The brand new Mercedes-AMG GT was launched last year, ready to take on the Porsche 911 with a 577bhp 4.0-litre, twin-turbo V8 under the bonnet. However, AMG has now decided less is more, because the latest variant of its flagship sports car is powered by a 2.0-litre four-cylinder. 

The new AMG GT 43 may have half the cylinders, but its turbocharged four-pot engine produces 416bhp and 500Nm of torque, all of which is sent to the rear wheels only through a nine-speed MCT gearbox. 0-62mph takes 4.6 seconds – a few tenths of a second shy of the base Porsche 911 Carrera’s time – while top speed stands at 174mph. 

We’re very familiar with the GT 43’s engine as it’s also found in the A 45 S hyper hatch and even the Lotus Emira. But like its drop-top sister car, the AMG SL 43, the GT 43 also benefits from an electric exhaust gas turbocharger – technology derived from Mercedes’ Formula 1 engines.

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It uses an electric motor to keep the turbo spooled up and maintain boost pressure even when coasting or braking, thus minimising turbo lag, improving the engine’s responsiveness and delivering more torque at low speeds.

The turbocharger is part of the GT’s 48-volt electrical system, which also feeds a starter-generator motor that can provide a 13bhp boost for short periods. It also makes the start-stop system smoother, and boosts efficiency through energy recuperation and coasting. 

AMG wanted to make the GT 43 look more elegant than its V8-powered siblings, doing so by adding narrower front and rear fenders, and reducing the track width. The GT 43 also features a new front bumper with air inlets across the width of the car, and a tweaked rear bumper which includes round exhaust tips, instead of the V8 models’ trapezoidal ones.

AMG’s signature Panamericana grille is up front, while active aerodynamic aids include openable slats to reduce drag or maximise cooling, and an extendable rear spoiler. The GT 43 rides on 19-inch wheels as standard, but other options including 21-inch forged rims are available as well.

Drivers get five standard drive modes to choose from – Smooth, Comfort, Sport, Sport+ and Individual – with an additional Race mode included as part of the optional AMG Dynamic Plus pack.  This also adds a locking differential, more rigid engine mounts and the option of a fixed rear wing. Active rear-wheel steering for improved low-speed agility and stability at higher speeds, and optional adaptive dampers are offered on the GT 43, too.

The cabin of the GT 43 features a digital instrument cluster and 11.9-inch portrait touchscreen running Mercedes’ latest MBUX infotainment system with lots of AMG-specific content on offer.

UK pricing for the AMG GT 43 has yet to be announced, but we expect a significant price cut from the £164,765 starting price of the V8-powered AMG GT 63 4MATIC+.

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