By Clive Funizwe
The GT63s left us mightily impressed in many areas but left us wondering how far off would the GT53 be from its bigger brother. The folks at the AMG Academy are not the type of folk who like to leave any stones unturned – so a few days later the GT53 was available for us to test.
As is always the case we jumped in with enthusiasm and were met by a string of pleasantness. On paper, the GT53 is the lesser, more vanilla sibling. But does the GT63s offer more than a million reasons why it’s the better option? Read on to see how the stone turning went…
As this is pretty much the same car – many things will be similar if not the same. The differences upfront as you would have noted in the images is that the GT53 has plastic covers in place of the massive air-intakes that feed air into the GT63s monstrous V8. At the back the GT53 has an electronically controlled spoiler which we prefer over the GT63s fixed spoiler. The GT53 we had had the standard 19-inch black wheels which we will talk about in a bit.
The interior is also very similar in that the lay-out is the same – but options on the GT53 were piano black for the dash trim and red seatbelts. The rear remains a 2-seater which means the seats are sculptured and individual. The standard luxury amenities include dual climate control, heated front seats, radar cruise control, adaptive dampers and configurable driving modes.
One thing to note is that both the GT63s and 53 do not have the latest MBUX Infotainment System – so when you say – Hey Mercedes – the autobots do not roll out.
A case for the GT53
The slight restrained looks of the GT53 is not the only thing that we like about it. There is no denying that the GT63s is a more polished car dynamically. Handling and grip feel reassuringly locked down along with its diabolic pulling power. All that engineering to get the car to handle that well and be racy will always steer the tolerances of the overall ride away from a fully balanced (dot it all – if you will) type of refined ride quality. This is not to say that the GT63s is unlivable – but this is more evident when you drive the GT53. The overall feel of the GT53 is polite.
The in-line 6, which produces 320kW and 520 Nm with its less raucous exhaust note, the supple suspension, smaller wheels (19-inch) and slightly less kerb-weight – all make this car the better daily driver in our opinion. The ride is a little bit more rounded and softer. It feels a lot lighter and is thus a little more playful around corners too if you fancy a bit of a mini tail slide.
Ultimately… the GT53 is a lot of car for the money. It will satisfy many aspects that a petrol head can ever want in a do-it-all 4-Door coupe. The extra performance credentials that come with the GT63s are undoubtedly spellbinding – and to-be buyers should double check their appetite for reversing the earth’s orbit and ascertain if that off-sets the ride quality.
The AMG GT53 starts at R2,184,000. All AMG GT 4-Door Coupe’s come with Merc’s 5 Year / 100,000km maintenance plan as per the contract terms of the plan and other options to buy in and extend the cover.
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