2021 Mercedes-AMG GT Black Series is a 720hp uncompromising halo coupe

There's a new AMG Black Series beast in town, and the 2021 Mercedes-AMG GT Black Series is taking no prisoners. Flagship of the AMG GT family, something hardly short on horsepower as it stands, this new coupe combines 720 horsepower, a 202 mph top speed, and some seriously striking aero tech to make the automaker's most raucous model.

The 4.0-liter V8 biturbo engine may not be the biggest AMG has ever used, but it's certainly the most powerful V8 in the company's history. That means 720 horsepower from 6,700 to 6,900 rpm, along with 590 lb-ft of torque from 2,000 to 6,000 rpm.

To deliver that, it took a new, flat-plane crankshaft, a departure for AMG which has previously relied on a cross-plane version. As well as the 202 mph top speed, there's a 3.1 second 0-60 mph time. 0-124 mph comes in under 9.0 seconds, AMG promises.

The V8 is paired with an AMG SPEEDSHIFT DCT 7-speed dual clutch transmission, and pushes all its power to the rear wheels. The gearbox has been modified for the coupe, primarily so that it's up to handling all that torque. However AMG's engineers also took the opportunity to strip out the old limits that governed shift performance and response time, extending them so that the GT Black Series is even more track-ready.

Raw power alone isn't enough, of course: you need the right aerodynamics, too. There, AMG dug into its AMG GT3 and GT4 race cars, which donated the tech for components like the radiator air inlet. The wheel arch coolers now get their air supply from that central inlet, removing the need for additional outer air inlets, with semicircular flics to optimize airflow for front axle downforce and brake cooling.

The front splitter is carbon fiber, and has two manually-adjustable settings for Street and Race. Pulled forward into the latter setting, it creates a reversed wing profile under the front section that helps generate a Venturi effect on the underbody, sucking the car to the track.

Rear downforce, meanwhile, is the handiwork of the unmissable spoiler. Both its blades are made of carbon fiber, and can be mechanically adjusted. The lower of the two is small and narrow, to deal with air arriving from the front of the car; the upper blade has an adjustable flap, which can be tweaked across 20-degrees by the AMG DYNAMICS mode. When flat, it cuts air resistance for top speed; inclined, it improves braking performance and cornering stability.

There are four different systems for it, spanning Basic, Advanced, Pro, and Master in the AMG DYNAMICS modes. In Master, AMG explains, the flap is permanently inclined at speeds up to 155 mph; it retracts above that so that the GT Black Series can hit its top speed. For sudden braking or cornering, though, it will automatically re-deploy, or the driver can do so manually with a button on the dashboard.

The hood is carbon fiber, with two contrasting exhaust air outlets. They help with both cooling and downforce. Front fender vents help with downforce too, and there are extra cooling air ducts in the side sill panels for rear brake cooling. They'll need it, too, what with AMG ceramic high-performance compound brakes – with black brake calipers and white lettering – paired with motorsport brake pads and discs.

There's AMG coil-over suspension, with adaptive adjustable damping. The camber on the front and rear axles can be manually adjustable, as can the sway bars. AMG TRACTION CONTROL allows the ESP to be shut off fully – preferably while you're on the track, mind – and there are nine slip settings on the live rear axle.

An adjuster on the center console – sized to be easy to operate even if you're wearing racing gloves – switch through the levels. At one extreme, it sets the AMG GT Black Series up for wet tracks with high safety reserves; the other allows maximum slip at the rear. AMG's system uses a friction coefficient evaluator, among other sensors, to track when the rear is losing grip and modulate the engine so it's kept at the level the driver has selected, but no more.

Inside, there's a 12.3-inch driver display and a 10.25-inch infotainment display, with custom AMG graphics. The center console is V-shaped, with colored display buttons for transmission logic, suspension, ESP, the adjustable exhaust, rear spoiler flap, and start/stop. They're designed to be operable by gloved hands, and AMG then throws in two rocker switches for drive programs and volume control.

The AMG Performance steering wheel is wrapped in DINAMICA microfiber, and has aluminum shift paddles and integrated touch control buttons for navigating through the infotainment. The AMG DRIVE UNIT steering wheel buttons can be used to switch through things like drive mode and other features, some of which are driver-customizable. The AMG Interior Night Package – with high-gloss black and black brushed stainless steel trim – is standard.

Mercedes-AMG says that the 2021 AMG GT Black Series will arrive in the US come early 2021. Pricing will be announced closer to launch, and perhaps the best news is that, while certainly up to the challenge of any track, the coupe will be road-legal too.