Although unveiled at the 2016 Goodwood Festival of Speed, it’s taken almost a year for the right-hand-drive version of the Mercedes-AMG GT R – also known as The Beast from the Green Hell, in recognition of its development at the demanding Nürburgring Nordschleife circuit – to reach these shores. But arrive it finally has, alongside its more glamorous (though hardly less ferocious-looking) open-top sibling, the GT C Roadster.
The two new models extend Mercedes-AMG’s hardcore sportscar range in two directions. The R, which visually resembles the GT3 racer that competed in last year’s Macau Grand Prix Guia Race, is the more sporting of the two, with a front mid-mounted 4-litre, biturbo V8 under its long, long bonnet that produces up to 577bhp, as well as revised suspension and aero (including an adjustable rear wing), and a lightened body. As it’s available in the arresting signature matte metallic green of the racing car, it also has an appropriately fearsome presence to match its supercar-nudging performance (maximum speed is 319km/h). And, of course, its engine sounds insane.
The C Roadster is almost as formidable, with retro lines and a Panamericana-style grille that look no less aggressive than the R’s, though it’s a tad more refined and relaxed. Its 4-litre eight-pot produces almost 550bhp, which is sufficient for a top whack just 3km/h shy of the R’s and a 1-100 acceleration time that’s comfortably within 4 seconds, and it also shares the R’s active rear steering and electronic differential. But as this new Roadster also gets a more luxurious leather interior, as well Airscarf neck-level heating, it’s equally perfect for those occasions when you can’t resist dropping the roof (which raises and lowers in just 11 seconds), slowing right down and posing. Indeed, with those kind of looks, it’s an exercise you’ll likely be indulging in more often than you’d care to admit.