Sedans & Coupes

Did the 2021 Mercedes-AMG GT Black Series Spell Death For the GT R?

If you’ve been eyeing a brand-new 2021 Mercedes-AMG GT R, you’re out of luck. This sports car has been outshined by its more powerful – and more expensive – sibling, the 2021 Mercedes-AMG GT Black Series.

The GT Black Series recently made waves by breaking the Nürburgring lap record for a production car. 

Mercedes-AMG, the performance division of Mercedes-Benz, consistently upped its game by creating faster speed demons. However, this innovation may have come at a cost.

According to Road and Track, the German automaker discontinued the GT R for the 2021 model year. Additionally, Mercedes-AMG stopped taking orders for the model after Dec. 29. Meanwhile, the recently introduced GT Black Series will be the go-to model for thrill-seekers.

Why is Mercedes-AMG killing this heralded sports car, and does it have to do with the GT Black Series’ success? Let’s take a look at both high-end performance models to shed light on the situation.

The 2021 Mercedes-AMG GT Black Series is a performance beast

An orange 2021 Mercedes-AMG GT Black Series driving on a track
The 2021 Mercedes-AMG GT Black Series in action | Photo via Mercedes-Benz

Is it fair to compare the GT R to the GT Black Series? Perhaps not. After all, the Black Series costs more than most people’s homes

Mercedes-AMG didn’t announce the official starting price of the 2021 Mercedes-Benz GT R. However, Car and Driver projected it to be around $164,000. Meanwhile, the 2021 GT Black Series costs nearly double that amount, with a starting MSRP of $325,000.

Buyers will be getting a whole lot of additional performance for that extra money. The GT Black Series is powered by a 4.0-liter bi-turbo V8 engine with a flat-plane crank. 

Mercedes-AMG mated this powerplant to a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission and a rear-wheel-drive system. This powertrain kicks out an astounding 730 hp and 590 lb-ft of torque. Plus, it sprints from 0-60 MPH in just 3.1 seconds.

This output is a serious step up from the outgoing GT R model, which is no slouch. Mercedes-AMG tuned the 2020 GT R’s 4.0-liter bi-turbo V8 to create 577 hp and 516 lb-ft of torque. Meanwhile, this model accelerated from 0-60 MPH in 3.5 seconds.

The 2021 Mercedes-AMG GT R was stuck in the middle

A silver 2020 Mercedes-AMG GT R parked on display
The 2020 Mercedes-AMG GT R on display | Photo via Mercedes-Benz

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Due to the drastic price differences between the models, the 2021 Mercedes-AMG GT Black Series isn’t in direct competition with the GT R. That leaves car enthusiasts wondering why Mercedes-AMG would cease production on the relatively affordable GT R.

The answer lies in the updated 2021 Mercedes-AMG GT. The manufacturer hasn’t yet announced the 2021 model’s official MSRP. However, Car and Driver estimates that the GT Coupe will be around $47,000 cheaper than the GT R. 

The GT Coupe’s drop-off in performance from the GT R isn’t too significant, either. Mercedes-AMG souped-up the GT Coupe for the 2021 model year, and it now makes 523 hp.

These changes mean the GT R is no longer a huge step above lower-end GT models, making it lose some of its luster.

The final verdict

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It stands to reason that the 2021 Mercedes-AMG GT Black Series and the GT R aren’t direct competitors. Yet the GT Black Series won out. The high-end model does a better job separating itself from the rest of the GT line. 

While it’s price tag is extraordinary, the GT Black Series will capture the attention of those willing to spend the big bucks on their next sports car. Meanwhile, the 2021 Mercedes-AMG GT R was lost in the shuffle, not being deemed exciting enough to warrant a future spot in the lineup.