TopGear compares the Mercedes-Benz AMG GT with the Porsche 911 Turbo and BMW i8.
Two traditional super cars against the first hybrid sportscar.
The Mercedes AMG GT, with a twin-turbo, 4.0 liter V8 making 503 hp and hitting 60 mph in 3.5 seconds, is the fastest car here. All while making a very distinct AMG burble. It also has lovely, classic sports car looks. The Porsche 911 uses a super-pressurized 3.8-liter flat-six producing 520 horsepower and 479 lb-ft of torque.
BMW i8 uses a plug-in hybrid system consisting of a turbocharged three-cylinder BMW TwinPower Turbo petrol engine and BMW eDrive technology in the form of an electric drive system. The 1.5-liter combustion engine develops 170 kW/231 hp and drives the rear wheels of the BMW i8, while the 96 kW/131 hp electric drive sends its power to the front wheels and allows an all-electric range of up to 35 kilometers (22 miles) and a top speed of 120 km/h (75 mph).
So which one takes the win in the comparison?
Here are a few excerpts from the review:
That i8 is really not the Merc’s cup of tea. Pretty much the polar opposite, in fact. Where the AMG is all noise and drama, the BMW is glide and sophistication. But as we’ve found on every occasion, you should never underestimate the i8’s ability to amaze you – both as an object of desirability and as a driver’s car.
At least as far as the metric data goes. It’s not like the chassis templates have much in common: front-engined two-seater plays rear-engined four-seater, the Merc channelling SLS leftovers; the 911, 50 years of heritage. The BMW is different – intoxicatingly so. Carbon-fibre tub chassis, the guts to downsize to a genuinely small engine, radical aero, even an acceptance that cornering speeds don’t need to be so high.
And they aren’t. The BMW puts roughly a third less rubber on the road and, if you are pushing on, it’s around 10mph slower through any given corner. It also has the most over-protective traction control, but drop that back a notch, remind yourself that last-gasp braking efforts followed by abrupt bungs at the apex will only result in quickly overheated discs and unsatisfying understeer, and you’re set for a good time. No, a great time.
These are three very disparate cars, and you could construct an argument for any of them to win. But despite that, despite the fact I usually have a deep and abiding love of beefy rear-drive AMGs, the GT finishes last. The other two are harder to separate, but in all honesty, if the god of road tests descended and told me I could drive away in one, it’d be the i8. I can’t tell you how much it surprises me to be putting a petrol-electric ahead of an AMG and a 911, but the BMW is not just a sporty hybrid, it’s a car that’s enthralling and mesmerising on so many levels.