With updated looks and advancements inside and out, Mercedes-AMG will bring a new version of its GT3 race car to competition in 2020.
The revised model, while visually identifiable as a Mercedes-AMG GT3, will enable to teams to run the car at a lower cost compared to the current version thanks to a longer timespan between engine rebuilds and a redesigned front end aimed at better protecting internal components — including the engine — from damage during minor collisions.
More adjustable and serviceable than the outgoing model, the new car extends cost-cutting measures to its engineer-facing functions. Both the front splitter and rear wing are easier to adjust and the air filter is more accessible. In a first for a GT3 car, the running time of various parts will be digitally recorded and analyzed by the vehicle itself, giving teams a better idea of how long components will last and when replacements may be needed.
The financial pitch for the new car is complimented by enhancements to its on-track abilities. Notably, a new “Drop Start” system will automatically start the engine when the car is dropped off its jacks, eliminating the need for driver involvement and lessening the chances of human error when launching from a pit stall. Optimized anti-lock braking and traction control systems are paired with the car’s existing safety features and cockpit ergonomics, positively impacting handling and driver protection.
All of the changes inside and out haven’t radically altered the car’s appearance, despite the revised front and rear aprons and a new front splitter.
An extensive testing period in the second half of 2019 includes a planned 30-hour endurance test at race pace and outings for prototype versions at select events. Following testing, the cars will be delivered to teams before the end of the year for debut in 2020, the 10th anniversary of Mercedes-AMG Customer Racing.
In addition to selling new cars, the 130 Mercedes-AMG GT3s already sold will be upgradable to the new specification via an upgrade kit, bringing both the visual and technical advancements to the current car. New — or returning — customers since July 2018 are offered a discount on the update package.
Both new and upgraded cars are expected to be in competition next year in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, beginning with the season-opening Rolex 24 at Daytona.