until later in 2018, we’ll see the final car well before then. Expect a price tag in the region of £120,000 for the highest-performance variants.

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