Folks, it's been a year, hasn't it? Given the fact that most of my hobbies are a no-no right now for safety reasons, there are very few things I can do to let off some steam and clear my mind. Luckily, going for a nice country drive is one of those things, but there's one problem: my base-model, eight-year-old Honda Civic isn't exactly a bundle of joy. Yes, it's the perfect commuter and gets the job done, but it ain't pleasin' no one. Things will be very different this week (yes!), because I'll be test-driving a 2020 Mercedes-AMG GT C Roadster. And I predict that it'll do.
The AMG GT isn't only a gem within the Mercedes lineup, but it's a gem within the automotive spectrum overall. It has supercar looks but it really isn't. A few years back I had the chance to hot-lap it around Road America, and it proved that it's a grand tourer that can move with a hardcore sports car's agility, but without sacrificing your lower back on bumpy roads. In other words, it's a well-rounded machine that aims to please whether you're a racing nut or a retiree who just wants to cruise down South Beach.
This specific test model is the GT C Roadster, meaning that it fits above the "regular" AMG GT, but below the range-topping AMG GT R. It hides a handcrafted twin-turbo 4.0-liter V8 under its matte-finish hood, which produces 550 horsepower and 502 pound-feet of torque. It can do zero to 60 in 3.6 seconds and it's limited to 196 miles per hour.
Yes, it's a convertible, hence the Roadster moniker, and in this test car the top is finished in black cloth while the rest of the body is a sleek "Designo Brilliant Blue Magno," which is AMG-nese for matte royal blue. Also, you can't do automated carwashes with this paint finish, so it looks like I'll be exercising the good ol' arms this week.
The price for this bad boy comes in at $179,795 including destination, which puts it in the range of an Acura NSX, which starts at $158,000, or even a base-model Porsche 911 Turbo, which starts at $162,000, though good luck finding one for that price at a dealership. Last but not least, you could also pick up a brand-new Audi R8 for $170,000. Decisions, decisions...
With that out of the way, what do you want to know about my temporary ride? I can't promise that I'll jump down some steps at the abandoned mall parking lot in the name of journalism, but I could probably fulfill less dangerous and more informative requests.
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