You'd think after writing about cars for 23 years, I'd be able to adequately describe the 2020 Mercedes-AMG GT C. Nope. This car turns me into a grinning, babbling idiot.
Part Batmobile, part car that James Bond might consider trading the Aston for, the GT C is just its own car. The styling and proportions are meant to evoke the legendary 1955 Mercedes 300SL gullwing. But this is no retro styling exercise. This is a fully modern sports car.
Under the hood is a 550-horsepower, 502-pound-per-foot of torque 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8. The transmission is an AMG SPEEDSHIFT dual-clutch seven-speed automatic and 60 miles an hour happens from a standing start in 3.6 seconds. Top speed is 196 miles per hour.
And it doesn't just go fast---it handles. Oh dear Lord, how it handles. This was made for a quick dash through the Swiss Alps for lunch. AMG Dynamic Select with race mode, rear wheel steering, an AMG adaptive sport suspension, high-performance composite braking system, electronic limited-slip rear differential, a dry-sump lubrication system, a performance exhaust and dynamic engine and transmission mounts. It's built for speed and stability.
The base price of the 2020 Mercedes-AMG GT C is $150,900. The window sticker is at the end of this review so you can see for yourself, but among the standard equipment highlights at that price are a dual-zone climate control system, navigation and a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster.
Our tester also had extra-cost options. $21,800 worth, to be exact. $1,080 for the designo Cardinal Red Metallic paint, $1,200 for the black exclusive Nappa/DINAMICA interior with silver stitching, $2,850 for the AMG gloss carbon fiber trim, $8,950 for the AMG high-performance ceramic composite braking system, $1,500 for the AMG carbon fiber engine cover, $370 for an indoor car cover, $300 for the AMG performance steering wheel in DINAMICA and carbon fiber, $1,200 for 19 and 20-inch AMG split 10-spoke silver forged wheels, $500 for silver seat belts, $2,250 for active distance DISTRONIC speed control and $1,600 for a gloss carbon fiber crossbar.
With $995 destination and delivery charge, the as-tested price of the 2020 Mercedes-AMG GT C is $173,695.
Clearly, if price is a consideration, this is not the car for you. It's not the car for anyone making less than $350,000 a year and with significant assets beyond that. Which lets me out. But I'm SO glad it exists. These are aspirational cars...pushing carmakers to do their best and the rest of us to figure out a way to someday own one.