The new Mercedes-AMG GT Black Series

September 16th, 2020 by

Mercedes-AMG presents the most extreme version of the venerable GT, the 2021 GT Black Series. Inspired by the Mercedes-AMG GT3 racing car, the sixth Black Series model from Mercedes-AMG is the perfect synergy of expressive design, elaborate aerodynamics, distinctive driving dynamics, and lightweight construction. The Mercedes-AMG GT Black Series is a super sports car that embodies the brand’s rich tradition in motorsport, as well as its many years of expertise in developing track worthy vehicles that impress in every respect. Equipped with the most powerful AMG V8 series engine of all time, the GT Black Series can generate a staggering 720 hp and 590 lb-ft of torque. 

Despite it already being renowned for excellent driveability, power delivery and torque progression, engine specialists in Affalterbach made extensive improvements to the tried-and-tested 4.0-litre biturbo unit. The results were clear: significantly more power than the previous flagship AMG GT, an even more agile throttle response, and maximum torque – all of which meant that a radical change was needed in the form of a new, ‘flat’ crankshaft.

“The new GT Black Series is our latest highlight and continues a tradition that started in 2006. The sixth version of its kind, the GT Black Series is another AMG milestone, and impressive proof of the incredible development expertise in Affalterbach. I am proud of the team who have truly created a unique super sports car, which now represents the absolute peak of our successful GT family. Its performance, looks, and driving dynamics are second to none. This project was a fantastic end to my work at AMG, for which I am truly thankful,” says Tobias Moers, Chairman of the Board at Mercedes-AMG GmbH.

A new arrangement for the V8 engine

A V8 engine’s unique design allows for plenty of room to play when it comes to the integration of one key element: the crank arrangement on the crankshaft. Wherever located, this can influence the characteristics of the engine. Usually, there are two setups for V8 engines: the ‘cross plane’ where the crankpins of the four pairs of cylinders are at a 90-degree angle – a setup that AMG has used in some previous V8 engines, or the ‘flat crankshaft’,  where all crankpins are on the same plane with a 180-degree offset or ‘flat plane’.

The Black Series GT utilizes a ‘flat crankshaft’, and benefits from superb smoothness and high torque at low rotational speeds. Another benefit of this new arrangement is the characteristic sound of the V8 engine. In order to make optimal use of the displacement and the performance potential of the 4.0-litre biturbo engine, the AMG engineers essentially moved the exhaust side into the hot internal V of the V8’s two cylinder banks.

Uniformly oscillating gas columns for even more power

Engine performance can be increased by using a ‘flat’ crankshaft. In the flat-plane V8 engine, this looks similar to an inline four-cylinder model, except for the wider crankpins, which in the case of the V8, have two connecting rods each. Ignition in the flat-plane V8 jumps from one cylinder bank to the next, which further improves the gas cycle. The characteristic firing order with a 180-degree crankshaft angle offset is 1-8-2-7-4-5-3-6. This order creates uniformly oscillating gas columns in the exhaust tract and on the intake side, the resonance of which can be easily used to increase performance. An even greater advantage of this implementation is a more agile throttle response.

The most powerful V8 series engine from Mercedes-AMG

The new engine of the GT Black Series is based on the AMG 4.0-litre V8 biturbo engine with dry sump lubrication, and has been given the new internal code M178 LS2 due to its numerous modifications. It delivers 720 hp at 6,700 – 6,900 rpm, and generates a maximum torque of 590 lb-ft at 2,000 – 6,000 rpm. The engine features new camshafts and exhaust manifolds that are adapted to the new firing order and further improve the gas cycle.

Two twin-scroll exhaust turbochargers are mounted on anti-friction bearings, similar to the top-of-the-range AMG GT 4-Door Coupe, and optimize the throttle response even further. In the GT Black Series, the turbochargers have been given a larger compressor wheel, which allows for each turbo to deliver a total of 1,100 kg air per hour. For comparison, the figure for the AMG GT R is 900 kg of air per hour. 7,000 rpm is not critical as a continuous speed, and the speed is limited at 7,200 rpm. Larger intercoolers guarantee charge-air temperature is kept within the best possible range. The unique standing of this new engine is reflected in the engine badge, which is kept in black.

The engine of the AMG GT Black Series enables highly impressive driving performance: the two-door is able to rocket from 0 to 100 km/h in 3.2 seconds, and can reach 200 km/h in under nine seconds. The top speed is 325 km/h, although this is only sensible on cordoned-off racetracks.

Modified AMG SPEEDSHIFT DCT 7G transmission

As is the case for all two-door AMG GT models, power is transmitted to the rear wheels via a seven-speed AMG SPEEDSHIFT DCT 7G dual clutch transmission, which is located on the rear axle in a transaxle arrangement. For the GT Black Series, this transmission has been modified, and adapted to the increased torque of 590 lb-ft. Previous limits governing shift performance and response time have been extended, making it much more suited for driving on racetracks.

These modifications produce very different handling characteristics, as not only are the engine response and acceleration more agile – the drive programs, start-up characteristics, and gear changes are too. As a result of the increased starting revs, a more sensitive wheel slip control, and the racetrack ready sports tires, the Race-Start function is now more impressive.

A ‘torque tube’ creates a connection between the engine and the transmission. It is made of carbon fibre, and at just 13.9 kilograms is around 40 percent lighter than its weight-optimized aluminum counterpart in the AMG GT. A structural component of the transaxle drivetrain, it creates an extremely flexural and torsionally stiff connection between the engine and the transmission. The ‘torque tube’ permits a very direct connection for the drivetrain that is favourable to driving dynamics and also plays a role in the vehicle’s balanced weight distribution. The drive shaft which rotates inside is also made from light carbon fibre.

Sophisticated aerodynamics for impressive driving dynamics

As with the AMG GT R and the AMG GT R PRO, aerodynamics experts and designers have worked in close collaboration to ensure optimized air flow for the GT Black Series. The similarities between the AMG GT3 and AMG GT4 racing cars is visually and technically stronger than ever before. In fact, the Black Series utilizes a significantly larger radiator air inlet that stems directly from the AMG GT3. The radiator trim has vertical struts in dark chrome. The wheel arch coolers are fed with direct air via the central air inlet, and thus there is no need for the two additional outer air inlets in the front apron. Sickle-shaped flics optimize flow of the air, which not only increase downforce at the front axle, but also improve brake cooling. The ‘air curtains’ control and direct the flow of air towards the wheels. Together with the flics in front of the wheels, this serves to reduce the drag coefficient and increase downforce. The new design language of the GT Black Series combines maximum cool air efficiency with lower air resistance and an increased level of downforce at the vehicle’s front end.

The GT Black Series features a carbon-fibre front splitter that has the two manually adjustable settings of ‘Street’ and ‘Race’, and can be adapted to meet various track requirements. When extended forward in its ‘Race’ position, a front diffuser in the shape of a reversed wing is created under the front section of the vehicle. Depending on the speed, this element can be lowered even further by the rising negative pressure, which significantly accelerates the air flow on the underbody, drawing the car closer to the road, and increasing downforce on the front axle, creating the ‘Venturi’ effect. The driver can feel these benefits in the steering: The Black Series can be steered even more precisely when cornering at high speed and exhibits even better directional stability. This feeling is much more pronounced during fast cornering and under high lateral acceleration, as the vehicle delivers an agile response with clear steering wheel feedback while remaining effortlessly controllable at all times. If the front diffuser is in the ‘Race’ position, the downforce at the rear axle can also be increased further by the new rear aerofoil concept…

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Full Article Link: Mercedes-Benz Canada

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