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Mercedes-AMG GT R spotted testing in snow all hardcore

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Well, what have we here? It looks like a prototype for an even harder-core version of the Mercedes-AMG GT. And it's been spotted romping through the snow to make sure it can stand up to the cold while turning up the heat.

This latest variant, slated to slot in above the GT and GT S, is expected to be called the Mercedes-AMG GT R – with apologies to its rival from Nissan. That means more power, more aggressive aero, a stiffer suspension, larger rolling stock, upgraded brakes, and a cockpit even more focused on all-out performance than those of the existing versions. It's also tipped to get active aerodynamic elements, adaptive shocks, and four-wheel steering. Consider it the next Black Series model, then, but going by another name.

We spotted a similar prototype running laps around the Nürburgring the better part of a year ago. But while some new models under development at this point would be shedding camo, this one has put on even more. All the better to disguise the front end in particular, which appears (from the penetratingly illuminated nighttime shots especially) to borrow more heavily from the competition-spec Mercedes-AMG GT3 – albeit toned down and raised up a bit for the road. Although all those swirls are meant to throw us off the scent, the prototype appears to be wearing aerodynamic flicks at the corners of the front bumper to channel airflow over and around the front wheels, a much larger diffuser than existing versions, and a fixed rear wing even more aggressive than the previous prototype's and approaching that of the racer's.

One thing the GT R won't likely adopt from the GT3 racing model, however, is the engine: Where the road-going model uses a 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8, the racing engineers in Affalterbach opted instead to slot the big 6.2-liter atmospheric V8 from the outgoing SLS AMG GT3 into the new GT. Expect the straßenversion to go with the smaller turbo engine, but don't expect it to give up much ground to the racer as far as output is concerned. Current GT3 racing regulations limit output to between 500 and 600 horsepower (depending on the vehicle's weight in a balance-of-performance calculation), and as it is, the GT offers 460 hp in base spec and 503 in the GT S. We wouldn't be surprised to see the GT R version, then, offering up around 550 hp to give even the Porsche 911 Turbo S a run for its money around the streets of Stuttgart, down the Autobahn, and around the Nordschleife.

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