The Mercedes-Benz SLS was a much-loved car. It was beautiful, dramatic and had proper performance ability. It was a sad day when Mercedes stopped building it. But it now has an heir – and it’s even better.

The Mercedes-AMG GT marks the second car completely designed and built by Mercedes-Benz’s in-house tuning arm, AMG. Retaining classic Mercedes styling, the GT is thoroughly modern and unique.

Using a modified SLS platform, the GT also features a long hood and a rear set passenger compartment. The GT differs from the SLS with its sloped rear end.

Where the SLS was heavily styled after the classic 300SL, with its iconic gull-wing doors, the new GT is much more contemporary and, dare I say, practical. And, despite it being an AMG special edition, it doesn’t sport a raft of unnecessary, attention grabbing carbon-fiber flair pieces. Everything about the GT feels mature and civilized.

The interior also shows a raised sense of sophistication. Aviation-inspired design cues look great and make the business of driving easy.

And that’s something the Mercedes-AMG GT does very well.

Comparing the numbers between the old SLS versus the new GT makes that claim seem a bit surprising. The SLS had a massive 6.2-litre V8, while the GT also has a V8, but it’s only 4.0-litres. However, the SLS had a 0-to-100km/h time of 3.8 seconds and the GT does it in…3.8 seconds. Top speed too is nearly the same, plenty fast enough to get you in a lot of trouble.

AMG achieved this through clever engineering, instead of pure brawn.

The GT’s V8 has two turbochargers. Normally, turbos are bolted to the outside of the engine, but AMG placed theirs inside the vee of the cylinder banks. This means the engine is more compact and allows the turbos to be more efficient. As a result, the GT uses less fuel than an SLS, and is still just as quick.

But AMG didn’t stop there. It went to great lengths to make the GT handle better too. Even though it is a front engine car, positioning the transmission at the back of the car gives it a rear-bias 47:53 percent weight distribution.

Adding the AMG dynamic plus package includes adjustable engine and transmission mounts. In most cars, the engine and transmission are mostly dead weight and move around a bit, spoiling the balance. But, the GT’s active mounts allow it to provide a smoother ride in comfort mode or can stiffen up, gluing them to the chassis giving better response.

Still not done, AMG gave the GT dry-sump lubrication, eliminating the need for an conventional oil pan. This allows the engine to sit 55mm lower, which in turn lowers the GT’s overall centre of gravity. On top of that, the traditional car battery has been replaced by a lightweight lithium ion one.

At the end of the day, the Mercedes-AMG GT is a 503 hp muscle car that can actually corner well.

Then there’s the noise.

The GT can wake your neighbors with the amazing roar from its V8. Setting the adjustable exhaust to open fills the cabin with its glorious howl, and AMG didn’t use any tricks, playing artificial sound through the speakers. What you hear is pure eight-cylinder symphony.

Once you are finished burning your rear tires, return the setting to comfort mode and quiet the exhaust, and the GT happily becomes a long-legged, civilized cruiser. One can imagine daily commutes being blissfully easy in this car.

The verdict on the Mercedes-AMG GT is that it is a high-end performance car for adults. It is as capable as its main rival, the Porsche 911, but will stand out for being different and is quite good-looking.

Tell us what you think about the Mercedes-AMG GT. Can this Mercedes-Benz steal customers from its long-time rival Porsche?